Unity, Autodesk Collaborate on Real-Time BIM Visualization
Emily Pollock posted on June 12, 2019 |
Unity Reflect is the latest fruit of the Unity/Autodesk collaboration, which lets users review and change their BIM models in realtime. (Image courtesy of Unity.)
Unity Reflect is the latest fruit of the Unity/Autodesk collaboration, which lets users review and change their BIM models in realtime. (Image courtesy of Unity.)

Half a year after Unity and Autodesk announced their new partnership, the two companies have revealed a new collaborative project: Unity Reflect, which shows users a 3D model that has a live connection back to the initial BIM file.

Reflect is a plug-in that exports BIM and CAD data from Revit into the Unity engine so that building plans can be visualized as immersive models. Once a CAD model is in Reflect, the live link means that any changes made to the Revit model will automatically transfer to the Reflect model. “I make a change; you can see it live,” says Tim McDonough, VP of Unity.

Over the last year, video game engines and CAD companies have begun working together more closely: this news comes on the same week that Graphisoft and rival engine Unreal announced a collaboration. Their partnership will give ARCHICAD 23 users free access to Unreal’s AEC-focused visualization software Twinmotion, which Unreal acquired earlier this year.

When asked what was driving these new partnerships, Vikram Dutt, senior director of Building Business Line and Project Delivery at Autodesk, said, “First and foremost, [they give you] the ability to immersively view your designs, make changes, get other people engaged in the design process … and the immediate value of being able to leverage your design data in an immersive environment.” Dutt also mentioned the marketing value of being able to show off your designs to prospective customers: “Reflect takes the past portfolio of the customer and makes it much more real.”

Autodesk and Unity are launching a closed beta in July, and will launch the final product by the end of the year.


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