SOLIDWORKS Extended Reality (XR) is a recent method to publish your 3D CAD data in an open standard file format available with SOLIDWORKS 2019 and later. The XR exporter retains important scene data created within SOLIDWORKS including Geometry & Scene Hierarchy, Appearances/Materials and textures/Decals, Lights and Cameras, Exploded and Motion Study Animations, among others.
Though SOLIDWORKS XR has been out for a couple of years, there has been a lack of readily available tools that allow design, marketing & service teams to leverage the true power of the data. The need to develop custom applications using gaming engines like Unity or Unreal requires designers to learn new tools and get distracted from areas of their core expertise. As verbalized by a SOLIDWORKS designer at the recent 3D Experience World conference, “Is there a way for me to click a button to export my model directly from SOLIDWORKS & bring in my teammates and customers for joint reviews, such that everyone is able to view & interact with the data independently? If the collaborators can support immersive visualization using VR/AR, that would be magical!”. Well, turns out that with Exxar, we ended up doing just that, and a little more…
VIRTUAL 3D MEETINGS
Virtual 3D Meeting solutions provide a cost-effective way to reduce the need for physical meetings using following features that are not possible with traditional Video conferencing solutions:
- selecting a meeting environment like factory, showroom, training center
- importing 3D model directly from a secure cloud server
- multi-user voice communication & interactions with objects in real-time
- 1:1 scale immersive visualization using VR/AR/MR headsets or mobile phones
When combined with 3D Meeting solutions like Exxar, the true value of SOLIDWORKS XR data is unlocked allowing you to:
- Improve collaborative internal and external design reviews
- Sell your designs more effectively with immersive experiences
- Train users how to assemble and/or interact with your products immersively
- Increase design confidence throughout the product development process
The following video shows how to go from Solidworks XR to a 3D Meeting in under a minute.
Here are the 3 steps that you need to do to get from Solidworks to 3D Meetings:
Step 1: Export your Solidworks model using the XR Exporter plugin
Step 2: Publish the zipped GLTF to the cloud
Step 3: Host a 3D meeting & invite collaborators
- Launch Exxar
- Login using your exxar.cloud credentials. On VR, you can use the onscreen keyboard to perform the same operations.
- Click on New meeting
- Based on your exxar.cloud login, you will see your unique meeting ID. You can choose a PIN number of your choice or leave the Random PIN generated by Exxar. This is very similar to the Zoom way of hosting/joining meetings.
- Once in your cool interactive 3D meeting environment, you can select an environment of your choice
I really love the Farm background for my excavator model. Note that this model requires a decent graphics processing power so I recommend you to select this only if you have a dedicated nVidia GPU.
- Select the Stream to see the data on your screen
- The model appears inside the interactive 3D meeting environment in all its glory! Tada…
- Share your meeting ID & PIN with other collaborators to join your meeting!
Inside the meeting, you can move around the scene and the object and use various 3D meeting tools to perform interactive design reviews, showcase your designs to customers or train others on the product assembly or maintenance operations.
Note that all the operations and features in Exxar Huddle are available as a single user also. The only restriction is that you still need to host a meeting in order to activate all the user controls. If you love the features and experience of Huddle and want to use it in standalone mode, contact us and we can work something out. Or, if your organization prohibits cloud tools and you would like to have an on-premise deployment, let us know.
3D & Immersive Visualization industry veteran, Author of multiple IEEE research papers, Technology consultant, Trainer & Speaker