eachTick Leverages CAD Exchanger to Import Users’ Data into Unity-Based Virtofy
Virtofy is a virtual presentation system. You can create and present interactive tours around places and products with the Virtofy in-app editor or the Virtofy Unity 3D plugin. Use cases include prototyping and product configurators, showcasing real estate and travel destinations, virtual training and education.
Presentations are kept in sync in the Virtofy Cloud and can be shared with partners and customers. It allows collaboration and interaction of multiple users, whether it is viewed in VR, on a laptop, desktop, or mobile device.
Industry: AR/VR software development for numerous industrial cases
Number of employees: <10
Location: Cologne, Germany
Tech stack: CAD Exchanger SDK, CadExUnity module, Unity
Real-time 3D goes way beyond entertainment. Photorealistic visualization plays a greater role in industrial use cases, which call for high-performance processing, multi-device application, and usability.
Virtofy is required to read customers’ data: 3D or 2D, flat, stereoscopic, or 360° panoramic data, images, videos, or audio files. And not just import it, but also automatically optimize for all devices. Users should be able to proceed with creating their presentations immediately without having to worry about technical details.
Unity engine claims to power up to 60% of all AR/VR content. But notwithstanding its stability and flexibility, there are certain challenges for developers while building their applications on top of Unity:
- There is no runtime import of models, only within the edit mode.
- Unity engine supports only few selected formats (fbx, obj, dae, 3ds).
- Unity is geared for polygonal representation (meshes).
- Not all plugins are high quality. To select, test and finally integrate an appropriate option is a time-consuming process.
“CAD Exchanger does a truly marvelous job of run-time importing CAD data into Unity and therefore allows us to focus our resources on making Virtofy the best app it can be.”
eachTick considered two options: either to develop a custom import solution or to find a fast and reliable importer that can handle many file formats used throughout the various target industries. Having assessed the complexity and time requirements, an external supplier was the only option. So eachTick has arranged an intensive research of available solutions on the market.
That thorough research resulted in the only viable option that would fit a few business-critical constraints:
- Support most formats including both precise B-Reps and polygonal meshes.
- Technical licensing mechanism (no per-seat node-locks).
- Reasonable SDK pricing to achieve an affordable end-user price tag.
The choice was CAD Exchanger SDK, which supports 20+ CAD formats and can be integrated into the Unity engine with its CadExUnity module.
“CAD Exchanger SDK has a clear API, and we enjoy working with it. We never had such a great experience with a third-party component before.”
CAD Exchanger SDK together with its Unity add-on (CadExUnity module) was integrated into Virtofy platform to import and convert users’ models into Unity objects. Then, it is optimized to screen out the parameters necessary for Virtofy and to display the result fast. Both SDK and the CadExUnity module provide direct C# API access and are built with a strong focus on performance. Both have been tested on thousands of 3D models. This combination provides the following benefits:
- The Unity-based Virtofy application can import all SDK formats (20+) in runtime.
- All supported data — mesh and B-Rep, colors, materials and textures, and even PMI — can be imported into Unity scenes.
- Data can be imported during application runtime without having to go through any preparatory stage.
- Access to all SDK features, including user-controlled mesh generation, model measurement and exploration, mesh decimation from within Unity.
Thanks to clear and streamlined API and detailed documentation, integrating CAD Exchanger into Virtofy took about a month and eachTick can focus solely on the domain-specific functionality.
André Weinhold, CEO of eachTick GmbH, underlines the following advantages of CAD Exchanger SDK solution adoption:
- Clear API. Well-structured API with online documentation and examples enables really fast and easy integration.
- Fast and reliable support. During the testing period, the eachTick team had multiple questions, which were quickly solved by the friendly and professional support of CAD Exchanger.
- Consistent performance. Thanks to a smooth work of SDK, the eachTick team doesn’t have to worry about data import and can focus their resources on improving Virtofy key features.
“The support was always friendly and willing to help besides being very quick to respond. Although CAD Exchanger is a third party, it felt as if they were in the office next to ours.”