Online Interactive 3D Models

(anon57870006) #1

@mcdanlj can we integrate blend4web with Discourse so that we can host models like this one?
It is the complete WebGL model of the HercuLien temporary hosted a sandbox server - please download to keep and reshare:

(Michael K Johnson) #2

This is really a question for @funinthefalls — I don’t manage discourse plugins or build the site.

(Anthony Bolgar) #3

There is no plugin that I am aware of at this time. The best I can suggest is just to link to an external website that hosts the model.

(anon57870006) #4

Please feel free todo: save the page and put where you find better. This is a self contained page with the model and web-player.

(Dennis P) #5

I have had good luck actually sending clients 3D PDF’s. no drivers needed. almost everyone has a PDF reader that is capable.

you can embed layer info and the like too and turn them off/on as needed if you want to isolate things.

(anon57870006) #6

@Dennis_P what you tell here is our daily practice at work delivering our materials made in SolidWorks to others in PDF.
PDF 3D is not available for smart devices (iPad, etc.) and cannot be made interactive (drag, move, many other).
Wikiforums are working on integrating WebGL viewer to projects, so here can relax and stay behind.
NASA uses blend4web, so why not here?

(Michael K Johnson) #7

It would take getting it into a Discourse plugin. That would be cool, but would be done by someone not-me. :slight_smile:

It might not be terribly hard, even. It would be recognizing another file type and building a viewer component.

I need to get back to my shop, though! :slight_smile:

(anon57870006) #8

Not me either. Hope someone gets inspired by the examples.

(Dennis P) #9


forgive me, I was not trying to discourage it. i think its great.


1 Like
(Claudio Prezzi) #10

It looks like Blend4Web can only work with JSON scene files from Blender. I don’t see a way to directly display something like STL.

(anon57870006) #11

We are not hosting of STL files like youmagine or thingiverse. I do realize people should dedicate some time to make interactive viewer for the machine. This could become better than any manuals.
Just imagine a HercuLien than you can take apart or let move and popup items descriptions.
What I have published here I did not invest any own programming. I opened the SW files of @Eclsnowman inside Modo animation software, exported to FBX and then imported to Blender and saved as blend4web.

I am open to do the same and provide anyone here with FBX of their machines to make online interactive demo.

(Michael K Johnson) #12

I’ve been thinking about this.

@Eclsnowman it might make sense to build a gitlab pages site for each of your designs, and include Blend4Web renderings of each one. It looks like they are just single HTML files that could be included. The file @anon57870006 built here is 85MB which would certainly fit. Thoughts on that?

(anon57870006) #13

Is because FBX format does not respect instances: every mesh is duplicated, every bolt is repeated. One should work a little to replace the meshes in Blender then the file becomes much smaller.
I can do that for you once requested.

(Michael K Johnson) #14

@anon57870006 I was just saying that it would fit into a git repository by file size, which was my first question. Last night I didn’t dare try to render it because I was running the Google+ exporter to do final data extraction, but this morning I tried to render it in Chrome and got “Aw, Snap!” when it failed on a 16GB RAM system.

I’d think that de-duplicating the meshes might make it more likely to render successfully. Hard to know without doing the experiment.

@Eclsnowman when you have time to think about this, I’m willing to help with static web site for the printers, and this would be kind of cool to have there if so. :slight_smile:

(anon57870006) #15

Let’s keep this snapshot of the post as a challenge for us to concur.
What they claim I found extremely complex.

Edit: “Our viewer is built on top of a licensed geometric modeling kernel”

I think it is this one. If we can afford it then we can do similar.

(Ralph Schaffner) #16

@anon57870006 I guess the question is what are you trying to do?

I think having a 3d model editor built into discourse is way beyond what you should expect.

Like @mcdanlj was saying, having your model hosted somewhere else like on github/gitlab after converting it using blend4web so that you could post a link to it and have people click and view it would work for that.

If all you are after is integrating a viewer into discourse, that would be easier and wouldnt require that much work. Most of the web based 3d modeler apps are based on threejs and that can be used directly to display 3d models

Here is an example using threejs to load an stl model.
The example loads multiple models and animates them. threejs supports all the major model formats.

So creating a plugin that allows you to popup a window with the model in it or possibly automatically display all model in a small embedded window (with an option to enable/disable automatic display) would be relatively simple. However, I’m not sure it would be what you are after since you appear to want to be able to manipulate the model which would require more of an editor than a viewer.

1 Like
(Michael K Johnson) #17

@Ralph_Schaffner that’s interesting! It’s even MIT-licensed, so about as permissive as possible.

I see that their forum is a Discourse. I don’t see that they have implemented such a thing, though I haven’t read their whole forum.

Makes me wonder whether that could be integrated into core discourse to display models if the associated file extensions are allowed in an instance.

(anon57870006) #18

I want to have online solution similar to eDrawings where one can view the structure of a machine hiding/displaying its components and looking at explosion views. Nice would be to right-click a component and download it as STL.
I want the people to be able to evaluate the beauty/functionality of a machine online without having to install software.
When I publish on STL hosting it is difficult to guess where in the machine belongs an STL to.

(anon57870006) #19

Here is a new teasing version made with UnrealStudio: left mouse button to move the components of HercuLien, right mouse for them to come to original location. Let me know your experience with it.

1 Like
(anon57870006) #20

I think after you play with it you are convinced to find suitable hosting for such content.
I am in my turn contribute by making such 3D content for anyone who wants - just need a CAD assembly to start with.
UnrealEngine is open source and free for profit below $3000 per quarter, so we can use it and it delivers better quality than blend4web.