Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Exclusive – Immersive Collaboration AR/VR Platform The Wild Launches Beta Revit Add-in Featuring 1-Click Export

Editor's Note: This article is brought to you by guest blogger Kurt Ward.

Last month, The Wild launched their beta version of a Revit Add-In for The Wild.

The Wild is an immersive collaboration platform for teams to experience their work together, from anywhere, in augmented and virtual reality.

The new capability will automatically create a collection of assets from the components of the Revit file, streamlining the workflow from Revit to The Wild.

According to The Wild founder and CEO Gabe Paez, “Our Revit Add-In will streamline workflow for teams working in architecture, engineering, and construction by allowing them to import and automatically optimize their Revit model for streaming with one easy click.”

Collaborating on spatial designs in 2D is problematic—details get missed when stakeholders can’t explore and experience a space until it’s physically constructed. The Wild enables all project stakeholders to experience the design immersively, together, in real time, from anywhere in the world. With this latest release, Revit users can enjoy more effective communication, more confident decisions, and better alignment with teammates and clients by viewing their work together at human-scale.

To learn more about this Revit Add-In from The Wild, we checked in with Kurt Ward, Lead Cloud Engineer at The Wild, to share a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this new feature.


I’m the developer that built the Revit Add-In for The Wild. This Add-In allows you to export everything from any Revit project, whether it's a full architectural project, an individual family, or a section box, into a standardized 3D format (GLTF). You can pull up any view, export it, and then import it into The Wild.

I started this project during the first week of January, and it took a little over two months to create the beta version. Interestingly enough, I did not know much about Revit prior to working on it, but I had studied architecture in college and had done drafting (both by hand and in 2D CAD)  for an industrial engineer. So I was familiar with drafting and drawing tools, but mostly in a 2D platform. I've also been using Autodesk software since the early ’90s, and the Revit API is C#, which is my favorite programming language. Overall, it made sense for me to work on this Add-In, versus a different developer at The Wild.

The first week was the most challenging, as I've never done any programming dealing with 3D data, so I had to wrap my head around a lot of new terminology. I had to learn Revit quickly so I could easily make test cases, from a simple building to a more complex model with stairs and windows. I also had to learn the specifications for GLTF, and how to combine everything together, to come up with the end result.

We've made this Add-In about as simple as possible for the end user—it's really just a one-click export. From Revit, you open a project in a 3D view, then optionally turn different families of elements on or off. Additional options, such as creating a section box, further filter down the amount of exported geometry.

I spent the most time trying to figure out how Revit outputs instances of geometry. Everything ended up being nested. You could receive events for the instances being exported, but in terms of putting together the sequence of the events (plus the measures and anything that might have had nested geometry within that), I needed to figure out placement, rotation, and orientation. Complex elements composed of multiple pieces, like staircases with railings, were the perfect testing ground.

To write the entire Add-In, I first had to write a dummy Add-In that did nothing but log events and data, to figure out the sequence of things. Ultimately,  Adam Micciulla, The Wild’s Lead XR Developer, started digging in. He had a version that was logging material and rendering property data. That helped me with materials as part of the export, and then I expanded on that and made it log data for every aspect of the export. Whether it was materials, orientation, or counts of elements, polygons were in a particular element.

In my research of Add-Ins that do geometry exports, none of them did the instancing. They didn't seem to care how many polygons were produced, which was probably fine for most cases, but in our case, we needed the least amount of triangles to get the job done.

So there were no examples of instancing for us to reference. It took a lot of time to figure out the 3D transforms for the actual instances.

I had some challenges, but there was a point where I knew I was over the hump.  Well, it kind of happened in two humps, like a camel. I initially had an exporter that was working within a couple of weeks, but it was not accounting for instancing of components. So, if you had a chair, for example, it was creating the mesh triangles for each chair, and if you added that up times a hundred chairs, the file size ballooned. We knew it wasn't even a remote possibility to not do instancing, so even though we had something that was technically working, it was producing way too much geometry. From that point, it was almost a do-over I don't think there's any code left from that original exporter. It changed how everything worked. In terms of the data model, everything had to be created in an entirely different way.

So that original exporter was one hurdle, and that gave us the big picture of how the whole process worked. The second hurdle was figuring out the instancing transformer's positioning. Once that made sense, the Add-In literally fell into place one week later.

Streaming your Revit models into The Wild for presentation and review will fundamentally redefine expectations for the design process. Once we shift from visualizing ideas to experiencing them, we can achieve new levels of comprehension and alignment, magnifying our capacity to find and focus on the best solutions in the earliest stages of a design all the way through construction.
Do you have a Revit model you’d like to try in The Wild? Request a demo or get started with a trial at You can also download The Wild Revit Add-In beta feature at

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