The Internets is about to become much more active with 3D viewing of your exported 3D data. has just announced the release of plugins to import your models into the web-based collaboration and CAD-app platform. There are a set of plugins available for SolidWorks, Rhino, Processing and SketchUp along with direct integration of both Dropbox and Box. plugins

This is pretty big. This marks the first, direct 3D software to WebGL import made available to the public. No doubt software vendors are working on it for their own file formats, but the start-ups in the 3D software space are showing how much faster they can move. Sunglass just landed 1.7 Million in funding March 2012, adding developers to help make this functionality happen, and the platform currently supports 44 different file formats. I have no doubt that other web-collab players like TeamPlatform or GrabCAD will be the next to offer plugins that import 3D/CAD data directly to their project collaboration site.

The plugins is a one-button click that pushes your 3D models direct to the Web UI for sharing, commenting and some basic editing. We spoke to Nitin Rao, co-founder of Sunglass yesterday, for an upcoming interview on EngineerVsDesigner, where he explained that minor modification of the 3D files, along with versioning and simultaneous screen-sharing (think Google Docs for 3D) is now also possible.

Here’s one shot of a SketchUp model imported into the Sunglass Web UI.

If you’re a developer and anxious to port your models to Sunglass (or see how they’re doing it) you can join the Sunglass API group here.

Press Release / Click to expand

Sunglass Unveils New API That Integrates with Major CAD Tools And Connects to Storage Capabilities to Fuel Next Generation of 3D Collaboration

The 3D design platform adds direct integration with major desktop software tools SolidWorks, SketchUp, Processing and Rhino

SAN FRANCISCO – (June 28, 2012) – Today Sunglass, the cloud-based ecosystem for democratized sharing, collaboration and creation of 3D content, is announcing an API for direct integration to major computer-aided design (CAD) tools SolidWorks, SketchUp, Processing and Rhino, as well as easy integration from Dropbox and Box storage. These software hooks will simplify collaboration and further drive Sunglass, now officially open to the public, towards creating a massive wave of crowd design.

Software hooks into major CAD players SolidWords, Rhino, SketchUp, Processing and storage utilities Box and Dropbox, powered by the Sunglass API, create a seamless path for importing 3D models from desktop software directly into Sunglass, making it even easier for users to add to projects or initiate new collaborative sessions in the cloud. The API benefits developers too, by giving them a very simple way to create a plugin from any CAD tool directly into the Sunglass Stage.

After installing plugins, users will be able to upload models to Sunglass from within these desktop applications to instantly view, annotate and edit with anyone, anywhere in the world.

“Sunglassss mission is to make 3D design fast, easy and affordable,” says co-founder Nitin Rao. “We’ve seen enormous interest in Sunglass since our launch last month and today’s API is a direct response to the feedback we’ve gotten on what designers want in a next generation collaboration tool. We’re excited to see what you, the designer, build on it.”

Interested developers can find out more about the Sunglass API here:

Create your world through Sunglass:

About Sunglass:
Sunglass is a cloud-based environment that enables designers to collaboratively build the innovative products, structures and cities of the future. Democratizing 3D design, Sunglass gives any designers the ability to turn today’s ideas into tomorrow’s realities. Founded in May 2011, Sunglass is based out of San Francisco.


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.