3D QR Code v3 – free process

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In the previous post 3D QR code attempt 2 I succeeded in getting a QR code into Revit and was able to scan it there & also export to 3D PDF to scan there too.

Unfortunately the process that was used required using an Autodesk free trial (30 day) programme Formit for conversion from TinkerCad (free) to DXF format. Other converters did not seem to work properly. See the post for the trials and tribulations.

I tried using Fusion 360 from Autodesk, that you can use for free as a hobbyist, but although it imported a .OBJ it needed A360 to save as a DWG or DXF, and although A360 is free for an individual the workflow process was getting a bit long. So after trying Fusion 360 I uninstalled it.

A site that I found very helpful was File Extensions.org. It was a good reference tool for what programmes could convert from one file format to another. This is where I found out about the tool below.

This article How to create BIM files from Blender models? I thought was interesting and I loaded FreeCad to see if I could follow that process, but no success with getting an IFC. Nevertheless FreeCad looks quite an interesting tool so I’ll keep it loaded on my computer for the moment.

FBX converter (free)

You upload your .OBJ file that you’ve exported from TinkerCAD and you use the QR Code Generator design to create QR code in Tinkercad.

There is a 2013 free version of FBX Converter that can be downloaded here or here. The Converter has 2 panels, a source and destination panel. Choose, in the source the .OBJ file that you want to convert, for destination choose an FBX file you want to save to (it seems to work fine with FBX2013). After creating the FBX file, remove the .OBJ file from source side and select the .FBX file you just created. In destination panel choose .DXF and it will convert to that. All done, now upload into Revit family.

Free FBX converter converts from .OBJ to FBX then to .DFX

On doing some reading up, STL is more simple than .OBJ files. In .OBJ files you can colour your objects (in Tinkercad) and the colour comes through the conversion process to the DXF file. That is an extra feature, so handy in differentiating QR codes by colour.

Free tool Process is (until you get to Revit)

  • Create QR code in Tinkercad and export to .OBJ
  • Use FBX converter to convert .OBJ file to .FBX file to .DXF file (2 step process)
  • Revit Family in chosen Category- Insert Tab>Import CAD import .DXF file.
  • Revit (all tabs) Load family into Revit open Project. Locate where required
  • If you need to scale the QR code, best to do that in the Revit Family.
  • Export to 3D PDF with your chosen 3D PDF exporter

End comment

A long and windy path to get to something that notionally should be quite simple. I’m glad I finally nutted out a free process.

In the previous article I discussed SketchUp & FormIt being roughly equal in pricing. I forgot to mention their free version opposition BricsCad Shape that I like a lot. They could get ahead a bit further if they had some good converters. All they seem to have is an import from SketchUp. Also their DXF export didn’t really work.

I didn’t look into it too far but I think there is a 2D DWG & DXF format as well as a 3D DXF format (and one presumes a DWG too) that I’ve only just found out about, so maybe some of these other converters are going to the 2D process, which is maybe why they don’t seem to work in this process.

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