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Property Scale Models being replaced by 3D Digital Twins?

Property Scale Models are a physical representation of a building or structure which is used to visualize its architectural design or to communicate its selling points. They are normally a scaled down or miniature version of the real project. Scale models have been around for quite some time, and there are quite a few scale model makers that provides expertise in making scale models. They can be commonly seen in Property Show Galleries.





Physical Scale Model Limitations

However, these scale models have several drawbacks. First, it consumes quite a lot of space in a show gallery, and when a project is completed, storing the scale model may be a problem. Scale models are also difficult or expensive to move around; say you have events or roadshows, the logistic costs will add up. You may even risk damaging the scale model.


It is also difficult to visualize certain aspects of the project, such as seeing the "interior" and "exterior" simultaneously. It isn't easy to achieve if you wish to have animated elements such as cars ingress and egress or humans walking at the park. And when there are sudden changes to the project design, you can't easily change it on the scale model.



 


Introducing Digital Twins. What is a Digital Twin?

With the advent of technology and higher computing power, property developers are starting to adopt Digital Twins. A digital twin is a virtual replica of a structure that can also show real-world data. Think of it as an adaptive scale model, viewable and manipulated from any digital screen. It can also incorporate simulation, actual-world data, and much more to give users a more up-close representation of the project.





Digital Twin Benefits

The benefits of Digital Twins are numerous; among them is that once you have the Digital Twin created, you can use it in more than one place. You can have a few touchscreens in several show galleries or implement them on iPads that are easy to carry around.


Depending on your project, a Digital Twin could effectively enable you to show any aspect of it. If you are building a Luxury High-rise project; You can slice the rooftop to show your floorplan layout, slice it further to view the facility podium, and slice it even more to view the car-park layout.


A digital twin can also incorporate simulations and actual world data. Want to show the project orientation and how the sunrise/sunset will affect each unit? No problem.

Want to show how cars go in and out of the project and the connecting roads? With animations, you can. Wish to integrate the live sales chart data directly on the 3D Model? Done.


Beyond that, since the digital twin is a virtual representation, you can make changes or elements you would like to tweak as the project progresses. You may have a nearby surrounding 3D map where your project is located to show the nearby landmarks and roads; if the streets or landmarks change, you can easily update it in your Digital Twin. The possibilities are endless.



 

How can Digital Twins be applied in Malaysia?

Up until now, you have read about how Digital Twins are applied in Property projects. However, it can also be used in other applications or industries such as those listed below.


For Solar Systems

Digital Twin can be used to replace scale model solar systems. Power companies embarking on a solar system project can use Digital Twins instead to visualize how the solar system works. For instance, the sun's direction can be used to simulate the total power output generated throughout the day.


For Manufacturing & Factories

You can use a Digital Twin solution to have a virtual replica of your factory floor or production line. It gives stakeholders an overview of the whole factory from a dashboard screen. You can also integrate with IoT to get real-time data, enabling managers to monitor the entire manufacturing process.


For Smart Cities and City Planning

Digital twins can also be used in city planning. Data points may be included to ensure the most optimized model is used in planning a city. As the needs of a city change over time, a digital twin suits it perfectly because tweaking is possible.



 

Implementing Digital Twin solutions and is it worth it?

Implementing Digital Twin solution consists of 2 main parts, hardware and software. The hardware is the screens or devices that will enable you to interact with the Digital Twin. There are various screens/touchscreens such as Digital Standee, Multitouch VideoWall, or even iPads. Bear in mind that a relatively powerful computer with a high-performance graphics processor will be needed to run this real-time software smoothly. We have earlier written an article about the types of interactive hardware here.

The software solution consists of the 3D Model of the project and the other components to make the 3D Model interactive. Southpaw's Omnishow is one such solution that is targeted at Property Developers. It is a high-impact 3D Sales Presentation Tool. We feel that traditional methods of selling real estate may not be as effective anymore. Buyers will want to touch, see, imagine, and feel the project before making a purchase. For this reason, Southpaw created Omnishow; It is a realistic Digital Showroom that covers the Digital Twin, Interior, amenities, surrounding points of interest, and other marketing materials all in one package.


Overall, implementing Digital Twin solutions is a way to future-proof your sales and marketing arsenal. The hardware could be re-used to sell future projects and the software could be modified to suit customers' ever changing needs. It is an investment that makes sense; saving costs in the long run and giving potential buyers a more immersive buying experience.



 

Summary

In short, scale models will probably still be used in some cases. It will benefit scale model makers to explore working with Digital Twin solution providers to have a complete solution offering for their clients. Besides real estate, we have also explored the benefits of Digital Twin solutions and the different industries they can be applied to. The digitization of Property Show Galleries is a trend that is here to stay. We hope you've found this article helpful and if you wish to engage our solutions, feel free to contact us for a consultation. Southpaw Sdn. Bhd. is an interactive solutions provider based in Malaysia.