hold.that.thought. Blog


The Online 3D Model Viewer that Makes Your Life Easier: 5 Features to Simplify Your Workflow

What if you could access and view your 3D Model files on any device, wherever you are?

How about the ability to analyze and measure your 3D Models right in your web browser without installing any software, or a feature which allows you to share a public link so others can view a 3D Model without logging in or installing software?

Good news: we've built all of this into the user account framework at Hollywood 3D Printing.

When you create a free user account at Hollywood 3D Printing, you gain access to our powerful web-based 3D Model viewer software, which supports all the major file types used for 3D Printing.

By uploading your 3D Model files to your private account library, you can access them on any device and move seamlessly into ordering 3D Prints online using the automatic quoting system included with your account.

Your Personal 3D Model Library

The 3D Model library section of your user account dashboard is where you can upload and store your 3D Model files.

To add files to your library, just drag + drop your files over the upload icon, and click "Save To Library" once the files have finished uploading.

Your 3D Models are stored securely in the cloud, and only accessible from your user account dashboard.

Launching the 3D Model Viewer

To launch the 3D Model viewer, click the blue "eye" icon next to the filename of the 3D Model you want to view. This will open a new 3D viewer window, and you'll see a message displayed while your model loads into the viewer software.

Once you have your 3D Model loaded in the viewer, you can take advantage of several useful features to analyze your models and simplify your 3D workflow.

Feature 1: Measuring Your 3D Model

While it's useful to know the overall bounding box XYZ dimensions of your model, sometimes it is important to be able to specify point-to-point measurements on your models.

Clicking the Ruler icon in the bottom toolbar of the 3D viewer activates the point-to-point measurement tool. Simply locate and click the point on the surface of your model where you want to start your measurement, and then click the point on your model where you want to measure to. Once you click this second point, a line connecting these points will appear with a measurement showing the distance between these two points.

When using the point-to-point measuring tool, you're free to zoom and pan around your model to locate measurement points without resetting the measurements. You can take as many measurements as you want, one after another, and they will stay in place.

To delete a measurement, simply click the numerical value, and then click the Trash icon. The selected measurement will be removed from view. When you're done with measuring your 3D model, click the Done button and all measurements will disappear. If you want to see your measurements again, just click the Ruler icon and they will reappear on the surface of your model.

Feature 2: Taking Angle Measurements

Taking an angle measurement requires choosing three points on the surface of your model. This defines two lines on your model, and the viewer software will show you the angle between these two lines.

To activate angle measurement, first click the Ruler icon in the 3D Viewer toolbar. This activates the model analysis mode, and an Angle icon will appear. Click the Angle icon to begin selecting your three measurement points.

Similar to the point-to-point measurement tool, you can take multiple angle measurements, select and delete angle measurements, and hide/show your angle measurements by clicking the Done button, or re-activating analysis mode by clicking the Ruler icon in the bottom toolbar of the 3D viewer window.

Feature 3: Snapshot Tool

The snapshot tool lets you quickly take a screenshot of whatever is shown in the 3D viewer window.

To download a snapshot image, just set up your viewer window to your desired configuration, and click the Camera icon in the 3D viewer bottom toolbar. An image will automatically download to your device.

Feature 4: Cross-Section Analysis

Using cross-section analysis is a great way to view internal details on your 3D Models which aren't visible from the outer surfaces. You can see inside your model by sliding the cross-section plane through your model, starting from any planar angle.

To activate cross-section analysis, click the Plane icon in the 3D viewer bottom toolbar. Hover over your model to change the rotation angle of the slicing plane, and to slide the plane back and forth through your model along this planar axis.

Combining this cross-sectional analysis feature with the snapshot tool is a great way to get straight-on orthogonal views of different parts of your model, for further analysis or shape outline creation.

Feature 5: Sharing a Public 3D Viewer Link

Your 3D Model library gives you the ability to share a public link to a single 3D Model in your library, enabling others to view that 3D Model in their browser, without logging in or downloading any software.

The public viewer link feature allows you to quickly and easily collaborate with others, without having to share your actual 3D Model file assets with anybody, or walk someone through the process of installing and using a 3D viewer application.

You can generate a public viewer link for any model in your 3D Model library -- just click the Link icon for the model you want to share, and a window will pop up with a button to automatically copy the link to your clipboard.

When someone clicks the link, the model will load in their browser, but they won't be able to download the model or see any of the other files in your 3D Model library.


Get Inspired

Browse through hundreds of examples of our 3D printing, 3D design, and custom fabricated builds.