Dillon Chi's Logo

Aksala VR

My final project for Design 2 was to create a sculpture to explore two objectives:intersecting volumes and interesting footprint. I also wanted to explore the concept of a VR installation piece, for which I created several prototypes.

Responsibilities: Concept Development, Prototype, and Visual Design

Software: Sketchup, Slicer, Corel, and Unity

Form Exploration

After sketching out several designs, I created my sculptures in Sketchup and utilized its components feature to maintain symmetry of the model. 

Part 1


From there I exported my 3D files from Sketchup to Slicer, a program that imports 3D model files and then slices into layers that gets exported into a laser cutter as a sheet file of size and thickness of my choice. Using Corel, I set the sheet file up for laser cutting.

Part 2

Physical Exploration

Fortunately, Slicer shows a tutorial on the screen for sequentially assembling the numbered parts. After building my first prototype I added two dowels, on two diagonal corners, to prevent assembly slippage. Lots of hot glue later this was the result.

My professor offered constructive critiques before giving me the go-ahead to attempt the project in Virtual Reality.

Part 3

Diving into Unity

I exported my model out of Sketchup to import as an OBJ file into a Unity scene with the Steam Teleportation System already configured. Using the brush tool, I placed mountains and valleys by editing the height bitmap. Using free textures online, I added materials for grass and water effects to some of the solids in the model.

Part 4


For many people trying my VR installation, my magic moment was watching them exploring the inside of the virtual space: a first-time VR user crouched on the ground to look up into the water, and another danced to see what would happen.

I realized that I wanted to create experiences that amplified the exploration aspect of VR.