This holiday season, I had the pleasure of playing with a tech toy that I've heard of but never had my hands on, called, Google Cardboard. I must say this thing is pretty cool! You can visit the Palace of Versailles, The planet of Jukka from Star Wars, or be an audience member on an SNL skit and you are right there. Google cardboard is simple. Use your android or IOS phone, put it in a cardboard box with two lenses and you've got yourself a virtual reality helmet on a budget for $12. You can download links to make your own out of cardboard or 3Dprint your own. One of the best parts is if you download the technical drawings from Google, you'll see they are done in SOLIDWORKS – NICE!!
So, how do I open and view my SOLIDWORKS models on this amazing piece of corrugated packaging, you ask? The answer is Sketchfab.com. They are a 3D content delivery site that allows you to embed your models on the web. First, you have to setup an account. There is some Pro level stuff you'll have to pay for but I'm not going into there today. When you click upload, you'll be prompted with an upload dialog box. There you'll want to click on "OUR EXPORTERS" at the bottom left of the dialog. Install the SOLIDWORKS add-in and you'll get a publish to SketchFab from the SOLIDWORKS File menu – pretty cool. In the SketchFab Publisher window, the most important thing is the Token*. You'll find your API token in your account settings/ Password & API. Cut and paste that string of characters into the publisher field and your SOLIDWORKS models will be beamed to your account.
Now, last but not least, how do we get this new 3D model viewable in Google Cardboard? Simple. Thanks to the guys over at Instructables.com I started down this path, thanks to Chaitanyak. In his article, you add the following to the end of your model URL and it will go into double screen for google cardboard
https://sketchfab.com/models/6e842b23b14f4495aba665ed7a9ab74e …add the syntax to the end…
Have fun and Cheers,
Robert McGaughey, CSWE
Emerging Product Manager