Prepare 3D models

The platform relies on 3D models to build product configurators and visualizations in real time. Users before starting to build configurators need to procure their 3D models before anything else.

Currently, Simplio3D allows users to import 3D models in: .GLB, .GLTF and .OBJ formats. These are the most used 3D formats in the web environment and we recommend the first two formats because they are the best optimized for the web.

Once imported, Simplio3D can read the 3D model and its structure and see what parts it is made of, this will greatly influence how the configurator will work. We also recommend that all 3D models have UV mapping for a correct placement of materials, especially those with textures. This will be discussed in more detail in the 3D Assets chapter.

3D Model Structure

The structure of a 3D model will greatly affect the overall logic of the configurator inside the platform. Therefore, it is very important that the 3D model of the customizable product is structured into the correct key parts that form the product as a whole. For example: If your customized product is a kitchen knife, depending on the degree of customization we can make it from 2 parts: blade and handle or from more than two parts and subparts. We can have a product made from as many parts as needed. This will be discussed in more detail in the following chapters.

UV Map

UV mapping is a critical requirement if you plan to use textures, before uploading a 3D model inside the platform and using it in a product configurator or 3D viewer. UV coordinates applied to an object allow the user to correctly apply materials when creating the product configurator or 3d viewer. Please refer to this link for more information.

3D Model Optimization

As these files will be rendered in real-time directly from an internet browser, it is very important that prior to import, the LOD (Level-Of-Detail) is checked and possibly optimized if necessary. 3D models are made of polygons and this shows how detailed it is, therefore how complex the structure is, as the more detailed it is the more it affects rendering performance. Therefore, there are all kinds of techniques where the number of polygons can be reduced without affecting the rendering quality.

Where can I get my 3D models?

If your company has the CAD version of the products they sell, then half the way is already done. Typically, these CAD files are most often found in SolidWorks .step, .stl format. These CAD files will need to be converted to the appropriate format using specialized CAD software such as: Blender, Sketchup, Rhino, etc. If you have someone in your company who is skilled at working with CAD files and converting them to different formats, it may be better to assign them this task.

For those unfamiliar with CAD files and 3D models in general, the best way to get the necessary files is to outsource the work of a 3D artist who can help you reproduce and prepare the items for the platform. You can also contact us and we can do this for you.

Another good source where you can get the necessary files are online 3D libraries and they can be found both free and paid, such as TurboSquid and 3D Warehouse.

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