Time to read: 4 minutes

Dutch architect Rick Smets has an architect firm near Utrecht and specializes in designing exclusive homes in the wealthy Gooi region and its surroundings. 

Architect Rick Smets tests his designs in XUVER before presenting them to his clients 

Exclusive homes by Rick Smets

As a versatile and innovative architect, Rick is always looking for new ways to present his designs to the client. For half a year, he has been using XUVER. Smets tells us how this collaboration came to life. “I first heard about XUVER about six months ago. The direct communication and easy, in-browser sharing of models -without any downloads or installations- appealed to me right away. So I immediately contacted them..” 

Using XUVER and VectorWorks 

Before he could start using XUVER, the architect had to overcome a few small hurdles. Smets: “I design in VectorWorks on a Macintosh, which in itself is quite a unique platform for architects. However, it didn’t take me very long before I found a workaround: by first converting my files into SketchUp and then uploading them in XUVER. After this small step, XUVER can be used in combination with VectorWorks.”  

According to Smets, XUVER is a must for every modern architect. “Presentation is essential, and personally, I work more and more remotely. Not only because of Covid-19, but also because it’s a personal preference. A platform that enables me to walk through the design with the client while live communicating is most welcome. Direct communication is incredibly important to make your clients truly understand a model.” 

Direct 3D designing

Smets’ professional working habits underline why the idea of creating an interactive 3D model in XUVER appealed to him. “I like to design directly in 3D, so the first sketch I show to my clients is a 3D sketch. It’s amazing to bring that 3D sketch to life in XUVER and walk around inside with your client. This helps people who have trouble understanding 3D sketches to truly understand the design.” 

‘With XUVER, You are always two steps ahead compared to ‘merely’ showing a 3D sketch to your client.’ 

“The clients’ responses speak for themselves: I must say, they are even a bit overwhelmed after walking around in XUVER for the first time”, Smets adds jokingly. “The importance of a clear presentation lies in the fact that 1 out of 2 clients is not able to understand a blueprint fully. By walking through the design in XUVER, you will notice instantly that your clients quickly understand what you mean. So by using XUVER, you are always two steps ahead, compared to ‘merely’ showing a 3D sketch to your client.” 

Testing your own designs

However, Smets doesn’t use XUVER exclusively for his client presentation: he also uses the platform for himself: “by viewing my designs inside XUVER, I can quickly detect design flaws and mistakes I made. You will instantly see it if a floor, a wall or a roof design isn’t working. By walking around inside your model, you will see details that are hard to notice in other ways. So before I send my designs to my clients, I check them for myself in XUVER.” 

More editing options

Over the last six months, Smets has been using XUVER extensively. What is his professional feedback so far? Smets: “I love this tool and I think it has great potential. What I like about it, is that you can edit directly inside the model. You can make something temporarily invisible, or change the color of an object. This makes all the difference, so I would love to see more editing options for the future.  Besides that, it would be awesome if there would be a direct plugin for VectorWorks; I am sure a lot of architects would be thrilled with that. But for now it works perfectly and my clients are happy. After all, that’s what matters.”

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