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Chatting with Pool Design Innovator – Noah Nehlich

Discussing his start in the pool industry and release of Vip3D 3.0. Product feedback from designer Kyle Franco.



Today we're chatting with Noah Nehlich of Structure Studios and learning more about Vip3D 3.0

For the past decade Pool Studio has been a favorite design software for professionals in the pool industry. With the release of Vip3D 3.0 the software has evolved to move the future of Pool Design into an artform all it’s own. The new capabilities of the software make 3D renderings more realistic than ever before. Today we’re chatting with Noah Nehlich, the innovative genius and driving engine of Structure Studios – developers of Pool Studio, VizTerra, Vip3D, and YARD.

We wanted to give our readers the complete backstory about Nehlich and Structure Studios. In the course of our discussion we found out how he first got his start in the pool industry and talked about some of the amazing new features in Vip3D’s latest release. We also talked with one of the beta testers and top pool designers – Kyle Franco, to get his assessment about the new features in version 3.0.

Today, we're chatting with Noah Nehlich - Founder & President of Structure Studios
Today, we’re chatting with Noah Nehlich – Founder & President of Structure Studios

The Story Behind Noah Nehlich & Structure Studios

Noah Nehlich has certainly come a long way in his career. Twenty years ago he had aspirations of being a video game designer. He spent the majority of his time designing game levels and mods for popular computer games. The trajectory looked set for a career in Gaming. That was, until the day he happened to incorporate one of his brother-in-laws pool designs into a game level he had modifying. Nehlich had been inspired by the design (a geometric pool with fire bowls) and replicated it into a 3D model.

The rendering which would be considered rough by todays standards was pretty cutting edge at the time and utilized the Unreal Engine found in some of the most popular computer games of the day. When his brother-in-law saw the end result he was floored. Word began to quickly get around. Joe Vassallo (an industry veteran) who was with Paddock Pools at the time, had seen a demonstration and introduced Nehlich to Buzz Ghiz of Paramount.

Ghiz, (a legend in his own right in the pool industry) was impressed with the young man and the technology. Ghiz asked Nehlich to give a presentation of his 3D pool designs.

“I’m 19 years old and there I am… in a corporate boardroom, giving a presentation for the very first time in my life. But it’s going well, I mean, there were audible gasps in the room.”Noah Nehlich – Structure Studios

From that point Nehlich’s path transitioned from Gaming Designer to Pool Designer. Nehlich had begun providing design services for a variety of diffent pool companies. He had put together some 3D Pool Packages and began functioning as a design consultant for pool builders across the country.

At first Nehlich offered 6 different pools with 3 variations each for $5,000. The design packages he offered sold quickly. Pool companies noticed that 3D renderings helped them dramatically shorten the sales cycle. Nehlich observed that while his product was very successful, his business model still wasn’t. He noticed that he still wasn’t making much profit as a Pool Designer. “The process simply took too long.” said Nehlich.

Nehlich knew that 3D rendering technology would streamline the sales process and change the pool industry.

Pivoting to Software Development

Nehlich knew that converting his design process into a software was the correct path towards establishing a much more profitable business model. It was at this point that he began working with a team of developers in order to help bring his vision for the product to life. Nehlich found a group of initial investors and began the arduous process of developing a software and bringing it to market.

Innovation comes with struggle

“The journey wasn’t without it’s struggles.” says Nehlich “It took four years and we went 10 times over our original projected budget for developing the software.”

Early investors threatened to walk numerous times, Nehlich explained. The stress of potential failure was something that he coped with daily during development. Still, he continued to throw everything he had at his idea. When down to his last $1.18 in his pocket, Nehlich found that he had exactly enough money left for a poor man’s feast at Taco Bell. He paused for a second and seemed to reflect on this for a moment during the course of our conversation.

With the software still left unfinished, Nehlich was some how able to convince investors to continue with the project. Investors agreed not to pull the plug, provided he was able to complete a sale. At the 11th hour, Nehlich had managed to sell Viking Pools a 3D Rendering package for $20,000. The cash infusion brought investor confidence back in Nehlich, enough to see the software project through to it’s fruition.

Fast foward to 2004 – Structure Studios was staring at 400 pre-orders valued at $2,000 each. First year revenue of $800,000 from a grass roots effort of showing off the product one builder at a time. “There were no crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter back in ’04, they simply didn’t exist yet.” said Nehlich.

Nehlich and his team had successfully managed to build enough confidence with early adopters to grow his software Pool Studio into a viable product and Structure Studios into a thriving company.

Pool Studio would revolutionize the industry by giving designers the tools they needed to produce sophisticated 3D renderings.
Pool Studio would revolutionize the industry by giving designers the tools they needed to produce sophisticated 3D renderings.

The software and company which Nehlich had founded, suddenly began receiving tremendous attention. During conventions and tradeshows, throngs of spectators were huddling 20 deep just to grab a glimpse of the incredible new 3D technology in action.

The product however, was still very new for the industry. Builders were in awe of the capabilities, but Structure Studios was still finding difficulty achieving mass adoption with their new product.

“In 2008, the economy was riding high and many builders felt they still didn’t need 3D in order to close sales.” said Nehlich. This was in spite of the fact that more and more companies began incorporating 3D in their sales presentations.

By 2009, The Great Recession had hit the pool industry hard and perceptions slowly began shifting. “Builders found increasing competition in the market.” said Nehlich. “The economic downturn had suddenly made it much more difficult for them to close sales.” he continued.

Builders vying for those same discretionary dollars suddenly found that they needed a differentiator to help give them an edge. Structure Studios answered by providing them the means to compete at a whole new level. Nehlich had helped usher in a new era, providing the pool industry with the software necessary to Design for Story. Homeowners could now completely visualize what their outdoor project would look like from start to finish as a realistic 3D representation.

Demand for Nehlich’s 3D design software began to skyrocket. Structure Studios would ultimately wind up releasing a variety of different software products that catered to pool designers as well as landscape and hardscape designers.

  • VizTerra is the Professional Designer’s Choice. Customized for landscape, hardscape, and outdoor living and garden designers as well as builders and architects.
  • Pool Studio is an intuitive interface with 3D design tools that enables designers to create immersive 3D presentations. The software makes generating expertly designed swimming pools a breeze.

In 2009, Structure Studios combined the two softwares together into a unified platform and released Vip3D which is actually an acronym for Vizterra in Pool Studio. The new software combined the best aspects of both and was an immediate success. With tremendous confidence in the future of his product, Nehlich leveraged every penny he had during the height of the recession in 2010 to purchase 100% ownership of Structure Studios.

Over the years, Nehlich and his team have continuously worked on their platform to refine and improve the experience for both the end user and the consumer. Recently they released their newest version of the award winning platform. A new and improved rendering engine supports many of the innovative features now found in Vip3D.

New Enhancements in Vip3D 3.0

  • Next-level realistic real-time 3D rendering
  • Edit shapes instantly in 3D
  • More automatic terrain data
  • All new material library

One of the aspects that Nehlich and his team worked hard on improving in 3.0 is the realism in 3D graphics. “The consumers tolerance for 3D changes with the technology.” said Nehlich. “The bar for realism in 3D environments goes up each year.”

Pool Designer Kyle Franco Beta Tested Vip3D 3.0

To get a pulse of how the new features in Vip3D are perceived in the industry, we decided to contact Kyle Franco, a top pool designer and one of the beta testers of Version 3.0.

We asked Franco, co-owner of Premier Pools & Spas in Fort Worth, what he thought of the new version. Franco, who has been using the software for years, makes great use of the platform. A top performer for the Premier Pools organization; his 3D pool designs are helping him develop his social media following.

Kyle Franco -showcasing some of the new functionality found in Vip3D 3.0 - Seen here: More realistic flame effects, depth of field and fireflies which Franco incorporated into his sales presentation.
Kyle Franco -showcasing some of the new functionality found in Vip3D 3.0 – Seen here: More realistic flame effects, depth of field and fireflies which Franco incorporated into his sales presentation.

“The new version really allows me as a custom designer to take things to the next level with more details.” said Franco, whose designs can also been seen on DIY Channel’s TV Show – Pool Kings. “As a builder it helps provide a better visual for the homeowner so that they have the right expectations when the pool is completed.” he continued.

“I nearly perfected the old version and was excited to see this come out and begin working on it!” said Franco, “The new functions in version 3 allow me to design even faster than before, which is a huge bonus for someone like me.”

We asked him to elaborate on what other improvements he liked. “One of my favorite things about the new version is the detail in color, and presentation mode. All the options to really spice up the images and videos, are incredible! All in all, just an amazing update… I have all 5 of my designers using it!”

The Future of Pool Design

Nehlich says the future for 3D Pool Designs is even brighter as we move into 2022 and beyond. “As mobile processors and hardware catches up, we continue to innovate and improve upon our products.” said Nehlich.

Augmented Reality is one of the emerging technologies Structure Studios has invested in - Seen here: YARD (Your Augmented Reality Designer) app which enables homeowners to visualize pool designs in real time.
Augmented Reality is one of the emerging technologies Structure Studios has invested in – Seen here: YARD (Your Augmented Reality Designer) app which enables homeowners to visualize pool designs in real time.

Emerging technologies like Augmented Reality, Aerial 3D Mapping and Virtual Reality have found a home in the product. Structure Studios release of YARD (Your Augmented Reality Designer) a new add-on available for Vip3D customers is a testament to their investment in continuously improving the design platform.

Companies like Cody Pools, Anthony Sylvan, and Presidential Pools are already early adopters of this new technology. Wearable tech like the Oculus is also dramatically gaining traction with builders as a means to immerse potential buyers in the design and shorten the sales process.

Feature Photo Credit: Kyle Franco – Premier Pools & Spas

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Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email [email protected] or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to [email protected]

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Feds Seize Counterfeit Filters From China at Long Beach Seaport



U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport, in coordination with Import Specialists assigned to the Machinery Center of Excellence and Expertise (Machinery Center), intercepted a shipment of 3,940 counterfeit water filters bearing unauthorized National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) logos. The seizure, which took place on April 10, highlights the ongoing issue of counterfeit products.

Routine Inspection Uncovers Fake Filters From China

During a routine examination of mixed ocean freight from China, CBP officers identified the counterfeit filters. Import Specialists confirmed that the filters displayed fraudulent NSF certification marks that had been recorded for border enforcement through CBP’s e-Recordation program.

Counterfeit water filters pose a significant risk to consumer health and safety, as they often fail to meet the necessary standards for filtration. The use of copied trademarks, branding, and misleading claims makes it challenging for consumers to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit filters. While the water may appear and taste fine, these counterfeit filters have been found to be ineffective in removing lead and other harmful chemicals.

The pool and spa industry, in particular, is certainly not immune to the influx of counterfeit products. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) warns about the potential hazards associated with counterfeit water filters, underscoring the importance of purchasing from legitimate sources.

Counterfeit NSF Certification
The water filters had a counterfeit NSF certification

CBP at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of the American consumer. Since February 2021, they have seized a staggering 67,342 counterfeit replacement water filters, pool and spa filters, and other filtration products with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $3,216,900.

This interception is part of CBP’s broader efforts to combat intellectual property rights violations. In fiscal year 2022, CBP nationwide seized nearly 21,000 shipments containing 25 million counterfeit goods, with an estimated MSRP value of nearly $3 billion if they had been genuine.

To raise consumer awareness about the dangers of counterfeit products, CBP has launched the Truth Behind Counterfeits public awareness campaign. Through educational initiatives at airports and online resources, they aim to inform consumers about the consequences associated with purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods.

If you suspect or have information regarding fraudulent or illegal trade activity, CBP encourages reporting through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT. Intellectual property rights (IPR) violations can be reported to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at or by calling 1-866-IPR-2060.

As consumers, it is crucial to stay vigilant and informed about the risks of counterfeit products. For more information about the risks of purchasing counterfeit water filters and the Filter It Out campaign, visit To learn more about NSF certification and ensure the authenticity of products, visit

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Jake Paul Buys $15.7M Mansion With Luxury Pool In Puerto Rico



Check Out Jake Paul's $15.7M Mansion & Pool in Puerto Rico

As far as celebrity pools go, Jake Paul now has a beauty. The renowned boxing sensation, has added a magnificent new asset to his collection – a sprawling mansion in Puerto Rico that came complete with a beautiful backyard oasis. Situated in the picturesque San Juan area, this luxurious property, acquired from former MLB star Yadier Molina, showcases Paul’s affinity for opulence and sets the stage for his extravagant lifestyle. With its stunning architectural design and opulent features, the mansion promises to be a sanctuary of grandeur and indulgence.

Jake Paul's Mansion in Puerto Rico

Boasting eight bedrooms, eight full bathrooms, and two half bathrooms, this two-story masterpiece spans over 12,000 square feet, offering ample space for Paul to enjoy the comforts of luxury living. The meticulous attention to detail is evident as guests step into the elegant foyer, setting the tone for the rest of the residence. The interior design seamlessly combines luxury and comfort, creating an inviting atmosphere throughout.

The real gem of the estate, however, lies outside, where an enormous geometric-shaped pool takes center stage. This impressive pool looks like the ideal spot for a night swim. Surrounded by the breathtaking Puerto Rican landscape, he’ll be able unwind while enjoying in his new outdoor living oasis.

Jake Paul's Swimming Pool at his new home in Puerto Rico

The acquisition of this Puerto Rican paradise was facilitated by The Caribbean Realty Group, who confirmed the transaction at an astounding price of $15,750,000. The successful negotiation between Molina and Paul resulted in a reduced price from the initial listing of $19,995,000, further highlighting Paul’s ability to secure prime properties at favorable terms.

While the mansion offers an array of lavish amenities, including a fully equipped fitness center and a 6-car garage to showcase Paul’s impressive automobile collection, it is the pool area that truly steals the show. The geometric design adds a touch of sophistication, while the oversized tanning ledge allows for luxurious sun-soaked moments. Whether it’s lounging by the pool or taking a refreshing dip, this outdoor oasis offers the perfect setting for relaxation and entertainment.

Jake Paul purchased a new $15.7 million dollar home with a gorgeous pool.

The mansion itself stands as a testament to modern luxury. Built in 2021, the architectural design exemplifies contemporary aesthetics with its clean lines, expansive windows, and seamless integration of indoor and outdoor living spaces. Every aspect has been carefully crafted to create a harmonious blend of style, comfort, and functionality.

For Jake Paul, this new Puerto Rican retreat serves a dual purpose. Alongside his brother, Logan Paul, he relocated to Puerto Rico a few years ago, seeking an environment conducive to their intensive training regimen without the distractions often encountered elsewhere. The serene atmosphere and privacy afforded by this magnificent estate will undoubtedly contribute to Jake Paul’s preparation for his upcoming fight against former UFC star Nate Diaz in August.

While the reasons behind Molina’s decision to part ways with this architectural masterpiece remain unknown, Jake Paul’s acquisition of this prestigious property further solidifies his status as a prominent figure in both the sports and entertainment industries. The mansion stands as a symbol of his continued success and serves as a luxurious sanctuary where he can unwind, recharge, and focus on his career.

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Neighbors Demand To Use Pool, Homeowners Say ‘Stop Asking’



Neighbors Demand Pool Usage, Homeowners Say 'Stop Asking'

Moving into a new neighborhood can be an exciting experience, as you join a community and establish connections with your neighbors. However, what happens when those connections start to take an unexpected turn? One couple recently found themselves grappling with this very predicament when their neighbors began incessantly requesting access to their pool. This tale of poolside politics raises the question: should you allow your neighbors to use your pool?

Redditor Asks If They’re Wrong For Saying No To Pushy Neighbors Who Keep Begging To Use Their Pool

The couple, who prefer to remain anonymous but are known on Reddit as No_Material_4161, thought they had seamlessly blended into their new neighborhood. However, as the temperature rose, so did their neighbors’ desire for poolside entertainment. It turned out that the previous homeowners had fostered a close-knit relationship with the community, granting them unrestricted access to the pool. Unfortunately for the new owners, they were not inclined to continue this arrangement.

Politely expressing their decision, the couple hoped for understanding and acceptance. However, their neighbors remained persistent. Offering financial contributions and sharing maintenance responsibilities, the neighbors seemed unwilling to take no for an answer. The situation escalated when the couple was cornered in their own backyard during a gardening session. Despite clear refusals, the neighbors persisted, leaving the couple feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.

CPO Class - Virtual Online Classes - Become a Certified Pool Operator

The pool became the focal point of every interaction with them, overshadowing any other potential connections. Even during a recent party, where the couple was hoping to enjoy the company of friends, the pool issue persisted. The neighbors saw fit to intrude once again, insinuating their entitlement to the pool. The couple’s frustration reached a boiling point, leading to a firm request for the neighbors to leave.

Online responses to this poolside saga have overwhelmingly supported the couple’s decision to withhold access. The court of public opinion has sided with them, recognizing their rights as homeowners and stressing the importance of setting boundaries. Stand your ground, they say, as allowing neighbors access to your pool can lead to a host of potential issues.

One Redditor has had it with their pushy neighbors begging to use their swimming pool.
One Redditor has had it with their pushy neighbors begging to use their swimming pool.

Why Sharing Your Pool Can Become a Problem

One of the primary concerns with granting neighbors access to your swimming pool is the question of liability. When others use your pool, even if they are friends, accidents can happen. In the event of an injury or property damage, you, as the pool owner, may be held legally responsible. Insurance coverage may not extend to guests using your pool, leaving you exposed to potential financial and legal consequences.

Another consideration is the wear and tear on your pool and its equipment. Regular use by multiple households can accelerate the need for maintenance and repairs. Pool chemicals and cleaning products may need to be replenished more frequently, resulting in increased expenses for the homeowner. Additionally, increased usage can lead to a higher risk of accidents or damage to the pool’s infrastructure, further compounding the financial burden.

Privacy is yet another factor to ponder. Good fences make good neighbors. Allowing neighbors access to your pool means surrendering a significant level of privacy. Your backyard, once a haven exclusively for you and your family, becomes a shared space. It may be challenging to relax and enjoy your pool with the constant presence of others, disrupting the tranquility and peace you desire.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to let neighbors use your pool rests with the homeowners themselves. Boundaries and personal preferences must be respected. Engaging in open and honest communication with neighbors can help establish mutual understanding, even if it means declining their requests. Prioritizing personal liability, privacy, and maintaining the condition of the pool are legitimate concerns that should be carefully considered.

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