3D CAD visualization tools provide a limited sense of the merging between design and real space and are still constrained by flat media. Furthermore, new computer interface metaphors will emerge that the construction industry should prepare to embrace. An outside-the-computer paradigm is the next step in visualization. Virtual reality and positioning technologies are converging to enable development of new visualization tools for both the design and construction phases. An experimental prototype with three visualization modes is being developed to explore virtual reality applications in mechanical detailing. This paper describes the program of research and development.