OT-Slightly CAD and html

Does anyone know how to incorporate a 3D CAD drawing into an html page so that the visitor can rotate the drawing? (one that doesn't require the visitor to install a plugin would be ideal).
Thanks.
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wrote:

I think that is called VRML...I think.
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OK. I think that's got me on the right track! Thanks. (I googled vmrl and turbocad)
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For others that are interested, your VRML led me to this helpful link:
http://www.cadinfo.net/editorial/tcadWeb.htm
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On Fri, 20 Nov 2009 14:32:00 -0800 (PST), GarageWoodworks

The easiest way I can think of is to great a .gif file out of the 3D Cad image and then rotate it. The image should rotate when moused over.
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On Nov 20, 7:26pm, snipped-for-privacy@teksavvy.com wrote:

I'm not sure I'm following you here. Can you elaborate a little please?
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On Fri, 20 Nov 2009 16:32:47 -0800 (PST), GarageWoodworks

Motion can be incorporated into .gif files but can't with .jpg for example.
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On Fri, 20 Nov 2009 16:32:47 -0800 (PST), GarageWoodworks

He is saying use an "animated GIF". An animated GIF is a series of images stored in a single file. It would be an automatically displayed "mini-movie". You would need some software to create the series of images and store it into the GIF file.
The GIF would "play" when displayed on the web page and the viewer would have no control over what 3D views they wanted to display. It would just cycle through the images in the file and then start over.
One thing you haven't described is how complex a drawing you have. I would imagine an animated GIF might work for something relatively simple. But something larger, like a house plan, probably won't have the detail you want.
When I used to work for a Dept. of Transportation, we would create maps that covered a large area at fine detail. We used CAD software, of course. When someone tried to render one of those into a graphic format based on pixels, such as a GIF, the result was so blocky as to be unuseable. A reasonable image in a raster format would have been hundreds of megabytes or more. An that is just 2D.
The "VRML" option suggested by others replaces the concept of pixels with geometric constructs such as lines, arcs, etc, just as a CAD program would use. However the viewer software (web browser) needs to understand how to render that image to the screen as pixels.
There are a variety of such "vector" formats and VRML is probably the most widespread for web. There is a newer format for web called X3D that is also out there. There are plenty of other options, such as plug-ins that allow you to display CAD files directly.
Web browsers, so far as I know, don't have any vector capability built in. So you would need a plug in for any of those options.
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PDF can handle 3D now but getting a publishing tools is a bit difficult. MicroStation is the only program I know that does it directly and it is a bit of a hack. There are a few products that do require a plugin (VRML will probably need one also) but some of them are "almost" automatic an the user barely knows they are getting a plugin, sorta like flash.
Most of the solutions are fairly commercial grade so might cost a bit and require some level of work to get stuff published.
Check out SpinFire from Actify. I used to work there and used to have 3D models posted to my website using their stuff. They mostly focus on a standalone viewer but it also supports a web embedded version.
You can try the first example on this page, it takes a few secs to load plugin but then you get some free spinning 3D and links to 2D drawings (a feature I spec'd out) ;^) http://www.actify.com/v2/products/SDK/webshowcase.htm #
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Thanks for the link. I will check that out. I noticed that Google Sketch Up has a publish to web plugin that is very limited in user interactivity. I've tried sketch up and I find it very unuser friendly. Having to learn Sketchup just to publish to the web (after learning turbocad) is more than I can stomach...
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Thanks for the link. I will check that out. I noticed that Google Sketch Up has a publish to web plugin that is very limited in user interactivity. I've tried sketch up and I find it very unuser friendly. Having to learn Sketchup just to publish to the web (after learning turbocad) is more than I can stomach...
The trick to Sketchup is that you have to install it and uninstall it 2 times. Then install a third time and every thing seems to fall into place. That is how it worked for me and IIRC Swingman. ;!)
It is different and you have to learn to think differently but it is stupid simple and it can do 98% of what most CAD programs can do with 90% fewer tools. I was an AutoCAD LT user/fan for about 12 years and a CAD user since 1986. Now I only use Sketchup.
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On Fri, 20 Nov 2009 15:57:19 -0800 (PST), "SonomaProducts.com"

Amazing! Someone besides me who knows about MicroStation.
Got to say I doubt GarageWoodworks wants to spend $5000 for a software package.
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