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DEALER PROFILE: Simonson Lumber

Model Homes You Can Hold
Now, when you ask for a house plan at Simonson Lumber, the plan isn’t so much drawn as it is built in cyberspace. Once a house is designed, Peter and his team can send a copy of the house to builders or customers via a free app that they can download to their smartphone or tablet.

“They can take that and move the house around, go inside it, take the roof off, take the main floor off, and the homebuilder can spend all the time they want looking at this house and deciding what they want to change.”

Using new BIMx software, two-dimensional drafts are brought to life and housing plans can easily be demonstrated in three dimensions using 3D printers on site at Simonson Lumber.

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The 3D printers allow Peter and his team to design and print a physical model of the house that can be held and viewed by homebuyers who want an extra perspective of looking at the printed out model from any angle they choose.

simonson lumber 2“It has been very well received,” Peter said. “I have as much of a problem as anyone getting an idea of what a house can look like from a 2D drawing. These new models now show us exactly what a house will look like.”

Peter said that customers love it, even if they first think it’s just a nice-to-have novelty item. “For a lot of people, it’s more than that. It’s what they use to physically see what their house will look like.”

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Virtual Vision
While the 3D printed model homes were a hit with customers and builders alike, Peter knew that 3D printing technology wasn’t the height he wanted to reach in housing plans. There was something more, he felt, that could give home-builders an impression that is as close to walking through a home as possible.

Through a partnership with Oculus Rift, a virtual reality company, Simonson Lumber became—as far as Peter knows—the only lumberyard in North America to use virtual reality goggles to look inside a digital home.

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