Using online 3D CAD models for layout planning?

online supplier of 3d cad models for layout planning

You are currently planning a factory in 3D and you are still missing a suitable 3D CAD model? There are numerous providers on the Internet with a wide variety of content. Sometimes you can even find free downloadable 3D CAD models. But what about the usability in layout planning with regard to the following selection criteria?

  • format
  • file size
  • license model
  • cost

Following you will find a list of providers as well as an explanatory video about the topic.

How to get 3D CAD models from the Internet

1. search for a 3D CAD model

You already know what you are looking for but you are not sure which providers are available on the Internet? Following is a list of some available platforms:

(This list will be updated and extended with further information in the future. Status: 03.05.2021)

Either you already come across one of these providers via a Google search for your specific model or you can use the search masks of the providers. Each platform is geared towards different 3D models and formats Partially, these are also dependent on the active community, especially authors of models. In any case, plan some extra time for the search. Also, don’t expect perfect matches for your search queries. Maybe a very similar model (type representative) will help you first in your planning.

2. purchase or free download of 3D CAD models

Depending on the platform, you will only receive free models, paid models, or a mix of both. Before you buy a model, pay attention to the file format. Can you import the model into your design system? Also, look for free demo models on the platform to test one the import in advance.

The file size is also important. Take a look at the download information. For example, if the file size for a simple tool cabinet is already 50 MBytes, the 3D CAD model may be too complex for your application.

For legal protection, it is always advisable to read the license conditions for the use of the models. Especially in the case of models offered free of charge, there is sometimes exclusion of commercial use or only with the explicit release by the author himself.

3. import into the planning software

You have a file in the appropriate file format and can now import the model into your planning software. This is also the moment when you can really see whether the effort for research and possible costs were worth it. Is the model perhaps tilted and needs to be realigned? Are the colors imported as shown in the preview image on the platform? Is the scaling correct? At this point, use different file formats to download if available from the provider. A best practice workflow can then be derived from this.

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Dr. Andreas Krauß

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