Peer-to-Peer: How vCAD Impacts Students

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At first glance, vCAD may seem like a powerful tool mainly for professional use. We’ve shared many examples of how it elevates designs for industry work, as well as communication with colleagues and clients. But we want to let you in on a hot tip: it’s never too early to start using vCAD. It is an amazing tool for students too.

Allow us to introduce an early vCAD adopter, Rachel Hunt, who is about to start her senior year at University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is working towards a Bachelors of Science in Interior Architecture with a Minor in Industrial Design, and has been the Creative Director at vCAD this past year. She has a lot of great experience and insight to share with fellow students.

What drew you to this field of study?

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved computer programs. For Christmas I asked for home design programs. I asked for photoshop one year. In highschool I took CAD drawing classes for 3 years and competed in Revit drawing competitions. Design is an intersection of creativity and technology and it’s amazing.

Did your interests change at all along the way?

I’ve always wanted to do something creative. It started with art when I was younger and moved to photography. But when I took those classes in highschool it was like something connected and I knew architecture and the related design fields were going to fit me the best. I am still interested and pursue different areas of design. Interior and industrial through school. I’ve also done freelance graphic design.

What has been the most impactful courses?

My core studio classes have definitely pushed me the most. In architecture and interior architecture school, a majority of your time is devoted to ‘studio’. You get a prompt for a project at the beginning of the semester and you work on it that whole semester. I’ve learned to solve problems in different ways, think divergently, work with superiors and peers, and push the given resources and technologies to their limits – sometimes crashing my computer in the process.

What are your plans and goals post-graduation?

That’s a great question. There are a million thoughts running through my head on that one. I do know that I want to do many things. I want to be in a place where I can try and test all my different interests. From architecture to graphics from web design to industrial design – I want to be able to use all of that. Working for vCAD has allowed me to do this.

How did you get connected to vCAD?

The College of Architecture and Design posts available jobs in the surrounding areas on its website for students to look at and apply to. Last summer I was in Knoxville for school and was hoping to get a job. I got an email that the list had been updated and there was a listing from vCAD. I tried to find out as much as I could about it but at that point, as it was a brand new company and concept, there wasn’t much out there. I went for it anyways!

What is your role at the company?

As many people do in a startup, I have worn many hats. I redid our old website, I worked on in-house graphics as well as some advertising, I was a liaison between vCAD and UT’s College of Architecture and Design. What I still do, and what I was hired to do, is use the programs I know from school in order to optimize what we do at vCAD. The knowledge I have from working with Rhino, Revit, Sketchup and other programs has aided us when models built in those programs go through the vCAD process.

What have you learned from the experience?

The number one thing is how to work with a team that has a wide range of focuses and talents. I am the only one with a design background at vCAD, so bringing my skillsets to the table and in turn learning to understand the skillsets of others, is one of the most important parts.

What projects are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the work I was doing before I left for the summer. That is applying digital rendering techniques to CAD models so that when they go through vCAD’s process, they come out looking as realistic and as beautiful as possible.

What is most exciting and valuable about the product to you?

The speed of vCAD is perfect for the design process. When I start to think of ideas for projects, I will often do quick models on the computer. Having the ability to run them through vCAD and being able to experience the spatial qualities of that idea in VR is unprecedented. In order to get that same effect I would otherwise have to build a lifesize version of every idea I had just to test them out.

The mobility of vCAD is a huge asset, especially to the everyday model maker or students. The fact that I can carry around my own realistically rendered model in my pocket is amazing.

How have you personally used the vCAD app?

I have used it in my schooling to test out different ideas or options (like mentioned above). I have also used it to show a finished product to my professors, family, friends and peers.

How do you personally use 3D and VR?

I use 3D visualization everyday – both at school and at work. So, getting the chance to add the layer of VR is awesome.

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Raise your hand if you’re feeling inspired and motivated. It’s so beneficial to hear from peers, and learn how fellow students are navigating studies, career goals, and new technology.

Rachel is a particularly interesting case as she has benefited from applying vCAD to her design projects, and has also made an impact at the company with her design knowledge. It’s great affirmation that as a student you can simultaneously learn something new while also making an impact.

We invite students to get ahead of the game. Get a jump start with vCAD and start applying 3D and VR to your designs now. We appreciate hearing details on your experience and feedback!