A 3D communication and documentation software company's new 3D-model viewer and sharing platform enables for mobile sharing, mark up and collaboration of 3D files. It is now open for public beta-testing.

Publisher 3D can turn a 3D model from SolidWorks, Inventor and other 3D modeling software into a file that's light enough to be viewable with an iPad or iPhone and sharable in a browser, says Brian Roberts, president and a founder of QuadriSpace, Allen, Texas. “The models can then be made privately available to anyone.”

ENR used an iPhone 5 to test the iOS version of Share 3D. Once a 3D model is uploaded to Share 3D’s server, it can be viewed, commented upon, marked up and shared with users and non-users alike.

“The service will cost $29 a month per user,” says Roberts. However, registered users can share models with a to-be-determined number of non-users who can view and comment on 3D models, he says. During the beta trial, this number is limited to 10, but Roberts says that number will change for the production release. Non-users will always have limited permissions and lack the ability to upload or mark up models. All users' comments can be made from within the app or by replying to a comment via email.

The app lets users highlight or hide certain parts of a 3D object, in effect creating an animation of the model. Users can create visual step-by-step tutorials—complete with text instructions—on how to assemble or disassemble and work on a complex 3D structure.

Roberts says his company had the most experience with this documentation and knowledge-sharing process, which it implemented to make the app stand out among other 3D viewers.

“We targeted three uses for our viewer. The first is collaborative review. Second is mobile, visual instructions for a model allowing the ability to animate the model, and, finally, the ability to create a catalogue of parts that comprise the model,” says Roberts.