Marshalltown, Iowa – December 19, 2017 – The University of Oklahoma (OU) opened its doors last month to their brand-new Kenneth F. Robson BIM and Visualization Lab (Lab), showcasing an innovative technology solution from Mechdyne Corporation. Thanks to the power of 3D visualization, the Lab is revolutionizing the College of Architecture for its students and potential clients. Within the Lab, students will develop AEC models for the virtual world with the opportunity to partner with industry customers and produce virtual designs before construction work ever begins.
“Our goal is to work with and engage with regional and local architects, engineers, and construction professionals,” says Tammy McCuen, professor of construction science. “We’re also developing a workflow we can share with other students throughout the entire college.”
The idea for the technology solution was born when Professor McCuen visited the Building Management Simulation Centre (BMSC) in the Netherlands. As a unique training center, the BMSC provides “site huts” to teach construction tasks with virtual reality. Professor McCuen began investigating the best solution for a scaled-down version for OU. She partnered with Mechdyne to develop the solution, consisting of four cube displays from Eyevis arranged in a two-by-two array.
Students and researchers will begin by creating drawings in a native program frequently used in the industry, such as Revit or SketchUp. Then, they transfer the models to the Unity game engine. Thanks to Mechdyne’s getReal3D for Unity software plug-in, the models will easily display in the solution, allowing for a realistic architectural walkthrough.
“Many Mechdyne clients experience significant success with this type of experiential learning,” says Chris Scharver, Mechdyne technical manager for visualization technologies. “We are very excited to see how Oklahoma University will change the educational landscape for their students.”
Although the Lab just opened, Professor McCuen already has big plans for space. One of the first projects the college hopes to achieve is to develop a game the whole college can utilize. Described as “a game of consequences,” students will choose parts to assemble an end-product. The game would recognize if a student made an error or chose the optimum solution, helping students learn in a brand new way.
“A grad student approached me with the idea of developing the game,” she explains. “The game will teach students a concept that a lot of times is difficult to visualize.”
“I expect students will see a deeper understanding of their skills and knowledge about designing and building environments,” continues McCuen. “Whether it’s a building, roadway, or parking garage, they will understand at a deeper level the end result as opposed to them just trying to memorize it.”
About the University of Oklahoma College of Architecture
The University of Oklahoma College of Architecture provides students with a dynamic professional education in architecture, construction science, interior design, landscape architecture, or regional and city planning. The university provides a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs in interdisciplinary and collaborative settings emphasizing excellence in education, research, and service to the community. To learn more, visit www.ou.edu.
Mechdyne Corporation is a broad-based technology partner specializing in audiovisual and information technologies (AV/IT), visualization and software solutions, immersive virtual reality technologies, managed services, and technical support services. We address complex projects where an in-depth understanding of user requirements leads to the development of customized solutions involving elements of display, graphics computing, software, and professional services.
Headquartered in Marshalltown, Iowa, Mechdyne serves a global client base that includes leading government laboratories, university and research centers, energy, aerospace, manufacturing, and medical organizations, as well as any other user of advanced technology.