CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Technological capabilities are ever-increasing in the architectural, engineering and construction industry. Collaborative Ultimate Building Environment (CUBE) is known for pioneering a mobile standalone room that creates an immersive experience of the built environment before construction commences. An immersive solution that provides a real-time, human-scale experience, CUBE has radically improved the economic and technical characteristics in construction. In 2018, CUBE created the BIM CUBE, or Building Information Modeling CUBE, so users could seamlessly collaborate between the design and construction process in a physical pop-up space.
By utilizing innovative technologies in design, management and construction, tradespeople can improve infrastructure development, simplify the construction process and increase service quality. “My background is in architecture and construction, so I understood the need for technology as a solution to streamline the collaboration between tradespeople throughout the construction process,” explained Cody Nowak, founder of CUBE. “Before introducing the BIM CUBE, many architecture, engineering and construction companies utilized a 3D environment with stereoscopic glasses and virtual reality headsets. The glasses and headsets can often be a distraction and barrier to collaboration. BIM CUBE eliminates the need for glasses and headsets. It also creates an immersive experience on a near one-to-one human scale.”
BIM CUBE enables the architectural, engineering and construction industry to utilize existing tools of the trade, such as third-party applications and software, to create a collaborative environment — allowing participants to have a face-to-face conversation while reviewing the content being displayed. The BIM CUBE is large enough to enable a sizable group to access the technology simultaneously. Even throughout COVID-19 restrictions, the BIM CUBE has allowed groups to collaborate while socially distanced.
“The BIM CUBE is designed as a 40-foot by 10-foot projection that’s separated into two walls and data points,” said Nowak. “Our traditional setup includes four projectors and surround sound to create a seamless, immersive experience. The BIM CUBE incorporates an interactive 3D design so that, as changes are made to the design, it’s updated and reflected in real time on the human scale. The tradespeople are familiar with the content in the field; this enables them to collaborate on a much larger scale.”
With the BIM CUBE, users can display the 3D design on one wall and the BIM model on the other wall. BIM CUBE’s simultaneous display enables participants to compare the job site to different models through the 360-degree image. They can align the models with the BIM to determine if there are any discrepancies in the design.
“The simultaneous display would not be possible with one projector,” noted Nowak. “With Scalable Display Technologies, we’re able to incorporate four projectors with seamless edge blending. Without Scalable, the BIM CUBE would be restricted to a single projector, which would eliminate the human scale and immersive experience.”
“Tradespeople can also touch the wall with the projection without affecting the display,” Nowak added. “Scalable eliminates the dark points with their stitching technology. Anyone can view the content, even if someone is stepping in front of the projector. We certainly would not have achieved today’s current scale and design without Scalable.”
He continued, “We’ve worked with Scalable to create desktop icons, which allows anyone utilizing the BIM CUBE to calibrate the system with a single button. The ease of use on a pre-calibrated system is outstanding. It works well for our clients because it allows them to utilize the baseline from the initial calibration anytime they need to recalibrate their system. Ultimately, our end users connect with the technology. It’s more than just a daily tool for them. Many of my clients will build a BIM CUBE as a tool to pull clients into their space for meetings.”
Scalable produces groundbreaking software that automatically calibrates the color, intensity and geometry of images from multiple projectors — resulting in a single, seamless digital display. With Scalable, there are no limits to the size or the resolution of the displays, and images can be created using software tools.