3D QR code attempt 2

First, I’d like to stand corrected regarding a closing comment I made in the previous post on this subject, Trying to get 3D QR code in Revit/3DPDF, “The QR codes are sometimes referred as 3D codes as there is an X, Y and colour dimension (some marketing idiot obviously).”

I found this article that discusses different types of QR code and it had this image. I was thinking of only one colour for the above reference. With colours like those below you could convey so much more information, the only concern is the fading of the colours.


Anyway, on with my hunt for a 3D QR code process. I came across this video that uses Tinkercad, a free online tool:

After opening up my old account I tried looking for the QR code generator in the Shape Generators list but it isn’t there in the current version. I did, however find this QR code generator in the gallery.

The nice thing about the gallery is you can copy the object and open in your own file, also , Navad Dadon also has made the JavaScript code available. I tested the QR code out using my blogsite and it scanned easily (when in top VIEW).

The Tinkercad exports to a .STL or .OBJ file. I will next need to see if I can import that into Revit. No, I can’t, you have to go through Inventor to convert obj files. There is a revit add-in but its $50 US. Here is link.

I have been having quite a few challenges. I’ve downloaded BricsCad shape, Autocad Formit, Reloaded SketchUp Make, and been playing with DraftSight again. All, pretty much to no avail. I can now tell you a lot of ways not to do this!

Pretty much the issue is that when you convert to DFX and DWG you get 3D faces. So you do not get a solid but lots of faces, and the faces are triangulated.


I loaded this up on one of my computers and this imports the .OBJ file quite nicely, you can see it fine. When you save it as a .axm file (Formit default) you need an add-in for Revit to open this filetype up. I open via the add-in and it goes invisible , so that’s not very good.BUT I saved it to a DXF file and that loads into Revit.

It loads in 2 methods:

  • in a plan view in a project. It comes in as an IMPORT SYMBOL so is not assigned to any category, you have to go into visibility graphics imported categories to manipulate its visibility. THIS ONLY SHOWS IN 2D, not 3D.
  • If you put it in a family and then put it into the Project, you have control of which Category it belongs to. In this case I have it on Structural Stiffeners category as per the 3D Building Name at the side of the building. This shows in 3D & 2D

NOTE: You have to view in Shaded or Realistic or else all you see is the wires, so hidden doesn’t work.

Top larger QR code is straight into Project, the bottom one comes through a family, in this case on Category Structural stiffeners
Even at a slight angle the QR code works.


I had real problems with exporting to DXF for this. There are 2 DXF import/export add-ins , one seems to be for import, the other for Export, and the export one is a bit unreliable, so I couldn’t test that too well, but it was not that good. I shut Blender down a few times and reloaded it to get the export going but not too much success.


In BricsCad shape after importing DXF and saving as DWG I deleted the 3D faces for bottom and sides, so only had a plane. I converted the 3D Faces with command: Convtosurface to surfaces, these are triangulated but come into Revit from a DWG file a lot more nicely. But you still have this as a Import Symbol that you cant do anything with, if I select it , it turns bluer and I can get it to scan, but not very useful.

Sketchup Make

I can get it into sketchup and see the object in there, importing as .3DS (3d SMax file from Blender) and save as version 3 of Sketchup and try and import that into the Project. It doesn’t like that and says put it into a family.

Sketchup Pro has a lot more export choices (and import) but that is for the paid version. Pro version is $299/yr (compared to Formit $305US)


The whole point of the exercise was to get a 3d QR code into Revit. Not as simple as what you’d assume.

The QR code from the Family shows in 3d but not the one imported directly into the project
I tested the QR code on my scanner and it works fine.

Current process

Not an easy process. In the end, to get a reliable QR code import you need to use tinkercad with the QR code Generator. If you are going for long URL names then best to use a URL shortener.

Then Export to .OBJ (although it can export a .STL file also, I may try that later).

Next open .OBJ file in Formit and then save as .DFX format.

Then Open Revit Family & use Insert > Import Cad and then choose .DXF and pull in the file. Then Load that Family into your project.

If you were using them to link, not just to project, but individual blocks on a site, then you’d do each step in batches, that would make the workflow more efficient.

End comment

What was all that about? Well, it all came about because a normal Barcode cannot take you anywhere. It can code up some text that can be scanned with a scanner, but usually its linked to a specific database.

QR codes are more responsive, they can link to a Web page, a geolocation, a phone number , a vCard, and email address/response and an SMS text. The website can be dynamic, which means that you can update the website link (put different information on that page, or, I think you can re-direct them to another page, WITHOUT changing the QR code. So if the QR code is on the 3D PDF the information can remain current if you create a dynamic QR code.

As I always create floor plans in my 3D PDF’s the QR codes are easy to scan. This allows for someone to have a hard copy of a 3D PDF floor plan and they are able to access other information about the building.

You could have a few in the model, one for Geolocation, one for Building Manager contact (or office reception)- useful for getting access to building on call out, one for SMS text for being able to text information about the building, one for email for faults or to advise when contractor for repairing is to be on site. Of course, you could have one to page about the property with all your links to data.

The one negative to this is Formit is not free, it is $305US for a years subscription or $115 for 3 months. At least I have one process that works until my trial runs out.

In Tinkercad I tried to edit the code in the copy of the file I saved for the QR code generator, the last part I wanted to test to see if I could make it flat rather than 3D but found I couldn’t edit the code ( I cut/pasted it to Notepad++) and the webpage kept freezing.

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