Prototyping Virtual Environments With Styrofoam

01 Prototype Hotel Environment Created With Styrofoam for Sheraton
01 Prototype Hotel Environment Created With Styrofoam for Sheraton

When Marriott Hotels is considering the redesign of a public area they like to study the changes very thoroughly while keeping costs in check as much as possible.

To do this they have found that working with Styrofoam or expanded polystyrene mock-ups is an economical and very practical approach. For this particular project, the redesign of a Sheraton Club Lounge, they combined an expanded polystyrene model with a virtual reality tour. The polystyrene shapes, which are delivered pre-cut and ready to install, are very lightweight, easy to move around and easy to modify on site, if necessary. The virtual reality programming transforms the white polystyrene into the finished product showing the colors and textures of the finished setting. If changes need to be made in color or texture, it is done using virtual reality. If redesign is necessary, it can be accomplished economically by modifying the EPS shapes.

Besides this application, expanded polystyrene, which is sometimes incorrectly called Styrofoam, is used to create theatrical sets for everything from school plays to professional productions. Complex shapes of any size can be provided cut with a CNC router or CNC wire cutter. The EPS can be coated and colored to meet customer requirements and is typically delivered in a couple of weeks or less. Different densities of EPS from just under one pound per cubic foot to three pounds per cubic foot are available to meet any size and strength requirements.

02 Styrofoam Prototype Courtesy Melanie Lieberman the Points Guy
02 Styrofoam Prototype Courtesy Melanie Lieberman the Points Guy

“Thanks again for the excellent service. Your product knowledge made my job so much easier on this project.”