WebGL-Publisher is used for publishing geometric data in a 3D environment for the Web.
It uses the WebGL-Standard which is supported by various browsers on different platforms and operating systems.
WebGL-Publisher can import different geometry formats.
This geometry can be modified in its appearance by changing colors or transparency, adding textures or applying pre-defined shaders to it.
Afterwards the geometry can be exported into a html representation and published in the Web without additional costs.
WebGL-Publisher is based the core libraries of CADMAI (which is a relational 3D CAD system).
Although it includes the complete functionality of a 3D CAD system, it hides the complexity of CAD from the user and thus is very easy to use.
An export to the web representation for example can be performed with only 3 mouse clicks.
WebGL-Publisher can be used under Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 and is available as an online download only.
To publish 3D data to the Web the following steps must be performed:
- Import the geometric data into the WebGL-Publisher application
- Apply color/texture/shaders/urls to the geometry
- Optionally save it to a WebGL-Publisher project file
- Export it into the WebGL-Publisher format
The user must define a target directory where the export should be written to.
The export itself creates a wpm file (WebGL-Publisher Model) and a html file which displays the exported model.
The generated html file can then be opened directly in a WebGL enabled browser.
To publish the model in the Web, the content of the target directory must just be copied to a web site.
WebGL-Publisher writes the geometric information into an own model format with the extension wpm (WebGL-Publisher Model).
The reasons for defining an own model format are:
- The format is optimized for an Internet environment and is based on JSON notation
- The format has its focus on reducing the data size but keeping the readability
- The format supports not only plain 3D data but also
- Lines in 2D/3D space with different line styles
- Arcs in 2D/3D space with different line styles
- Crosshatches in 2D/3D space with different line styles
- Text and Labels in 2D/3D space with different fonts
- Dimensions (linear, angular and radial) in 2D/3D space with different fonts
- 3D geometry with individual color/texture/shader options
- Assembly structures incl. referenced components (must be loaded only once)
There are numerous cloud based solutions to display models via WebGL in web browsers.
In doing so the native models are uploaded into a portal and are converted by a remote server. The generated output is publisher under a specific URL from the provider.
The following aspects illustrate the benefits of WebGL-Publisher compared to these solutions.
- Control of the native models
Using WebGL-Publisher the original models do not have to be uploaded via internet.
This protects the intellectual property and the know-how of the creator because no design ideas are given away.
In addition to that it is secure that the native data are not passed to someone unknown.
- There is no idle time for an upload
The conversion into the WebGL-Format can be influenced directly at the point of creation.
No model changes must be added, uploaded to the hoster and checked in a try and error process.
- Control of the infrastructure
There is no dependency to the external hoster who stores and displays the models.
This covers amongst others the running costs and the availability of the servers
If for example an already published model should be changed or deleted no contact to the external hoster is necessary.
WebGL-Publisher makes the html files, the model file and the necessary infrastructure locally available for free access.
These data can be e.g.
- used for a specific or an own cloud solution
- used for internal access only (Intranet)
- used in combination with other web solutions (web shops or social networks)
- simply published at any web site.
- Control of the design
- The models can preprocess with WebGL-Publisher defining colors, textures or shader based rendering
- Links to other web pages can be defined within a 3D model
The generated html page is only a sample and can be modified in any order.
Doing so the models can be displayed in existing html pages and be adapted to the design of these pages.
Even an individual handling for special end devices can be defined e.g. for displaying a specific image instead of the 3D model
In case of handling 3D data, a computer should have a reasonable configuration of processor power, RAM and graphics.
An additional performance influence is the size of the models which should be handled.
So it is hard to say which are the minimum requirements for using WebGL-Publisher but we have tested it on a 12 inch low end laptop with a small assembly (42 components) and it worked satisfyingly.
This laptop had the following configuration:
- Single Core with 1.4 GHz
- 2GB RAM
- Intel onboard graphics
- 32 bit Windows 7 operating system
Although WebGL-Publisher can handle touch input a three button mouse (with a mouse wheel) and a keyboard is strongly recommended.
Without a registration the software is restricted in the following way:
- The export is canceled after an error message
- The text "unregistered" is displayed in the background of the graphic window
After the software is licensed the background text can be set individually and the software can be used without restrictions.
If you want to publish WebGL-Publisher models for others, each possessor of the web site where the model is published must hold a valid WebGL-Publisher license.
Since WebGL-Publisher should be usable for everyone we have set the prize range for a license to around 30 Euro incl. VAT.
The following import formats are supported by WebGL-Publisher:
- DXF geometry (lines, arcs)
- Wavefront (.obj)
- 3D Studio (.3ds)
- STL (.stl)
- CADMAI CAD models (.cmi)
The exported data can be displayed with WebGL enabled internet browsers under different operating systems.
The support of WebGL varies from browser to browser.
The WebGL-Publisher export was tested with the following constellations:
- Google Chrome under Windows
- Firefox under Windows
- Opera 12.12 under Windows
- Internet Explorer 10 with IEWebGL under Windows
- Firefox under Linux
- Safari under MAC OS
- Safari under iOS 8 (iPhone®/iPad®)
- Opera Mobile under Android
- Firefox under Android
For some browsers WebGL must be activated explicitly.
Please find more information here