Modelo 3D Comment Makes Design Collaboration more Efficient

Recently, Modelo release the real-time comment function and attracted widespread attention. A large number of users reported that this update is very useful and greatly improved their design collaboration efficiency. However, given that some users are not familiar with the operation, we will introduce how to use the comment function to achieve design collaboration in this blog.

You can click anywhere on the model and add a comment. The view will also be saved. You can also @ team members in the project to inform the one you want. 

After finishing the comments, you can share models with other users for collaboration work. You can directly send share links or send emails via Modelo.

When other users open your share link, they will see your comments on the right and automatically switch to the corresponding perspective. Then, all users can reply to your comments and you will see the reply immediately. Besides, other users can also add comments on your shared model and you will see the notification on your model page.

Users can also add sketches to elaborate the comments. It will help users communicate better in the collaboration work.

If there are comments from other users, you will receive notifications in real-time and all the comments will be listed on the right.

Make Design Decisions Faster by Using VR

Virtual reality visualizations allow AEC professionals to make informed design decisions on complex 3D designs quicker, allowing you and your firm to close more deals.

When you create VR tours of your 3D models, you essentially bring your design to life. No longer are you staring at a 2D drawing or even a 3D model on a computer screen. But you and your client are virtually walking through the front door, deciding which new kitchen counters to install, examining the specs of the bathroom, and truly immersing yourself in a realistic representation of the brand new charming house your client has dreamt of all her life. Plus, add a 360º image as the background of your 3D model and surround the house with the mountain flowers of Aspen, Colorado to give the full effect. After all, seeing is believing.

It’s not a mystery that designs go through many phases, and with those phases come lots of decisions. VR allows you and your client to come to design decisions quicker and it prevents misunderstandings or costly rework down the road. By using VR as a collaboration tool throughout the design review process, everyone can be on the same page, looking at the same model in VR. Modelo encourages thoughtful and beautiful design, but above all we encourage collaborative design.

When firms use Modelo’s VR tool, they upgrade their design capabilities and decision making to the next level. Learn how Modelo works perfectly with Google Cardboard, a less expensive but equally effective VR headset that’s easy to set-up. Further, pairing Modelo + Google Cardboard is especially easy for clients to use because there are no downloads required and it’s extremely intuitive for non-designers. When clients are immersed in the project along the way, they are more involved in the decision making, meaning that it’s easier to come to necessary conclusions. A client-centered approach means closing more deals and making your organization more money.

Use Modelo to view complex 3D designs in VR.

Besides client communication, VR is especially beneficial for internal collaboration. VR helps architects and designers understand their own designs better, thus allowing them to make design decisions quicker, be more productive and win more deals.

View complex 3D designs and make informed design decisions easier by using VR and Modelo throughout the design process. Sign up today for a free forever account.

Best Way to Communicate Design Options with Clients | Modelo

Here at Modelo, we focus on making life easier not only for designers but also for clients. Communication is a key aspect of the design process and using Modelo is the best way to communicate designs with clients.

Modelo equips clients with the right tools to track progress, give important feedback and make sure everything is aligned with their overall expectation. Plus, a client will never need to create an account, log in or download anything. Your client can have access to their project at all stages of the design process by simply clicking on a URL link. Below you will learn the best ways to communicate design options with clients.

Sharing 3D models with a unique URL is one of the easiest and best ways to communicate with your clients. You can share different design options, renderings, walkthroughs and much more by simply clicking on a URL from any device. This means the client doesn’t need a face-to-face presentation or need to be on a screen share to be updated on how things are going. As we know clients, just like designers, are very busy. Therefore, having the ability to collaborate with a URL allows clients to stay updated and communicate from any device, anywhere that works for them.

Most times when it comes to communicating with clients, it is done with 2D images. Clients receive an email with a long paragraph of explanations on what they are looking at and with photos attached. With Modelo, the best way to communicate images to clients is by taking a high definition screen capture in the platform. This then creates a comment card and from there you can make the comment card “client ready.” Then click the share button and send it directly to your client. The client will be able to view the photo by clicking on the URL in the email and will even be able to communicate feedback right on the comment card in real-time.

As you move into different stages of the design, it becomes more and more important to share different design assets with clients, such as floor plans, renderings or 360º images. The best way to communicate those design assets is to upload them into your assets folder and once again share them with a unique URL. From there the client can view, download and share those assets from any device. This saves a ton of time for the designers and the clients.

One of the biggest requests from clients in the design process is the ability to walk through a space to see how things are coming along and to quickly jump into VR to truly understand the space as it is being designed. The best way to communicate those walkthroughs and VR tours is by using Modelo. These can be easily created and viewed by clients. No fancy hardware needed and no need to be on a certain device to view anything. In seconds you can create a 3D walkthrough and share it directly with your clients or even create different comment cards in Modelo that will double as the scene in your VR experience.

Overall, it’s important to collaborate and communicate with clients during the design process. Sign up today for free and get started!

5 ways Modelo Can Help You To Improve Client Communication

Modelo is a multifunctional platform used to collaborate on 3D models and 2D assets with your clients by inviting them into your project, or by sharing any part of your model with a simple and unique URL. No downloads required! Below, we’ll outline the 5 ways that Modelo can improve client communication.

  1. Invite clients into your project
    By sharing a quick and unique URL link, you can automatically invite clients to load any part your 3D model on their mobile device, tablet or laptop. Modelo eliminates any downloading or logging in from the client-side. It only includes a simple click of a link and clients are immediately immersed in your 3D design, free to view whichever scenes or attachments you specify.
  2. Quick Screen Captures 
    Eliminate the long loading times and system lag that’s commonly experienced in CAD software with our screen capture tool. Capture a view from anywhere in your model in seconds. Like anything else in Modelo it can be saved, downloaded and shared with clients.
  3. Client Engagement
    Your client has the ability to comment on your specific scenes to voice which areas they like or which areas may need adjustments. Hearing this feedback directly and early on in the design process eliminates rework later on. Clients can now visualize the 3D design in an easy way on any mobile device.
  4. Share Design Assets
    A client no longer needs to download anything or login to view assets including, drawings, floor plans, site layouts, model photos, quick renderings or essentially any document you need to communicate to the client. Modelo uploads all of your assets into one single folder associated with a project and also generates a unique URL for each to be shared to the client or attached to a view, perfect for presentations.
  5. Walkthrough Feature
    Modelo is the fastest and easiest way to create a walkthrough animation in the industry. Simply by dropping a few waypoints on your floor plan, setting the camera angle and hitting play you can create a smooth walkthrough that recognizes the average height of a human from the ground. You can even climb stairs! This walkthrough can be shared with a unique URL to your client again, in order to gain immediate feedback in a quick and easy way for the client to understand the space in the earlier design stages.

Start improving your client communication today for FREE with Modelo. Plus, learn how Modelo can make your organization more money.

Collaborate on 3D Files and Store Files in One Secure Location with Modelo

In Part I of the cloud collaboration mini-series, we discussed how to review and markup BIM and CAD files collaboratively, and in Part II we discussed how to keep all design review feedback organized. Now, in Part III we will finish off the series by discussing how professionals can collaborate on 3D files and store files in one secure location with Modelo.

File storage is a crucial component of any professional’s daily workflow. It’s no wonder that architects, designers, real estate agents and builders all use different types of documents, renderings, photographs and model files to communicate their vision. This means that different collaborators will use different platforms to collaborate on 3D files and store files, making room for misunderstandings throughout several stages of the design process.

File storage should be secure, convenient and accessible on all devices. Most importantly, if you’re looking for something it should be easy to find it, right? Instead of searching for files, have the confidence to know exactly where they are with Modelo.

What if there was an easier way to not only collaborate on 3D files online, but also to store 2D files along side 3D designs, such as panorama images, floor plans or renderings in one location? Enter Modelo’s Assets Folder. The Assets Folder is your new design sidekick because it’s extremely intuitive and convenient. Modelo is compatible with all file types, including .OBJ, .GIF, .PDF, or .PNG to name a few. You can even sketch on 2D assets right from your browser.

Collaboration in the cloud makes it easy for project stakeholders to access all valuable information in an all-encompassing platform that replaces the need for Dropbox or WeTransfer. Modelo gives you the confidence to store important documents, 3D models and all other project assets in one reliable location. Put simply, stay organized and be productive. Try it out for yourself and sign up for a FREE account today!

Instantly Transfer 3D Files With Ease Using Modelo

Still using WeTransfer or Hightail? Try Modelo’s model sharing tool with quick preview.

Did you ever have to share a model for someone else to open it? Uploading and downloading may seem easy enough with WeTransfer, Hightail, Dropbox or Google drive, but do you ever wonder what your file looked like while waiting for it to be downloaded?

Sharing is even quicker and more intuitive to use in Modelo. When you have the model in Modelo, all you need to do is to click the share button and enter your recipient’s email.

Your recipient will instantly get an email to download. In the email, there is a button to download and a button to view. You can preview the model in 3D while waiting for it be downloaded.

The “View Model” button will lead you into a webpage where you can spin around in the model without opening any modeling applications, and without the need to install anything. A thumbnail image will also be included in the email for quick impression. No more waiting around and you can also view in your phone as well!

After you downloaded the model and made necessary edits in the file, you can uploaded the new model back into the folder by clicking “Upload Model” in the original emails. Now all the revisions and versions of the same model are securely organized in one place. You and your collaborators can access the same files at any time and on any device.

How to Keep All Design Review Feedback Organized | Modelo

In part one of “what does collaboration in the cloud mean,” we discussed how to review BIM files collaboratively. In part two, we’ll dive into how to keep all of your design review feedback organized by utilizing comment cards and even assigning tasks to colleagues in real-time.

Design review feedback is one of the most valuable pieces of a project’s direction and goals. Getting clear design review feedback is good, but being able to then store all of that design review feedback in one organized location is even better. Introducing Modelo’s comment cards.

With 3D comment cards, users are able to comment on any area of their 3D model (once uploaded to Modelo), and then add their feedback directly on the comment card. What’s more, project collaborators can then @mention each other in real-time to make sure their message is being delivered to the correct person.

No longer will feedback be a drawn out, confusing process, but rather a straightforward and positive experience with Modelo. Project collaborators can even take screenshots and create sketches to then save and share with other stakeholders to ensure the correct message is being passed along to the appropriate contact.

Make cloud collaboration a priority and effortlessly keep design review feedback organized. Watch more in the video below and impress your colleagues by signing up to Modelo and collaborating on 3D files in-the-cloud today.

Collaborate on 3D Files in the Cloud

Collaborate on 3D Files in the Cloud

Many architecture and design firms today rely on an outdated process of email exchanges, phone call explanations, print-outs, manual markups, screenshots, PDFs, email, and physical models to collaborate on 3D files. This communication comes from various platforms between all participants in a project including the internal design teams, clients, engineers, general contractors, and essentially all stakeholders.

By not consolidating communication into one single web-based platform, time spent collaborating on 3D files becomes longer, more drawn out, less organized, and overall more difficult with an increased margin of error. This leads to a noteworthy amount of time being dedicated to reworking during a given project’s design phases in part because of collaboration inefficiency which increases project costs and minimizes net profit margin of a project. Modelo creates a solution to this problem and opens the door to new possibilities for industry professionals by offering a new and intuitive way to collaborate on 3D files in the cloud.

With Modelo, users are able to effortlessly collaborate on 3D files all from one single cloud-based platform in real-time, streamlining the entire design process and making it easier for design teams to collaborate in 3D. All of the files are uploaded, consolidated, and placed in one central location with designs, 3D models and assets viewable in a very clear and organized way.

Communication history between project teams is made viewable and all project collaborators have instant and direct access to the project, whether it be from a computer, tablet, iPhone or Android device using the Modelo application. Whether you are busy on the road, in your car, at the airport, or even in another country you can view a project’s 3D model, the collaboration comments, and important project notes. Then at the same time you have the unique ability to take the 3D model and view all parts of it, reply to comments, mark up the 3D design, and send your feedback to the team in real-time. Communicating and collaborating on 3D files is made simple and easy.

With Modelo, design and architecture firms immediately advance their entire design review process as the ability to communicate and collaborate on 3D files is dramatically improved. Modelo instantly places design teams on the cutting edge in the way software is used in the industry for collaborating on 3D files. Learn more about how to share architectural designs with clients and watch the video below for a brief overview.

Life after BIM: Why we need BIC-Building Integrated Collaboration & BIP-Building Immersive Presentation

Life after BIM: Why we need BIC-Building Integrated Collaboration & BIP-Building Immersive Presentation

The concept of Building Information Modeling (BIM) has driven an important new trend in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Industry that makes it comparable to the influence of Computer Aided Design (CAD) decades ago. As we all know, CAD has brought tremendous efficiency to us as architects and the adoption of BIM has been essential to bringing organized building information and a transparent definition of the building from architects to consultants.

Building information modeling — Image courtesy of Lloyd’s Register

Building Information Modeling is the core concept of Revit, as well as ArchiCAD and VectorWorks. This is different from the previous generation of 3D modeling, or CAD software. Revit is famous for its parametrically controllable modeling method and rich geometry metadata (building information) integration. Traditionally, a 3D model is a combination of 3D geometries with some associated textures, colors etc. But with Revit, you not only have the luxury of changing the parameters of different parts of the design dynamically (and the whole design will adjust based on that), but you can also attach accurate building/material data into the geometries. Since all these data are based on real manufacturer information, at the end of this modeling process, the final outcome can carry tremendous amount of information of the final designed building, which can be used to guide engineering, construction and building management. This is an extremely powerful tool to keep track of the thousands of components in the building that ultimately have to be purchased or constructed and installed. However, the concept of BIM, as powerful as it is, does not solve all the problems of the building industry.

So what’s wrong?

Well, the problem is the word “Modeling.” No matter if it’s Revit, ArchiCAD or VectorWorks, they are all essentially modeling tools. To achieve BIM’s goal of a full building life cycle coverage, one tool simply cannot do it all. In other words, BIM is a term for modeling. It’s a brilliant concept of taking advantage of the modeling process to lay the foundation for the other processes: building management, communication between stakeholders, even providing materials for building sales, but the nature of these processes are so fundamentally different that a modeling tool can’t contain them all.

If we look at a building’s life cycle: from planning to design, engineering, construction and then sales and management. The major participants change pretty dynamically: from the owner, to architect, to engineer, to contractor and sub-contractor, then to building sales team and management team. Out of all these people, only a fraction of them are in direct touch with the modeling software, the others may not know how to use a 3D modeling software or simply don’t want to allocate the time or budget for it. But at the end of the day, they are all working on the building, meaning that they need the building’s information and they need to communicate with others about all the information. It’s important to never underestimate how many issues a building can have if you are not in this industry. This is the problem.

We have all the information in the BIM software, but most of the people involved in the building process don’t have the software to access to it.

No matter how fabulous a full BIM adoption sounds, it’s a rather misleading statement if the information cannot intuitively be passed to the other stakeholders. In other words, besides the disruption of modeling, we also need to rethink about our communication process.

The age of hand sketching every drawing has long passed, however, even with all the amazing cloud-based platforms like Dropbox, Slack and Trello in the market, the AEC industry is still stuck with the old fashion ways of communicating. The reason is apparent, none of the existing platforms can directly deal with our major digital production-3D models, meaning that even if we want to use Slack, we will probably still end up pasting screenshots in the chatting channel and then others need to download, mark-up and re-paste it back again. Our communication is all based in three-dimensional context.

But in recent years, several things have happened: WebGL (the API for web-browser to render 3D geometries) was first released in 2011, then got well adopted since 2014. Modern browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge got introduced and well adopted to the new technology. The improvement of the JavaScript ecosystem has made cross-platform development even easier than before. Mobile devices have hit a historical popularity in both personal and professional life. The performance of the new iPhone7 can outrun that of many laptop computers. VR&AR are rising again due to the improvement of hardware performance. All in all, everything is pointing to the AEC industry to change.

Our industry is made up of multi-disciplinary teams that collaborate and communicate with each other at various phases of a project. Every team’s productivity can be significantly improved with web-enabled communication. This is something BIM as an information modeling term cannot fully fulfill, and we believe the concept should better be broken down into three terms that fit how we work:

  1. BIM: Building Information Modeling (local). It happens during the design and engineering phase, where a building model is constructed.
  2. BIC: Building Integrated Communication (cloud). It takes information from the complex 3D model into one integrated place where every stakeholder can easily access, communicate and get feedback instantly.
  3. BIP: Building Interactive/Immersive Presentation (cross-platform). Our digital production is already in 3D, why are we still wasting time to convert everything to 2D drawings and present them in the most un-comprehensible manner to our non-architect clients? With VR and emerging 3D technology becoming more affordable, the industry will benefit dramatically from using the most intuitive and immersive presentation methods.

These three terms are categorized for different groups of stakeholders involved in the process. BIM is for those who do 3D modeling or have the need of direct editing 3D models. BIC is for the everyone involved in the design-build process to exchange information more efficiently. BIP is for owners and building buyers who are not directly involved in the design-build process, but need information to make certain decisions. All together, they can cover all the stakeholders in the building life cycle.

BIM+BIC+BIP can also be interpreted as creating information + communicating information + presenting information. It is a customized workflow that enables architects to effectively communicate with clients and other professionals, thus increases productivity for all stakeholders.

The building industry is complex and hard to evolve. Sometimes the need for change isn’t always initiated from the inner circle, but it needs to be grounded with an insider’s perspective. This is why we started Modelo as architects and designers ourselves: to create tools that better serve all of us.

Again, instead of just BIM, a cycle of BIM+BIC+BIP using a combination of BIM software, Modelo, and other technologies will promote a healthy evolution in the industry.

*Modelo is a web based platform that helps architects, engineers and general contractors better communicate and present their 3D building design.