Trying to get 3D QR code in Revit/3DPDF

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I can get barcodes as part of a 3D text object in Revit. Unfortunately this is only a code. It doesn’t send you anywhere at all.

I would like a 3d QR code floating in a room in revit, then this 3D object can be exported to 3D PDF. With a QR code, if you scan it, it will take you somewhere, to some data of to a downloadable PDF.

Its easy to import a QR code as a 2D image but it wont show up in a 3D model. The only thing I can think of is a separate sheet at the front of a 3D PDF (a splash screen) which is just a 2D sheet with all the QR codes on that to scan. You could put some text beside this to explain what will happen if you scan the QR code, maybe you get a downloadable room data sheet PDF or maybe it takes you to a web page with dynamic data on a specific property.

Process so far

On searching for 3D QR codes I came across Create a 3D Printed QR Code with this video:

It shows you how to import into Blender ( a 3Dmax type open source tool, seriously powerful) a QR code in SVG format and convert it to a 3D object and export it as a STL file (it then goes on to 3d print it).

So, this first step takes a 2d QR code and converts it into a 3D model. Unfortunately STL filetype not compatible with Revit (of course). But you can go from STL to DFX ( a CAD file exchange file type) that you can bring into CAD and save as a DWG file, which can then be brought into Revit. Or can it?

First step, download Blender again, after I took it off my machine a while ago. Next create a QR code and export to SVG. Next follow tutorial in video above. Then find a DXF export ADD-in in Blender and export to this format (That took me the better part of an afternoon). Blender is a powerful programme but basic navigation drives me nuts. I do the basic tutorials then leave it so forget the process and find it tough when I pick it up again.

I had trouble getting the export to DXF add-in working, so used this site to upload STL and convert to DXF.

I got the export to DFX, then I had to re-activate my free license for Draftsight, 2 D free cad package (cut down version) from Dassault Systèmes and then save as a DWG file, then import CAD into Revit.

QR code in Blender
QR code in CAD (Draftsight)
QR code imported from DWG file into Revit- not a pretty sight.

So, not what is needed at this point. This is a cad object in Revit. The scaling was a challenge too, but at least it will scale in Revit as an object. I dont think it’ll export to 3DPDF very well. I don’t want to explode the CAD file as that leaves bits all over the place and bloat the .RVT file.

So, not good. In the words of Fagin in Oliver Twist, “I think I’ll better think it out again“.

End comment

I did glance at an article about getting things from Blender towards Revit by IFC’s but there were a few extra steps. Maybe I’ll have to look into that further.

There was a Revit article about using QR codes as notes (so you had a QR code instead of text. It is an AutoDesk add-in but they’ve shut out the 2015 apps in the App store so only available for later versions here. They also use QR codes for the Stereo Panoramas but that is 2D also.

The QR codes are sometimes referred as 3D codes as there is an X, Y and colour dimension (some marketing idiot obviously).

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