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Web application that can automate the process of converting .DWG or .DAE (Collada) 3D Models uploads in a 3D flash file

Posted on 2007-11-29
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Hi,

I'm looking for a web application (any language)  that can accept .DWG (AutoCAD) or .DAE (Collada) 3D models via a web upload form and then creates a 3D flash file that anybody could view.

The flash file should look something like this but without the video, sound and textures: http://langleycreations.com/andrew/blog/?p=49 (click on the PDA once this page loads)

Maybe something that would use PaperVision3D, Away3D or Sandy3D in the background to process the 3D models.. but I can't find anything one..

open-source would be better but is not required.

Thanks, Alex
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Question by:Wod
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23 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Rob
ID: 20487953
I would be looking for a program that can export to a common file format.  If you have autocad on the webserver you can use use PHP to be able to control autocad to export it to a format like XML and you could use with PaperVision3D etc.  Do the file necessarily need to be in DWG or DAE format?  Can you have the user save the design first as a pdf or other common vector graphic format?
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Author Comment

by:Wod
ID: 20489422
Thanks for your response tagit

the server would be Linux so it can't have AutoCAD installed (sorry I didn't mention this before)..

the reason I want the input files to be DWG or DAE is that most CAD programs can export to either one of them (DXF would be good too)..

the output files doesn't need to be flash, I just don't want the user to have to install a custom plugin. It could also be java3D or javascript or maybe even something else but I'd prefer not use Acrobat3D because it isn't free.

I don't think AutoCAD can export to SVG or PDF3D.. I'm not sure about other CAD softwares.

What I want is to automatically transform the input file (DXF, DWG or DAE) to something like the example shown above.





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Expert Comment

by:Rob
ID: 20489603
I'll still investigate this as it is an interesting challenge ;) but have you contacted www.autodesk.com directly for any help with this?
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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:Rob
ID: 20489621
I've found some info you might be interested in:

DXF file fomat http://images.autodesk.com/adsk/files/acad_dxf0.pdf  This would be useful if you went down the track of creating your own application.  You could write a program in virtually any language (I would use PHP) to convert DXF to XML that could be read by Flash.

The Toolkit provides an API that is cross platform compatible: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=823771

Some discussion and potentially a good place to ask this question
Forum: http://discussion.autodesk.com/forum.jspa?forumID=114
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Expert Comment

by:Rob
ID: 20489622
Would you have a sample DXF file for me to look at (I don't have autocad...)
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Expert Comment

by:Rob
ID: 20489647
Don't worry about the sample its a text file as I first though that is described by the pdf i've posted above.  You should be able to write a (PHP) script that would convert a DXF to XML
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Expert Comment

by:Rob
ID: 20489667
There is this as well: http://filebox.vt.edu/~cbergstr/s4w/man/dxf2xml.1.html

There is source code available and can be compiled to run on linux but I haven't tested it  but you could adapt how it converts from DXF to XML
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by:Wod
ID: 20489822
no I haven't contacted Autodesk but I doubt they are willing to help
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Author Comment

by:Wod
ID: 20489886
I don't have time right now to code something to do this..

DXF2XML could be useful but it is an incomplete solution.. how would I display an XML on the web as a 3D object using a common plugin?

I don't think X3D is very common..

here is a sample dxf: http://tinyload.com/wqnhQV 
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Expert Comment

by:Rob
ID: 20489929
First thing that comes to mind is PaperVision3D and flash.  Flash is able to read the generated XML and create the 3D object using the PaperVision3D component.

I guess you could skip the xml part and have Flash read and parse the DXF file based on the specs in that pdf I posted above.

what do you think?
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Author Comment

by:Wod
ID: 20490107
I think importing an XML in papervision3D would require coding.. I dont think it supports 3D XML or DXF files.. probably lots of coding too... unless I missed something?



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Expert Comment

by:Rob
ID: 20490170
no haven't missed anything :) unfortunately you might have to code this one to some extent...  I would try to get that DXF2XML compiled and working as XML is easy for flash to parse.  if you not getting anywhere fast, then switch to flash to parse the DXF.  I can't see any other options.  What is your time frame for getting this up and running?
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Author Comment

by:Wod
ID: 20490254
I don't really have a time frame, but the soonest the better;)

it's hard to believe there haven't been anything like this done before, even though I have searched alot on google and didn't find it either.

maybe I could just do something similar to this: http://www.javascript-fx.com/experiments/ani_rollovers/demo1.html but I'm afraid all those images will make a large download especially if I would rotate around all 3 axis
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Expert Comment

by:Rob
ID: 20490308
Ok i think i've found something!

Would you be happy with a web plugin that would allow you to see a DWF file?

http://www.cdcd.vt.edu/whip.html & http://www.cdcd.vt.edu/DwfViewerSetup.exe
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Expert Comment

by:Rob
ID: 20490320
Here's a demo once you've got WHIP! installed: http://198.169.132.89/stn2.html
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by:Rob
ID: 20490365
Latest version of WHIP called "Autodesk DWF Viewer"
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=2404513

It installs a plug in for internet explorer that allows the user to view DWF files
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Expert Comment

by:Rob
ID: 20490375
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Author Comment

by:Wod
ID: 20493095
The problem with the DWF viewer is that most people don't have it installed and it's a 40mb download... and it's only for DWF.. some applications, like Blender can't export to DWF..

I would like something more common like Flash or Java... and a viewer for DWG, DXF or Collada files (DAE)..

Thank you for your suggestions though.. if I don't get a better solution soon, I will accept yours.
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by:Rob
ID: 20496853
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Accepted Solution

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Rob earned 500 total points
ID: 20496859
sorry here is the web applet java version: http://www.escape.de/~quincunx/dxfviewer/index.html
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Author Closing Comment

by:Wod
ID: 31411819
thanks for your help
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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:Rob
ID: 20497153
No Problem, do you think any of it will be useful?  I might end up writing a flash component for DXF files, seems there might be a market for it
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Author Comment

by:Wod
ID: 20497435
Yes I think it will be useful.

It would be nice to have a shaded solid but wire frame will work for now.
It can display different layers independently, so that's good.

Yes I think there could be a market for it too.. because there is no easy way to do it in flash right now.. they all require some programming.

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