Progress Report on AREA 3D Asset Reuse Research Project

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Researcher Eric Lyman of 3XR has provided an update on the progress of the AREA’s 7th research project. Eric and his team are tasked with examining barriers to, and recommending approaches for, using existing enterprise 3D assets in AR experiences. The project will also test the ingestion and use of enterprise 3D assets in a set of limited but representative environments. 

Research began in April when all enterprise AREA members were contacted to provide sample 3D models for testing and participate in an interview with Eric. Designed to help ascertain the most popular tools, the most compelling 3D AR use cases, and the most important 3D optimization criteria, interviews have been conducted with representatives of Boeing, Newport News Shipbuilding, Merck, and the AEC Hackathon. Eric has also interviewed AR providers Theorem, ARVizio, InstaLOD, and Hexagon, as well as NIST and MakeSEA/Catapult. 

Three organizations have generously contributed 3D CAD files to the project: Boeing, DIME Lab, Medtronic, Newport News Shipbuilding, and NIST. 

The following AR tools will be used to test reuse of the 3D CAD files: Rapid Compact DGG, InstaLOD, Simplygon, PiXYZ, Meshlab, and possibly ARVizio. 

When completed, the research project is intended to reveal: 

  • The most popular AR execution and rendering engines and frameworks that support dynamic 3D asset ingestion 
  • The key toolchains being used to generate 3D assets for AR applications 
  • Which formats (inputs and outputs) the toolchains and frameworks support 
  • Which standards are supported by the 3D and AR toolchains and frameworks
  • Any failures or incompatibilities that arise when using a subset of toolchains and delivering the final models to a few specific AR devices used in enterprise. 

The final research project report, for AREA members only, will deliver an overview of the most optimal conversion processes to bring 3D assets into AR platforms. This will include: 

  • A full overview of steps required, while illustrating the degree of success with each process and format tested; 
  • A table graph that clearly illustrates the advantages / disadvantages of these processes both from the perspective of conversion ease, and final usability; 
  • An analysis of pre-existing commercial platforms, and the creation of a table graph illustrating the pros / cons of each. 

Eric expects the work to be completed by the end of July. 

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