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Maybe you’re a manufacturer with a bunch of amazing products. Meaning you have great product stories to tell. Considering some sort of 3D experience to educate and engage your customers? An augmented or virtual reality experience? Or something on your website, like a product configurator.

Why not? We have reached a point where the technology is available. Companies are using 3D experiences across their Enterprise to increase their bottom line. Opportunities exist in product marketing, sales, service and training.


You might be wondering where to start. If so, read The Ultimate Guide to Your Products in 3D on the Web for more information on how to get your products online in 3D. We detail a number of options for creating 3D visuals for your products. One of these options is using CAD data. The good news is that you’re a manufacturer, so you likely have CAD. Hooray! The bad news is that CAD data is not easily translated for use in 3D Web, AR, or VR. CAD data is NURBS based, while these 3D experiences require polygonal 3D models. CAD is also very dense and cannot be rendered at the required 60-120 frames per second.


As a result, most companies rely on retopology to manually create 3D visuals from their CAD data. This means creating a 3D model from scratch, using the CAD data as a guide. This method is inefficient, time consuming, and costly. What if there was a better way?


Enter ONU 3DLite. We empower digital content creators to build the perfect asset in a fraction of the time. Then put those assets to use in 3D Web, AR, VR and mobile experiences. Automatically convert native CAD into low poly FBX files in minutes. Realize up to 100x density reduction without compromising visual accuracy. Adjust the level of detail to further reduce density or increase quality. Easily identify and remove unnecessary pieces. See the result of your changes realtime.


I have included a “tale of the tape” style comparison below.



ONU 3DLite

Manual Retopology

Free Your Workstation

Tessellate CAD files on the ONU cloud while you work on your workstation
Wait and wait while your high-end workstation processes

Convert My CAD

Convert any native CAD files to poly in minutes.
Buy third-party software to convert each CAD format

Tessellate with Quailty

Automatically reduce density up to 100x and maintain visual quality
Decimate density AND visual quality with your 3D modeling tool

Save Time and Money

Create lightweight meshes in minutes with our second-pass optimization tools
Spend days doing manual retopology

Retain Assembly Info

Retain part numbers and assembly hierarchies for 3rd-party system integrations
Lose all valuable assembly information during conversion

Create Multiple LODs

Automatically create multiple Levels of Detail (LODs) and choose the one that works best
You get one LOD. Choose wisely…

Share Easily

Share your work any time with anybody via a web link viewable on any browser
Peers or customers need your software to review your work in progress

Centralize and Store Safely

All of your assets in one place, the secure ONU cloud
Files are safe on artist workstations, until they’re not…

Of course, there is no silver bullet. Once CAD data is converted and optimized using 3DLite, there may be some manual defeaturing or minor retoplogy necessary. In our expereince, using this optimization method reduces content creation time by 10 to 75 times. In one instance, we reduced the time from 100 hours to under an hour!

So Stop the Retop and sign up for your free trial on ONU 3DLite today.


ARIA Event Welcome SignFor two days, experts in augmented reality (AR) and its applications gathered at the MIT Media Lab to talk at the AR in Action event. We at ONU have long extolled the virtues of AR, but even we were impressed with the diversity of thought we found during a couple of snowy days in Cambridge. Companies like PTC, Google, Microsoft, and Nike sent their ambassadors to speak to AR’s value and applications and how to get the word out. Approximately 120 speakers hit the two stages over the course of the event.

While we couldn’t catch them all, here are a few tidbits we took away from the conference on the Charles.

ARIA Event graphic representing talk topicsARIA Event graphic representing talk topics
The hall was decorated with hand-drawn posters representing speakers and topics.


Cramer’s Head of Creative Technology, Lindsay Nie, described the 6 Ways We Use AR in Marketing and how AR encourages consumers to engage with products, art, and each other in new and exciting ways.


PTC’s Ben Shani demonstrated ways augmented reality can enhance music instruction practice. As he played on a keyboard, flowers, paint dabs, and even tiny aliens floated off the keys.


Dr. Albert Kwon from AUGMENTx showed the game-changing possibilities for AR in rehabilitation for stroke victims.


Albert Kwon of AugmentX apeaking at ARIA
Dr. Albert Kwon


Defense contractor, BAE Systems’ John Kelly and Fran Piascik, gave examples of how processes as disparate as trade show prep and military training were becoming easier and more efficient by using AR.


Paul Cataldo, co-founder of Valacrity, showed the practical uses for smart glasses in manufacturing and machine maintenance and the need for new content. Hands-free smart glasses enable workers to see schematics and diagrams while they work, reducing the time spent on each repair.


Tom Impallomeni of Tribe gave us a demo of his disc jockey training module, while explaining how the immersive nature of AR applies to learning practically anything.


Tom Impallomeni of Tribe speaking at ARIA
Tom Impallomeni


ONU’s own Sam Sesti talked about integrating CAD in VR/AR design and our ability to lighten file-size, making the conversion process easier, faster, and nimbler, so there’d be enough content for all these AR trailblazers.


Sam Sesti of ONU speaking at ARIA
Sam Sesti, President of ONU