Category Archives: Product Design

Sketchfab: Display Your 3D Drawings in a Browser for Anyone to See from Any Angle

I just learned about Sketchfab, an online service that makes it possible to present in a Web browser the 3D models that you’ve created.  Sketchfab allows up to 10 drawings to be posted for free.  Their paid services are very reasonably priced and should be great for architects and engineers to easily show 3D views of their designs to clients.  I’ve done some drawings in Sketchup over the last several years.*  Here is a drawing that I did when I was serving as a County Commissioner and we were doing the planning for a major building renovation project.  After clicking on it, you’ll have to wait while the drawing and the Sketchfab viewer load.

*  The information for Sketchfab says that they can display Sketchup files, so I first tried to directly upload a Sketchup file (which is what the documentation implied you could do), but it didn’t work.  Sketchfab couldn’t read a file with the Sketchup file extension.  Further searching in the documentation turned up a page that says they have a plugin for Sketchup.  This turned out to be the best way to get a drawing into Sketchfab.  As an aside, Sketchup can export to a .dae file, and Sketchfab can read this format, so I had tried this, but it didn’t upload the textures.  If you export to .dae from Sketchup, you’ll see that you get a .dae file and a separate folder with your textures.  The textures weren’t uploaded when the direct .dae upload DID work, and when I tried uploading a larger file, the .dae upload didn’t even work – it just hung when it was nearly complete.

Embarcadero XE2 Rollout

Yesterday I attended the Embarcadero XE2 conference in Arlington, Virginia.  I’m still trying to determine if it would be worthwhile to upgrade from Delphi 2006.  I really like the LiveBindings implementation and FireMonkey, but I didn’t hear a single reference to MVC.  I also asked if they have the capability to define the object model and then migrate it into a database schema automatically as you can do with Django/Python, and the answer was No.  If they would implement this easy database creation functionality that is available via Django, as well as Better GUI Separation and Abstraction , i.e. MVC, then the upgrade decision would be easy.