vCAD Helps Present Student’s Award-Winning Design

vCAD is a tool that can be used to match the needs of any user. During the design process, there are many ideas and iterations one goes through before reaching the final result. The quick upload and turnaround process allows for immediate changes and edits.

vCAD recently worked with Mary Morgan Smith, an Interior Architecture student at the University of Tennessee, to convert her CAD model into a fully navigable experience. With this project, Mary Morgan won the prestigious Brinkmann Scholarship as well as a summer internship with Gensler, one of the largest architecture and design firms in the world. She was asked to present her project, using vCAD, to the Chancellor of the university as well as to attendees at a fundraising exhibition and dinner to represent the College of Architecture and Design. We caught up with Mary Morgan to see what she thought about vCAD.

What is the project you presented using this CAD model?

The project I presented using vCAD was The Whitney Botanical Research Center. I did this first semester of my third year and our scope of work was the top two floors of the Whitney Museum in New York City. We were assigned to turn the existing art museum into a research center for scientists and other employees who studied plant life.

What CAD did you use to build this model?

For the project I used with vCAD, it was all done in Rhinoceros 3D; from the construction of the model to rendering the material. At UT we also use Sketchup and Revit throughout our education.

What did you think about the process of preparing your file to upload?

At first I was very intimidated because I thought it was going to be over my head and too hard. After trying it out I was shocked as to how easy it really was. I first packaged all my materials in a zip file and exported my model as a .fbx. I then uploaded it online and it was done!

What did you think about the resulting immersive experience?

It was very helpful and exciting to see. It gives you a whole new perspective on your project. It is one thing to look at renderings but it is another to actually be able to be inside your model. It helps to give you a better understanding of space, light and materiality.

How do you see vCAD being used in relation to a student’s design process?

I think vCAD can be used in the design process to better help people understand the space they are designing. I also think it could be very beneficial in explaining ideas and evoking a feeling of a space. I thought the uploading process was very smooth. It was a lot faster than I expected which made it easy to change materials in my model and re-upload to see the results fast.

What was the experience when showing your model to others, using vCAD?

It was awesome getting to show my model to other people like the Chancellor because they get the full experience of your space. When we present, we can explain our concept through renderings but it is not the same thing as them actually walking through the space and virtually seeing what you are talking about.

Can you see yourself using vCAD as you enter the professional world?

I think I will use vCAD in the future in order to show clients their virtual space. Sometimes it can be hard to get people to visualize their space based off of samples and 2d drawings. I think the 3D aspect will help clients have a better understanding of what spaces will actually look like.

Any other thoughts...

Overall I thought it was great and I was super excited that I got the opportunity to learn the program and see my model in 3D and VR!


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