swimming pool association

The power of 3D

By Brett D. Holland, Holland Pools & Spas, brett.hollandpools@gmail.com

Due to the constant advancement in technology, pool builders now have design tools made available to them that they did not once have in the past.  Although there are a few designers who still design on graph paper, the majority of the industry is now taking full advantage of the 3D software tools available.  With 3D replicated products from pool industry vendors, landscape options, and the ability to fully customize the pool/spa, deck, and house stages, designers now have the opportunity to give a presentation to the client like never before!  Being that 65 percent of all people are visual learners, this approach is extremely powerful.  We can now visually show the client just how tremendous their outdoor living environment can truly be from the click of a button.

Over the years a few friends/co-workers have been a little hesitant to take the plunge into this new idea of design, either due to the fact they weren’t too tech-savvy or were just complacent in the way they have been designing for years.  However over time I was finally able to persuade them into dedicating a few hours a week to get familiar with the work flow of 3D design.  The software I use is Pool Studio by Structure Studios
(www.structurestudios.com) which has a great tutorial library to assist with this transition.  The way the work flows is in stages.  There are house, pool, spa, fences/walls, terrain, steps/benches, planter, and custom shape stages.  Each stage has their own parameters where you can fully customize your project.  This gives the designer endless options, where the only limitation is their imagination.  Over the course of about two months of giving several hours/per week to learning it, my co-workers started to finally become comfortable with designing in 3D.  I remember one colleague telling me, “I wish I had started using this program years ago.  It would have been a totally different experience for my customers.”

Besides the sales benefits, another major benefit of having your project digitized is the ability to seamlessly convert it into a detailed construction plan.  If you have an engineer do your drawings, you have the ability to send them an AutoCAD file (.dxf)
of your project which allows them to import it into their software program.  If the plan is done in-house, templates are available within Pool Studio for you to use or customize to meet your specific needs.  By creating your own templates as you go, the workflow begins to get faster while you are in the construction stage.  Familiarity comes as you utilize the program more frequently, and eventually you feel comfortable designing in front of the customer rather than between appointments.

So whether you are already using 3D software or if you just haven’t had the courage to make the plunge yet, have faith in yourself, continue to invest time and expand your knowledge.  Take advantage of this powerful tool and leave it up to your imagination to do the rest!

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