Tiling BIM, CAD, or other 3D Models

Cesium ion allows you to tile large models like BIM or CAD to visualize them in a geospatial context and share on the web.

If you have 3D models derived from a scan, like photogrammetry or LiDAR, see the photogrammetry guide.

3D model of the Golden Gate Bridge visualized on top of accurate global 3D terrain and satellite imagery with CesiumJS.

Prerequisites

Cesium ion is an open platform for tiling and hosting. It will serve your models as 3D Tiles to any compatible client, like CesiumJS.

Sign up for a free Cesium ion account.

Supported formats

Format File extensions
Wavefront OBJ .obj
Filmbox .fbx
Digital Asset Exchange .dae
glTF .gltf
Binary glTF .glb
  • Files may be zipped.
  • Your model must use local coordinates (the geometry must be centered around the origin).
  • Units are assumed to be in meters.

Importing

Cesium ion tiles your model into 3D Tiles when you upload it. Here’s a sample office model you can download to try this out.

  1. On the My Assets tab of Cesium ion, press Add Data to upload your model.
  2. Select 3D Model (tile as 3D Tiles).

Press Add Data to upload and tile your 3D models.

Geolocating

There are a couple ways to place your model at a location on the globe.

Hosting your models as glTF

For small models, choose 3D Model (convert to glTF) to convert and host it as a glTF model. You can choose to apply compression such as Draco at this upload step.

Use this method for attaching models to time dynamic data in CesiumJS. See the build a flight tracker tutorial.

Visualizing

The easiest way to visualize and share your asset is using Cesium Stories.

  1. In the Stories tab, click New Story.
  2. Under Assets, click the Add asset button and choose your asset.
  3. Click on the zoom button (magnifying glass) to go to your asset in the scene. Adjust the view to your liking.
  4. Click on Capture view to save the view.
  5. Click Share and give your story a name.

You can now share your data in an interactive scene! Learn more about Stories with this tutorial.

Use your asset in a custom app

When you click on an asset in My Assets, you’ll see a preview panel on the right side of the screen.

  • The preview panel displays the asset ID, which you’ll need for loading this asset in CesiumJS or other engines.
  • You’ll find a code snippet for loading this asset in CesiumJS at the bottom of this panel.
  • Click Open complete code example to see your asset in Sandcastle.

You’ll find a code example for adding this asset to your CesiumJS app at the bottom of the asset preview window.

Learn how to set up a CesiumJS app with the quickstart guide.