Note: Archiscape won first place overall at LA Hacks 2020. Video demo also accessible at https://archiscape.tech/demo.
Creating 3D models of houses is a huge problem that inhibits today’s city planners, landscape designers, and architects. As a real estate agent, Mason's mom needed a way to quickly automate the process of 3D model generation so her coworkers could engage in construction endeavors with more time and accurate resources while her clients could participate in virtual property tours from the comfort and safety of their own homes. To help construction workers and prospective buyers alike, we set out to create Archiscape.
Through Archiscape, we hope to use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and technology in general as a means of transforming careers and improving lives. The field of construction has recently become a prominent AI vertical, and we hope to expand on current efforts to autonomously and intelligently design the infrastructure of tomorrow.
What it does
Archiscape is a progressive web application (PWA) aimed at revolutionizing the fields of smart infrastructure, urban planning, and home design.
Construction workers are burdened by the long and tedious task of manually creating 3D models from 2D blueprints. Our ThreeJS/BFS/ML model streamlines this process; once a user submits a floor plan PNG, they receive a responsive, interactive 3D model of the design they provided. Internally, our algorithm feeds the PNG image through a deep neural network (DNN) to completely denoise the image (remove unnecessary text, fix color scheme, etc.); it then converts this new PNG image into binary code, uses BFS to optimize this code, and then renders the model with ThreeJS Geometry. Users can then use our Orbit Control functions to interact with their 3D model.
These workers are not the only ones facing problems in the real estate industry. To facilitate safe and secure tourism (especially with the rising severity of COVID-19), realtors, buyers, and inspectors are all looking for ways to create and view virtual house tours without the hassle of setting up a 3D camera. Archiscape allows users to input regular images of rooms in their house, and our neural network (along with pano stretch augmentation techniques) converts those images into a 3D virtual tour. It also provides users with the option to download a Point Cloud Data (.pcd) file which they can use to visualize and edit the 3D model.
How we built it
After a few hours of wireframing, conceptualizing new features, and creating tasks, we divided ourselves into 2 frontend, 1 backend, and 2 AI/ML developers and started working. Tony worked on creating the Firebase/Google Cloud Server backend, Mason and Howard designed the UI/UX, and Vignav and Mathew created and trained the data-conversion and ML algorithms.
Challenges we ran into
Our biggest challenge was getting the 2D blueprint to render into 3D. We were able to resolve this problem by combining past model conceptualization research with our code to create an AngularJS 3D canvas model and then render that within our PWA. Integrating the point density feature to reconstruct the floor plan into a walkable tour was also a really big challenge as this was technology we weren't familiar with.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of the unique way in which we were able to combine and build off of research from various sources and fuse them into one final product. It was really exciting to see all of our features come together and for us to successfully transform something that has so far been primarily an untested, theoretical concept into an innovative working product. We're really proud of everyone's dedication to the project and determination to tackle construction with a revolutionary solution.
What we learned
We entered LAHacks with absolutely no knowledge regarding dimensional transformation, and after a day of hard work, we completed Archiscape. Working with vast amounts of ML training data, mathematical algorithms, and more made this project really fun!
What's next for Archiscape
For the second iteration of our floorplan to 3D model feature, we hope to make it even more convenient for designers and architects to use our platform by integrating editing capabilities into the resulting 3D model. Not only can users turn blueprints into 3D models, but they can also edit those models as they see fit and save them for future use in our advanced cloud database. We hope to build upon our PCD Generator feature to allow for seamless, real-time model editing.
To improve our virtual tours feature, we hope to automatically use the live camera data we can generate as a user walks through their house with their smartphone to automatically generate a virtual tour without them having to take a single picture. Similarly, we also want to integrate our service with real estate database companies like Zillow and create virtual tours by accessing image data from those platforms.
Most importantly, Archiscape’s 3D modeling solutions extend far beyond the construction industry. While our work is disruptive in the smart infrastructure sector, our technologies can be applied to various other scenarios, such as film animation, geometric API enhancement, and more.