Complex 3D designs can delay visualizations

Different industries including robotics, architecture and engineering are starting to incorporate 3D visualizations into their design to construction workflow. AR and VR offer an unparalleled visualization experience for engineering, architectural and many other design-led industries. Architects can communicate designs with clients using a 3D scaled model in real-time, and engineering project teams can collaborate and edit designs in a fully immersive virtual experience before anything is built. While using immersive 3D visualizations for projects has many benefits, a handful of bottlenecks, such as the difficulties in preparing content for visualization, impede it from being more widely adopted.

Many engineering models are created using SolidWorks, where design quality and accuracy is key. SolidWorks has an asset library with 3D pieces (models/assets) so that design engineers can easily drag and drop pre-made assets into their scene. Duplicate assets are cloned and instanced so that the file isn’t excessively heavy. After an engineer is finished modeling, they convert it into an FBX file, however, the instancing breaks when imported into Unreal Engine, resulting in many duplicated assets, considerably increasing the size of the file.

Setbacks in visualizing AEC models

Imagine an engineering firm that wants to visualize the design of their robotic arm using a 3D scale model in real-time using AR. In the design phase, the engineer uses SolidWorks (or another software) to accurately design parts of the robotic arm. Other teams or companies may also contribute to the design, making the file bulky. Precision is important in the design phase and ensuring the correct type and number of assets are included is crucial since the design will be used for manufacturing.

Such a complex engineering design would require optimizing before being able to render or visualize. Engineering design files are heavy and would not easily render in Unreal Engine. This is where 3D artists/technicians would look for opportunities to lighten the file. A 3D robotic arm design contains many duplicate assets, such as bolts. To be able to visualize in Unreal Engine, a 3D artist would have to manually find the duplicate bolts, and instance them or replace them with a simpler object to be able to achieve a more optimized file.

An architectural firm would likely find themselves in a similar situation. Imagine a firm that wants to share their design proposals with stakeholders using immersive 3D walkthroughs in VR. But visualizing an architectural model in AR/VR is also tricky. The identical assets found throughout the model (such as doors and windows) while necessary for manufacturing designs, cause problems when rendering and visualizing. Therefore, 3D artists find themselves in a tedious situation of having to manually go through design files, find repeated assets that aren’t necessary for visualization and delete them one by one.

Clearly this process is time-consuming, and a 3D asset management and optimization tool that can remove duplicate objects in a 3D model would be beneficial.

Cubity can detect duplicates and remove them

Cubity is a 3D asset management and optimization tool that can help 3D artists prepare their 3D models for rendering and visualizing in UE. It can easily identify duplicate assets and help you instance them, replace or remove them, greatly reducing the size of your 3D file.

After importing your 3D file in its original format, Cubity reads the file to understand performance-limiting factors. It can quickly identify duplicate assets, such as the bolts in the robotic arm, or the windows in the apartment complex. Duplicate assets are found based on consistencies in both scene components and object components. After detecting the repeated assets, Cubity groups them and asks the user to verify if they are indeed duplicates.

By automating this process, Cubity increases efficiency in optimization and prevents human error. When duplicates are detected and verified, the user can decide the course of action, either removing them or keeping them in the 3D file. Since Cubity grouped duplicate assets, the user can remove duplicate objects in 3D models and quickly reduce the file size, improving visualization in Unreal Engine.

Cubity can be easily integrated into your 3D content production pipeline to help manage 3D data and optimize/increase performance of 3D models. Our software brings insight into 3D models and automates time-consuming processes such as removing duplicate objects in 3D models, increasing efficiency and accuracy.

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