Through the tenure of my career as the Voxler product manager at Golden Software, I have noticed a reoccurring theme from many Voxler users. Quite often Voxler users ask, "how can I share my Voxler model with other people?" Voxler creates great-looking models, but when it's time to get them into the hands of stakeholders or clients, Voxler users sometimes struggle on how to deliver these great projects. To answer such questions from our user base, I have detailed four different approaches for sharing Voxler projects so that they can be viewed in true 3D. If you are one of these users that is challenged with finding an avenue to share your Voxler models, one of these approaches should work for you.
Solution 1: Using the Free Voxler Trial
The very first approach I am going to discuss in today's blog is simple and easy. You can download the free Voxler trial version as a viewer. Since we distribute the trial version for free, we disable the save, export, and print functionality. This allows the stakeholder to open Voxler project files (VOXBs), rotate them, and turn all of the modules on and off. The project cannot be permanently altered by the stakeholder, which keeps the integrity of the model intact. All you need to do is have the stakeholder download the free trial here, install it, and then send them the VOXB for viewing.
Pro tip: If you are using this approach to show-off your Voxler models but don't want the stakeholder to change any of the parameters of the project, export it to IV format. The IV files can then be imported into the Voxler trial and the user cannot change any of the settings. This ensures that the project remains intact and unchanged. This works great for all modules except the VolRender, OrthoImage, and ObliqueImage.
The second solution I am offering today probably won't cover everyone, but is a great solution if you want to share a portion of your project. Voxler can export all modules that contain geometry (all modules except the VolRender, OrthoImage, or ObliqueImage) individually to 3D DXF. The exported 3D DXFs will contain the same colors and shapes seen in the Voxler Viewer window. The resulting 3D DXF can then be imported into a wide range of applications that support 3D DXF, such as AutoCAD, TurboCAD, and Global Mapper to name a few. The only drawback to using this solution is modules are exported individually, so numerous exports are need to be performed to get all of the information out of a Voxler project. This can be a little time-consuming.
The third solution is my favorite one as it creates the best looking output in my opinion. This solution is to export your Voxler project to IV format and use PDF3D's ReportGen to create a 3D PDF. 3D PDF is a really cool technology that wows your stakeholders, clients, and managers. 3D PDF allows you to rotate your project in full 3D, turn layers on and off, and to be sliced from any direction. PDF3D has optimized a version of their application to support Voxler models exported to IV format, where converting a Voxler model to 3D PDF is quick and painless. The resulting 3D PDFs are small in size, so you can easily email to your clients. They also have a ton of capability built into the PDF, such as turning the layers off/on and full 3D rotation. The major drawback of this solution is the PDF3D is not free; see their website for more details.
Solution 4: Displaying Voxler IV Files on Sketchfab.com
For those of you that work well with online environments, you can export your Voxler project to IV format and then upload the IV file to Sketchfab.com to display and share with clients. Sketchfab is an online site that hosts various 3D model types and file formats. Posting an interactive 3D version of your Voxler model on Sketchfab is painless. You simply create an account, upload the IV file, allow it to render, and then you can view online. A nice benefit to using this approach is that you can share them in a number of different ways including embedding them on your website, Facebook page, and in blog articles.
If you need to share your Voxler project with stakeholders or clients, one of the approaches I mentioned above should work for you. if you know of other approaches that I did not address, please share them with me by emailing me at Drew@goldensoftware.com.