FAQ

 

 

What is vCAD?

vCAD allows the designer the ability to experience 3D design projects virtually before they exist physically, saving time, effort, and money in every stage of the design process.  Converting a 2D screen view into a navigable 3D experience allows the details of the design space to be more thoroughly communicated than every before possible.  Sharing of projects via the cloud to smartphones enables frequent interaction with the client even if they cannot be physically present in the designer’s office.

vCAD’s unique advantage is its One-Touch Navigation® motion control that supports smooth virtual reality navigation of 3D models while eliminating virtual reality motion sickness.  The cloud-based vCAD account includes support to convert and distribute CAD models from a variety of CAD design file formats including Revit, SketchUp and others.

 

 

What devices does vCAD support?

You can view a 3D model on desktops, laptops, mobile phones and tablets.  For computers, we suggest a 64-bit web browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.

For mobile devices, the newer the phone the better the experience.  The vCAD app is compatible with iPhone4 and Samsung Note 4 class phones.  If you can download the Google Cardboard from the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store, then your device is supported by the vCAD app.

The vCAD app Virtual Reality mode requires a standard phone VR headset.

Windows Desktop Vive, Oculus, and Gear VR apps are available upon request.

 

 

Can I get a FREE demonstration of vCAD?

Visit the vCAD Gallery, find a 3D model and walkthrough it.  Or, for the mobile experience, download the vCAD app from the iOS App Store and Google Play stores.   The Gallery has hundreds of models revealing many possibilities for vCAD and immersive CAD visualization.  If you want to experience your own CAD models, create an online account at www.vCAD.com for CAD to VR conversion access.  There is a 30-day free trial .

 

 

How do I get my own CAD designs into VR with vCAD?

Once you see how easy and valuable the immersive CAD visualization of vCAD is by using the app, you will want to experience you own projects on vCAD.  The CAD to VR conversion is provided through the vCAD Online Account that you acquire through our website at www.vCAD.com.  Signing up for the account provides you with the tools to convert, distribute and observe your CAD projects in vCAD.  The file conversion process is an automated, cloud-based action that takes your Revit, SketchUp, FBX or other 3D CAD files and transforms them for VR interaction.

 

 

Do I need to know how to program to view my models in VR?

There are no programming skills required to convert your CAD files to 3D virtual reality files. With the vCAD app, it takes only moments to convert and get the file delivered to your smartphone. It can be as easy as browsing to your file, selecting the file type options, and clicking Upload.

 Learn how here.

 

Viewing a model 

Viewing on a computer's web browser 

Whenever clicking on a link to one of your vCAD projects, the gallery, or a visualization embedded within an iframe, the navigation experience is the same.  To try it out, visit app.vcad.com/gallery and select a model to view.  The controls support keyboard, mouse, trackpad, and game controllers.  We recommend 64-bit web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.  

 

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Viewing with the vCAD mobile app

First, download the vCAD app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store.  Open the app and select a model.  From the loading screen select the Full View option.

 

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Viewing in Virtual Reality with the vCAD mobile app

If you are using Virtual reality mode, then we recommend getting the Google Cardboard app.  This app enables the ability to pair your phone with your VR headset.

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Do I need a special computer to run vCAD?

No.  The tools in the vCAD Online Account run on a Mac or PC with a web browser.  In fact, you can upload and share projects from the mobile website.

 

 

What 3D CAD files are compatible with vCAD?

The Immersifer supports any Revit, SketchUP, FBX, STL, DAE or OBJ file.  Instructions and videos are at http://vcad.com/support

 

 

How complex/large a CAD model will transfer and operate with the vCAD VR App?

We currently limit file sizes to 300MB of Geometric information, 300Mb so significant models with reasonable detail are supported.  There are limits to the file size, but these limits are rapidly increasing with each new generation of smartphone.  Visit here for more information.

 

  

What Virtual Reality headsets are compatible with vCAD?

vCAD operates on an App that runs on an iPhone or Android device.  In the full screen mode, the user can experience CAD navigation with the unaided eye.  The VR mode is a dual screen image that is compatible with a number of inexpensive VR holders that follow the Google Cardboard 2 specification (because the smartphone is providing all the electronics and display capabilities).  Some of our favorite holders are the Mattel Viewmaster, Viewmaster Deluxe, MergeVR and the minimalist HomiDo mini.  Of course, vCAD is also compatible with the Google Cardboard 2 and its many cardboard replicas.

 

 

What if I don’t have a headset handy?

No headset? No worries!  vCAD supports a full screen handheld mode that does not require any headset or optical assistance.  The user just opens the model and sees the visualization in the direction they are looking.

  

What is One-Touch Navigation®?

One-Touch Navigation® is a patent pending motion control method for volumetric navigation in virtual reality. The user simply looks in the desired direction, holds down the input button and flies in the direction of the view – one-touch gets you moving in the virtual space!  The result is the elimination of motion sickness commonly associated with virtual reality systems.

 

 

How does One-Touch Navigation® address virtual reality motion sickness?

One-Touch Navigation® correlates the head motion of the user in the real world to the virtual world eliminating motion conflicts between what is seen by the eyes (optic sensing) and what is felt by the inner ear (vestibular sensing).  When joysticks or multiple buttons drive the navigation, conflicts between visual motion and inner-ear perception arise and motion sickness experienced as dizziness arises (VRMS).

 

 

Converting a model to the vCAD Platform

What file types are supported?

The automated upload service takes files from a wide range of 3D CAD files.  You can upload native CAD formats from Revit and SketchUP as well as neutral CAD formats DAE, FBX, OBJ, and STL files.  If you use a different 3D Application, read our exporting and uploading recommendations.

If you have a blueprint, DWG, or PDF drawing package, then these files need to be converted into 3D CAD. Contact conversion services if you have specific questions regarding your project.

 

 

 How do I upload a file?

Once you have created your 3D file, log into your vCAD account on app.vcad.com.  Look at the top of the page, click the UPLOAD button.  Set the file type options, browse to your file, click upload.  The process time is associated with the time to upload the file, usage of textures vs solid colors, and overall polygon count.  Anywhere from 5 minutes to a few hours.  A typical 100 MB file will process in 20-30 minutes.

If you do not match the units properly, then your CAD model may appear smaller or larger than intended. This can cause some interesting side-effects:

  • Model appears to be missing.
  • Movement is either too fast or too slow.
  • Model clips through camera. (model too small)
  • Model is too dark. (model too large)

After this, your 3D CAD file is converted into a easily distributed format that can be viewed in a web browser or sent to the mobile app.

  

 

Can I use custom textures?

The custom textures and images in your model will convert.  Zip them together with your 3D model and then upload.  Textures can be in JPG, BMP, PNG format.  Each image must not be larger than 4092x4092.

 

 

Can I customize the 360-environment around my model?

You can upload an equirectangular image from your own 360-camera, a websire, or paste a link from Google Street View.  Each image must 4092 max x4092 max pixel count.

Adding custom 360 images as skysphere:

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Sharing models, privately and publicly 

How do I keep my projects private?

By default every model uploaded to vCAD is private. If you want to toggle this setting then click EDIT on the model card.  Look for PUBLIC, NO keeps it private and YES makes the link available to everyone.

Making models public for sharing:

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How can I privately share a model with my team?

It is possible to set specific users to view the model.  Select SHARE on the model card.  Select vCAD INBOX.  Enter the email address.

Whether on the web or in the mobile app, this shared model will appear in the receiver's INBOX. Each user needs a vCAD free account.  

 

How to share to a vCAD INBOX:

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Viewing a model sent to your vCAD Inbox:

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Can I share a link by email and with social networks? 

Within the Share Menu, there is a link that can be copied and shared.  If you've kept this model private, then only users listed in the vCAD Inbox are able to view the model.  If public, then anyone that clicks the link is able to view the model.

Sharing through Social Media or by link:

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Can I embed an interactive walkthrough into my website? 

Within the Share Menu, there is an iframe link that can be copied and added to any page on your website.  You must set models to public.

Finding the iframe link to embed model on your website:

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