Can Interactive 3D Modeling Change the Way You Design?

Imagine combining the power of physical modeling with the power of virtual 3D modeling while working on your architectural design. With a physical model, you pick up its pieces and parts. You study them and “play” with their proportions, geometric forms, and location within your model. With a virtual model you can see materiality and complex assemblies fairly quickly. But what happens when you combine the power of both ways of modeling into one?

Well, you wind up with a system like the one created by Infinite Z — called zSpace. You see, this system provides for virtual 3D holographs that are actually interactive. With the help of special eyeglasses and a stylus, you as a designer can grab parts of your model, move your head around them in 3D space to view parts from different angles, and you can drop them back into place as you see fit. (1)

Before I go on, have a look at this special preview to see for yourself how the zSpace system works.


Being able to interact with your virtual model in a more intuitive way by picking up its pieces and parts, floating them to the side, and dropping them into the model — designers can combine the best of what physical models and virtual models tell them while designing. Thus, if you like to design in model form (going beyond drawing on paper) then such a tool could be for you.

Suddenly, the virtual model is becoming more adaptable — as it adjusts itself to the way you work within your design process. Such a zSpace system may allow designers to “feel” their virtual models in a whole new way. Really, the possibilities are endless with what can be done with such a system.


(1) Kight, Will. A Display That Makes Interactive 3-D Seem Mind-Bogglingly Real. MIT Technology Review. December 18, 2012.

Image Credit: © madeline.gannon | Flickr


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