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Merging CAD and VR for immersive real estate presentations

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Merging CAD and VR for immersive real estate presentations

Virtual reality was initially confined to the world of video games. It has since revolutionized other fields, such as real estate, and is gradually becoming an essential tool for successful real estate presentations. Particularly immersive and innovative, it is popular with professionals and private individuals alike. Discover how computer-aided design and virtual reality work together to create immersive real estate presentations.

Enhanced visualization of your 3D models thanks to virtual reality

3D models from computer-aided design software can be enhanced with virtual reality applications.

Interoperability between CAD software and VR applications

Computer Aided Design (CAD) is a technology used to create 2D or 3D digital models of products, real estate and furniture. Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that simulates a virtual, immersive environment. Each technology works with different software and uses different work processes, making it difficult to merge them. But it is now possible to link them together thanks to interoperability.

Interoperability is the ability of software and systems to exchange data smoothly, automatically and securely. CAD software and VR applications can work together to offer an immersive real estate presentation.

Immersive virtual reality real estate presentations are digitally simulated using VR headsets, which have become increasingly popular in recent years. For your presentations, offer your prospects and partners the use of :

  • Virtual reality goggles such as: Oculus Rift, HTC vive or Google Cardboard;
  • Glasses initially designed for video games such as: Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Quest,Playstation VR.
  • Immersive real estate presentation thanks to VR and 3D software extensions

    For the presentation of your real estate models, there are applications that have been developed to enhance the visualization of your CAD projects. These are add-ons to your software, enabling you to create immersive 3D real estate presentations. Some are available free of charge, while others require the purchase of an annual license or subscription.

    SimLab VR Viewer

    SimLab VR viewer is a feature-rich virtual reality visualization solution. The application is compatible with the majority of virtual reality headsets on the market. Such as: HTC Vive, Oculus Quest, Oculus PC, PicoVR. It's also very versatile, as it's available for Android and iOS. SimLab VR is a totally free extension for your CAD software, including AutoCAD, Revit, Rhino, SketchUp, SolidWork.


    Enscape is also a solution for virtual reality visualization of 3D plans designed with CAD software. This application can be used as a plug-in for ArchiCAD, Revit, Rhinoceros and SketchUp.

    However, using VR extensions is not the only option for visualizing your CAD projects. You can also opt for another solution: the use of independent applications.

    Optimization of your CAD models, essential for real estate presentation

    3D modeling on your CAD software is usually complex. CAD assemblies are often very large, due to the many details involved. Virtual reality visualization, on the other hand, requires lighter formats to achieve a more homogeneous result and optimal immersion. There are a number of steps involved in visualizing your CAD drawings in VR.

    Preparing CAD models for independent virtual reality applications

    CAD model conversion and lightening software provide the solution to this incompatibility of CAD software formats and VR applications, and unblock the flow of data and information from one software to another. So you have several interoperability solutions at your disposal.

    SimLab Composer

    This software lets you prepare your models for use as a VR experience. You can also use it to create photorealistic rendered images, or share them in 3D PDF or WebGL format. This application makes it easy to import and export 3D files and exchange data between different formats.

    You can integrate it directly into your CAD software (AutoCAD, Revit, Rhino, SketchUp, SolidWork...). It is available as an add-on.


    Convert, simplify your CAD models and repair your geometries with CADfix. CADfix is available in 3 versions: CADfix DX, CADfix PPS and CADfix VZ. The version we're interested in as part of the merger of CAD and VR software is CADfix VZ, a lightweight version. It enables you to simplify your models for visualization in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or mixed reality (MR).

    CADfix VZ is a solution for converting and simplifying your 3D drawings, optimizing the process of preparing data from your CAD system. Its aim is to enable simpler reuse in VR, AR or MR applications. Its main features are :

  • Dense mesh decimation ;
  • Eliminate unnecessary CAD functions such as text, logos, holes, etc. ;
  • Mesh generation with several levels of simplification ;
  • Optimizing assembly structures ;
  • Wrap processing of complex parts;
  • Import of the main CAD and mesh formats ;
  • Export to the main formats and meshes.
  • A number of independent visualization software applications are also available for immersive presentation of your models. They are compatible with the major CAD programs, without being directly associated with them as extensions. This category includes :

    3DViewerStation VR

    3DViewerStation VR lets you virtually immerse yourself in your 3D models. The software is specially designed to visualize large, complex assemblies , thanks to its own rendering engine.


    You can use Scaleview to visualize your real estate projects in virtual reality. It creates immersion at two scales with a virtual reality headset: a miniature format for an overview of your projects, and a real scale to appreciate their actual volume. It can also be used to enhance your presentations with its library of 3D models and integrated textures. Scaleview is compatible with trade software formats such as Solidwork, ArchiCAD, SketchUp and Revit.


    RCad'Touch is a CAD software package with features that enable you to view digital models in virtual or augmented reality, using glasses. You can visualize your work at real scale. You can also invite other participants to collaborate with you. With its collaborative 3D visualization, you can generate your plans in the CAD software (Solidwork, AutoCAD...) of your choice, then open them with RCad'Touch software from your VR glasses, thanks to its direct 3D file use feature.

    The benefits of merging CAD software and VR applications for real estate presentation

    The coupling of CAD software and VR applications enables :

  • Detect design errors before construction begins;
  • Discover the potential of projects in order to plan ahead;
  • Anticipating results;
  • Make any quick changes ;
  • Improve understanding of projects for non-professionals, as CAD drawings are not always easy to decipher.
  • Integrating virtual reality into CAD models still presents a number of challenges, including :

  • Compatibility: CAD model formats are not always suitable for VR applications;
  • Data loss during CAD-to-VR transfers;
  • Balancing compatibility, quality and performance;
  • Technical limitations such as graphics card performance and image refresh rates affect the quality of the immersive experience;
  • Calculation and display of the minimum number of frames per second to avoid kinetosis.
  • Despite these many challenges, it's clear that CAD and virtual reality will continue to evolve as manufacturers perfect their software. If you're a real estate professional, jump on the bandwagon to stay at the forefront of innovation.

    Entrust us with your real estate presentation projects

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