Tutorials, Tips and FAQ

Tip 1 of 15

Mouse actions and touch gestures of the 3D-Tool CAD Viewer

Use the left mouse button to rotate and the right mouse button to move the view. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. 3D-Tool also supports 3Dconnexion 3D-mouses and touch gestures.

Tip 2 of 15

The new color styles of the 3D-Tool CAD Viewer

Use the Setting Program Style to select one of the 5 color styles for the 3D-Tool program interface. For the Free Viewer and 3D-Tool EXE files only the Windows10 Style is available.

Tip 3 of 15

Activation of the hardware acceleration in the 3D-Tool CAD Viewer

Optimize the 3D-performance by activating the Hardware Acceleration and the OpenGL3.3 support in the 3D-Tool Preferences.

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Align the 3D CAD model in the 3D view

Use Align View to quickly rotate the view into the next matching default view. The views from left, right, top, bottom, back and front are also directly selectable.

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Save exploded views and cross-sections

Use Custom Views to store the state of the display including exploded parts and cross sections. This allows to quickly switch between views and is useful for printing and creating pictures.

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Search and filter functions in the 3D-Tool model tree

In the model tree, search and filter functions help in the selection of parts and assemblies, e.g. to change their visibility, color, transparency and shading.

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Dynamic cross-sections with the 3D-Tool CAD Viewer and Converter

Use the Cross Section tool to access the internal parts of a model. The cross section controls offer multiple functions to align the cross section.

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Measuring and markup in 3D CAD models

Use the Measure and Markup tool not only to add 3D dimensions and 3D notes. You may also add a background text or image, for example a company logo.

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The 3D-Tool Tooling Analysing with undercuts and angle

Use the Tooling Analysis tool to display drafts and their angles in different colors, to check for undercuts, and to calculate the projected area of the model.

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With the 3D-Tool Model Compare tool, differences between 3D CAD models become visible

Use the Model Compare tool to identify differences between two models, as they are highlighted in color.

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Volume, surface, dimensions and weight of 3D CAD parts

Use the Model Info tool to display the volume, surface area, dimensions and weight of parts and assemblies. All information can be copied to the Clipboard.

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3D-Tool is a CAD viewer with many parctical tools

3D-Tool offers practical tools for a detailed validation of 3D-models: besides measure and analyzing tools also a Model Compare and tools such as Painter, Explode and Animation.

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CAD viewer with integrated screenshot function

Use Capture to Clipboard to copy a detail of the view to the Clipboard. A single click instead of the marquee select will copy the complete view.

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The import settings of the 3D-Tool CAD viewer and converter

For a smooth display of big models Advanced and Premium users can reduce the import quality. Additionally, the Premium version allows a fast import of graphical CAD data from native CAD models.

Tip 15 of 15

Open and measure DWG DXF CATDrawing and SLDDRW

In 2D-mode use the Measure Markup tool to add dimensions, markups and pictures. Use the Edit Drawing tool to edit and delete elements of the drawing.

Licensing FAQs

What is the difference between 3D-Tool Free Viewer, Basic, Advanced and Premium?

The difference between 3D-Tool Free Viewer, Basic, Advanced and Premium is the file formats that are supported. All other features for viewing, analyzing and measuring 3D models and 2D drawings are the same in each version.

Additionally, 3D-Tool Premium has the 3D-NativeCAD Converter to convert native CAD models of the most important CAD systems into common 3D exchange formats STEP, IGS, VDA, SAT and Parasolid.

The 3D-Tool Free Viewer supports 3D-Tool EXE and DDD files, as well as STL files. It has a lot of features of 3D-Tool, such as Cross Section, Measure/Markup and Explosion, but files cannot be saved or published.

How does the online activation of 3D-Tool work?

You receive a License Certificate for each license that you buy. Use the Authorization Key on the certificate to request the License Key, that is needed for activation, online.

Start 3D-Tool, and click on "Get License Key" in the Licensing dialog. Then enter the Authorization Key. Next, enter your e-mail address. You should receive the License Key within 60 minutes.

Once you have received the License Key by e-mail, enter the Key into the Licensing window, or simply save the license file (license.dat) that comes with the License Key in the installation folder of 3D-Tool.

My License Key does not work. What can I do?

You are probably using a license key that was requested for a different or earlier 3D-Tool installation. If you change the computer or have to set it up again, you need a new License Key.

With the Authorization-Key on the 3D-Tool license certificate, you can request the new License Key online, directly in 3D-Tool.

How do I request a free Trial Key?

Start 3D-Tool, click on "Get Trial Key" in the Licensing Dialog, and enter the information requested. The Trial Key is sent to your e-mail address within 60 minutes. After you receive the Trial Key, enter it in the Licensing dialog to activate 3D-Tool Premium.

During the trial period, you can choose in the License dialog at the start of 3D-Tool a license for the current session: Basic, Advanced or Premium. Doing this, only the relevant interfaces and program functions are activated. This way you can test 3D-Tool in the exact version you intend to purchase.

However, the 3D-NativeCAD Converter is permanently activated until the expiration of the Trial Key, even if it is only part of 3D-Tool Premium.

Note: The 14-day-trial starts on the day that you received the Trial Key.

Where can I find the Authorization Key for the online activation of 3D-Tool?

When you order a 3D-Tool license, you will receive a License Certificate. This certificate contains the Authorization Key to activate the software online. Please keep the License Certificate save. Without Authorization Key an online activation is not possible.

I can’t find my License Certificate with the Authorization-Key. What should I do?

The License Certificate is sent to the e-mail address that you provided when you ordered. If you did not order yourself, contact the person who ordered. If you do not have a License Certificate, you can request it by e-mail: Team@3D-Tool.de. We will check if you own a 3D-Tool license and send you the License Certificate. If you happen to know the Serial Number of the license, please, provide it in the e-mail.

Can I use the 3D-Tool license on more than one computer?

No, the 3D-Tool license can only be used on one computer. If you want to use 3D-Tool on more than one computer, you have to buy the required number of licenses. Contact us, so we can make you an individual offer.

For license quantities of 50 seats or more we offer volume licensing. On request, we also offer server licenses which allow to activate 3D-Tool on a server and to be accessed by multiple users.

Are there network (floating) licenses available for 3D-Tool?

No, network licenses are not supported by 3D-Tool. If you want to use 3D-Tool on more than one computer, contact us, so we can make you an individual offer.

For license quantities of 50 seats or more we offer volume licensing. On request, we also offer server licenses which allow to activate 3D-Tool on a server and to be accessed by multiple user.

Are there any updates and how do I get them?

3D-Tool is continually updated, and the updates are placed on our website where they can be downloaded.

Updates within a major release are free of charge. Simply download the current version from our website and install it over your version. You do not need a new License Key. You can also check for updates by going to the Options tab in 3D-Tool and selecting Check for updates.

Updates to a higher version of 3D-Tool are subject to charge, and you need a new Authorization Key.

How long is a license valid?

3D-Tool licenses have no expiry date. With the payment of the license price, the license is valid indefinitely, without further maintenance costs.

The license applies to the major version purchased and all service updates published for this version. Updates to new major versions are always chargeable, but inexpensive. Please ask for an offer.

Are there regular maintenance or service costs?

No, there are no maintenance or service costs.

All service updates released for the major version you purchased are free. Updates to new major versions are chargeable. Please ask for an offer.

Working with 3D-Tool

Why does it take so long to open my 3D CAD models?

The conversion of CAD data into visualization data for displaying the models in the viewer requires more computing power and system memory for large assemblies.

In 3D-Tool Premium you can noticeably accelerate the opening of large assemblies in the original (native) file formats from CATIA, Creo, Siemens NX, SolidWorks, SolidEdge and Inventor. When opening these file formats, select the import setting "CAD Graphical Data". This reads the visualization data of the CAD system already present in the files.

How can I output STEP, IGES, VDA, SAT or Parasolid from the viewer?

This is not possible because the models are only available as visualization data (MESH) in the viewer.

If you need to convert between different CAD formats, use the 3D-NativeCAD Converter, which was installed as a stand-alone program together with 3D-Tool and can be used with a premium license.

Can I use 3D-Tool to convert CAD files?

In addition to publishing models in 3D-Tool format (EXE/DDD) and as 3D PDF file, you can also save models loaded in 3D-Tool as STL, VRML, 3DS, PLY, OBJ and U3D files.

Additionally, 3D-Tool Premium has the 3D-NativeCAD Converter to convert native CAD models and 3D exchange formats into CATIA V5, STEP, IGS, VDA, SAT and Parasolid.

Can I create a 2D drawing of a 3D model?

Creating a 2D CAD drawing from a 3D model is not possible with 3D-Tool. 3D-Tool only offers the option of exporting the cutting line of a 3D cross-section as a 2D DXF file.

How can I speed up the display of big models?

Activate hardware acceleration in the Options tab > Preferences button > Hardware. There you should also activate the fast OpenGL 3.3 for 3D-Tool.

In 3D-Tool Advanced and Premium you can accelerate the display of large and complex 3D models if you select "Low Quality" in the import settings when opening the models.


Download the 3D-Tool quick reference PDF

Download the 3D-Tool manual as PDF file

Show the file formats supported by 3D-Tool

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