You know we can’t pass up a reference to embedding things into skulls, especially 3D. You could stab your eyes or computer screen with 3D data, but what it really takes to get 3D on the web is getting into that heinous web code.

Deelip Menezes-obertron 9 touches on that with a couple posts on the topic. Not too gory, except that he reveals a lot about how difficult it can be to embed 3D. We’ve talked about how to embed 3DVia objects on your website (and how developers should avoid using iframe – and closed formats for that matter.) Here’s my suggestions in order of ease of use.

Top 3 Ways to embed 3D

All you have to do is save an eDrawing as HTML. It requires ActiveX control – meaning, the EdrawingView module to view and is only viewable in… prepare yourself… Internet Explorer 5.5 and up.
Example: eDrawing file embedded in HTML (IE 5.5 and up only)

To embed 3D PDF’s into a Wordpress blog post you can, as Deelip points out, use a plugin (EmbedObject) or for any blog engine or webpage simply use the code:
< embed src="" width="550" height="550" >< /embed>
(Note: Remove the space right after the opening tags)

Requires 3DVia Player, but is ‘easily’ embedded using the iframe tag. Best way to go about embedding a model is to upload a it to 3DVia, copy the code from the model’s page and paste it into your webpage.

Embedding ‘3D’ into your skull

For maximum skull penetration, gather people in a room and lay the print of the model on the floor below you. Then, lean a little to the left, twist your neck to the right and shout, “MY EARS ARE BLEEDING!!!!!” Then collapse so your head hits the paper.

Other 3D files you can embed

Google SketchUp WebExporter – Export HTML to view the Sketchup model on a webpage.
Flash – Viewed with common Flash Player plugin. Can ported out to web via apps like Swift3D
QuickTime VR – This uses the Quicktime player to embed 360° panoramas of models.
O3D – Open 3D Web standard viewer. Works with the open COLLADA format.
Hyperview – From Altair, 3DContentCentral displays an eDrawing view using HyperView.
Cortona3D – VRML Viewing. Also uses ActiveX control.

The Best?

I’m actually frustrated that these are the best ways to embed 3D we’ve got so far. I hope you have some other ideas on getting your 3D designs on the web. I’d love to know. All of these (currently) require plug-ins and a browser that support them. Most of the methods above are going to work best for SolidWorks users who can easily create eDrawings and 3D PDF’s from a model. I hope, at some point, there’s a retreat from the plug-in mentality. It’s starting with O3D (which currently requires a plugin) but with HTML5 on the move, there’s huge potential for upconverting existing data. For instance, it highly possible that 3D XML could convert to XHTML (using XSTL?) and in turn be converted to HTML5 depending on how strict the developer is sticking to their mark-up.

So, I think we’re almost there, it’s just going to take some skull crackin’ and some code playin’ to get it all sorted. Then, it’ll just be drag n’ drop… right?

image via Maarteen Baas


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.