Market leading AEC specialist VIMtrek Group, an Atlanta, Georgia, based company announced an exclusive alliance with Unity Technologies. VIMtrek is now the exclusive distributor of the Unity Products for the Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) and Building Product Manufacturing (BPM) industries.
Jeff Hemenway, Vice President Americas at Unity Technologies, said, “VIMtrek has been using the Unity engine at the core of their virtual reality platform for years and they really understand the benefits of Unity, so they were a natural choice for us. VIMtrek has a wide reaching network of customers in the space already as well as deep expertise and understanding of industry specific needs. They will create extensions built on top of Unity like the CAD importer which will enable AEC customers to speed up the creation of interactive, intelligent and immersive experiences.”
Creating Immersive Virtual Environments
VIMtrek takes Autodesk Revit files (the most widely used BIM software in the US market, for AEC professionals) and turns them into 3D, interactive, free roam, virtual environments—allowing the stakeholders on a construction or urban development project to share designs, collaborate and implement changes prior to the building being constructed saving time and money in expensive change orders.
The distribution agreement covers the US, Canada, UK, Hungary, Russia and Asia Pacific, where VIMtrek already has a strong foothold. The company will also develop and enhance key Unity modules and pluggable interfaces for the AEC industry such as CAD Importer, Configurator and GIS. VIMtrek will continue to use the Unity platform to build out its own Visualization and Managed Service services. In addition, VIMtrek will take over first line of support for Unity Core AEC customers.
Arol Wolford, CEO and President of VIMtrek said, “We have been virtual partners for the last four years, and it’s a natural progression to take on the role to sell and support Unity alongside our own portfolio, because they go hand in glove. The AEC Industry has embraced VR (virtual reality) in a big way and the power of Unity brings construction, urban development and building products alive like never before”.
This is an unusual and interesting development because VIMtrek as a technology software company isn’t as well known in the US-based AEC market as other leaders like Autodesk, Bentley and Trimble. However, over the past few years global companies from Europe have made concerted efforts to drawn more focus stateside in an effort to capture the US market’s growth opportunities.
This latest development builds on earlier news, and a feature, wherein we specifically noted the role of the Unity game engine and its integration and use as a professional design tool. (see: Architosh, “In-Depth: How Developer ‘Perfect Parallel’ is Changing the Game of Golf,” 16 Sep 2015). In our story on the use of Perfect Parallel’s design and broadcast market software tool stack, Unity is a foundational piece utilized for visualization and design as well.
We foresee more utilization of the Unity game engine in more professional design workflows over time. This analysis section was written by editor, Anthony Frausto-Robledo, AIA, LEED AP.
About Unity Technologies
Unity Technologies is the creator of Unity, a flexible and high-performance end-to-end development platform used to create rich interactive 3D and 2D experiences. Unity’s powerful graphics engine and full-featured editor serve as the foundation to develop beautiful games or apps and easily bring them to multiple platforms: mobile devices, home entertainment systems, personal computers, and embedded systems.
Unity also offers solutions and services for creating games, boosting productivity, and connecting with audiences including the Unity Asset Store, Unity Cloud Build, Unity Game Performance Reporting, Unity Ads, and Unity Everyplay. Unity Technologies serves over 1 million monthly active developers including large publishers, indie studios, students and hobbyists around the globe.
In 2003 Arol founded SmartBIM, which creates smart data embedded Revit Objects and which is now majority owned by VIMtrek, which was launched in 2010 and is built on the Unity engine.
The combined suite of products brings stakeholders together from the AEC industry into a 3D, high fidelity and augmented data rich game engine. With enhanced file compression technology, virtual environments can be shared over Internet Protocols, to any device, anytime and anywhere, allowing 2D files to be converted into 3D, free roam environments with the unique attribute of preserving the original Revit data embedded into the Building product manufactures objects. These environments do not require the native Autodesk file and allow all party collaboration, quantity & cost analytics and helps promote green & lean building process.
The main commercial drive to rapid take up and in some countries the regulation of this set of process, is the reduction of “Change Orders” which with the use of collaborative BIM can reduce cost overruns form double figures to low single figures saving the owners money and helping to deliver better and cleaner, greener and more efficient buildings.