3D ModelingAM SoftwareProduct Launch

New MASSIVE by Sketchfab enables visualization of massive 3D files

Massive initiative for storing large 3D data sets launches in 2019

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As part of an ongoing initiative to bring any and all 3D content to the web, French 3D file repository Sketchfab is introducing the Alpha version of its new MASSIVE by Sketchfab system for large size 3D files.

The new software,  which is being unveiled at the SIGGRAPH Festival in Toronto, is scheduled to launch in 2019. It is the result of a “massive” initiative undertaken in collaborations with Iconem, a startup that specializes in the 3D digitization of endangered cultural heritage sites, and CNRS, a department of the French government.

Last year Sketchfab began teasing its new ability to support much larger data sets with its embeddable 3D viewer. For example, in the scanned photogrammetry data from the Dordogne river region in France by Sketchfab community member Gerpho (click on the image below to view the 3D file), you can use the Sketchfab player to zoom in and out of an area that comprises 80 million triangles and 40 million vertices.

MASSIVE by Sketchfab

MASSIVE by Sketchfab uses a combination of data streaming and automated Level of Detail (LOD) mesh processing to make it possible to browse much larger 3D models in a browser.

The system currently supports OBJ and PLY datasets and theoretically, there is no size limit on the data it can display. In practice, though, Sketchfab will be working with users to determine suitable parameters appropriate for upload and maintenance.

Sketchfab’s MASSIVE technology can handle any appropriate 3D data set, so it’s not limited to map data. Below is an example of streaming in greater fidelity at an archaeological site by 3DFlow (click on the image to see the 3D file).

MASSIVE by Sketchfab

The Sketchfab team is working on optimized texture support that will make for a much smoother and more detailed experience. They are also continuing to work on optimizing MASSIVE for mobile and low-powered devices and slower connection speeds. If the above examples do not play smoothly, you can watch a video of the same scene below.


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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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