Use Case of AR
Augmented reality (AR) overlays spatially tracked computer generated data (holograms) over the real world with the use of a visual interface, usually a mobile phone or a headset. In comparison with virtual reality, the user is able to visualise and interact with digital data with their immediate surroundings.
There are many applications of AR nowadays such as the Ikea furniture visualiser app that users can install into their mobile phone to pick and place digital representations of their furniture in their space. Naturally, this system also extends to our built environment where augmented reality is used in construction management and analysis on site.
The Ikea Furniture app uses your phone's camera to capture real space and overlay furniture over it.
In some use cases, AR can completely bypass the need of traditional plans, sections and elevations that are commonly used in the construction and assembly of architecture and the built environment. However, they are not only substitutes, but can enable the assembly of extremely complex geometries that are hard to convey in 2D representation and sometimes, even in 3D.
Holograms from AR can be used to extend your presentation in class. For example, a physical model that is usually static and captures a certain state of time can be overlaid with animated models and assets through the use of mobile AR.
AR being used in a discussion about master planning and architecture.
When a part has a complex geometry, it becomes difficult to represent how 2 or more of these parts come together to form a structure. Representing these geometries in axonometric, isometric, plans, elevations and others becomes a challenge. Instead, AR allows a user to move around the geometry itself, much like panning and orbiting around a digital model. However, because this is done with spatially tracked data, the holograms can be overlaid over the actual part in real time and space.
Gilles Retsin's Timber Pavillion used the Hololens in its construction.
Fologram is an example of an AR program that utilises this system. By linking the 3D part model from Rhino and parameters of the part model from Grasshopper, a user can easily ground the digital part in real space through the Hololens. Overlaying the actual part over the hologram allows the user to verify orientation, scale, and matching features.
In some scenarios, the parts themselves originate from an initial material, form or state that then needs to be shaped into the final parts. Examples of these are steam bent timber planks and wire/pipe bending structures. The hologram generated by AR in this scenario is used to represent the intended final shape and becomes a reference for the physical part to match.
Using Fologram to guide the bending of a part.
The ability to overlay your physical part with holograms also extends advantages to how the parts come together to form an assembly. Again, Fologram possess the feature where through the use of buttons, users can easily make parts visible or hidden and customise in what sequence those parts are shown.
This method of setting up a sequence of assembly becomes critical in allowing the assembly of bricks that each have a slightly different orientation. They also empower the assembly of very complex geometries in the form of interlocking bricks.
Bricklayers using Folgram and the Hololens to lay bricks that each have different orientations.
The final outcome of the brickwork.
Some methods of assembly requires a certain set of steps to be carried out before the final assembly itself is produced. Examples of these are tensegrity structures which rely on each part being placed in a state of tension. Often, without placing the final part in, the whole assembly can collapse, making the process a tedious and challenging one. By using AR, users can visualise how the tension forces shift and change in the model as the assembly progresses, allowing them to take necessary measures and steps to prevent it from falling apart.
Steampunk pavillion using Fologram and Hololens in construction.
Woven Steel Pavillion using steel tubes that were bent, then assembled with the use of the Hololens.