The Facilitator™ is a free web application that builds and customizes a three dimensional room, complete with models of dozens of inflatables, tables, chairs, people, pillars, tents, and just about anything else a user might want to put in an indoor entertainment center. The program includes generic shapes of varying sizes that can be inserted in place of anything that doesn't currently exist the ever-expanding database of models. The objects can be moved and rotated, and each room can be saved, printed, or sent in an email.
How it Works
The Facilitator™ can be accessed from the Cutting Edge Creations website at http://www.cuttingedgecreations.com/2008/FacilitatorJump.php. Users will need to click the Login link, where they will then be prompted to download the support software that allows the program to work. The download is small and installs quickly and painlessly. Once it's installed clicking on the Login link will load up the Facilitator™ program, which takes about three minutes to load. New users will have to create an account and have a password emailed to them.
Once logged in, a series of help boxes will pop up to guide users through the process. For most people these boxes can just be shut off, as the interface of the Facilitator™is extremely intuitive. The first step is to enter the dimensions of the room, including height. The program will automatically disallow any inflatables that are larger than the height of the room, so it's important to enter this amount correctly (you can also just tell it that your room is "outdoors" to ignore height). Next users have the option of going to the "Decorate" tab to put colors or patterns on the walls and floor, or go straight to the "Place Units" tab and get started.
The "Place Units" tab will give users a subdirectory of the kinds of units available. Most of these are the dozens of inflatables available from Cutting Edge Creations. Under the "Assorted Objects" tab users can find tables, chairs, tents, trees, doors, windows, pillars, and an assortment of generic shapes that can be used in place of any object that isn't modeled in the Facilitator™. Objects are placed into the room by dragging and dropping, and any object can be selected and rotated or moved.
In addition to the individual objects, the entire view of the room can be rotated in any direction, or zoomed in or out. There is also an option to display measurements, which shows the measurements of every object in the room, as well as the amount of space between the objects, and the between the objects and walls.
The Facilitator™ also includes a "My Inventory" tab where users can store any items to provide quick assess to the objects that are used the most. The inventory is remembered by the program and will be available every time the user logs in.
Once a room is done it can be saved for retrieval at any time, or the room can be printed or emailed. This feature allows users to keep hardcopy records of planned layouts to show to clients or investors. But one of the most exciting features is the Walkthrough.
The Walkthrough option allows the user to drag a child or adult sized figure into the room, and then actually see the room through that figure's eyes. By clicking on the navigation arrows or using the arrow keys, the user can walk around the room and see how everything looks from human height - exposing any oversights like the way that some objects might block line of sight to important features.
Cutting Edge Creations is constantly expanding the database of 3-D models available in the Facilitator™ with new items added weekly. They also have plans to continue to improve the software as they receive feedback from their users.
The Facilitator™ is available online now at: http://www.cuttingedgecreations.com/2008/FacilitatorJump.php