Widespread use by 3D designers of simple digital modeling applications such as Google’s SketchUp may displace the use of physical models in design. However, the difficulties often faced by non-experts in the ad hoc navigation of digital models during design reviews have not been eliminated. Keyboards and mice are clumsy navigational devices and difficult to share in a collaborative setting.
This work explores the combination of new, inexpensive interface hardware technologies with a popular 3D modeler in order to create a viable surrogate for physical models. Two architectural model navigation and presentation interfaces were developed, one based on an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) circuit board (“Gizmo”), and one that used a Wii Remote Controller (“WiiView”). Both were interfaced with the popular architectural modeling program SketchUp. Anecdotal responses and preliminary user testing results are presented.