Meta Viewer

The Meta Viewer 

Key Concepts:

The conversion process for translating 3D CAD models into AR-ready files can often be time-consuming and require the technical skills of a developer or 3D artist. Meta’s Model Viewer eliminates this step and revolutionizes the way users design and review digital prototypes, without writing a line of code! Whether users are designing a shoe or a satellite, the Meta 2 allows them to grab, move, and scale photorealistic 3D CAD files, enhancing the 3D design and presentation process.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Sales and Marketing – Better presentation highlights product features effectively and lead to faster sales conversion.
  • Bridging the Gap Between CAD Models and Physical Counterparts: Users can quickly and easily share their design vision digitally before the physical design stage begins.
  • Dramatically Improving the Design Process: Shorten the design timeline by generating insights that can only occur in 3D, ensuring early design validation that ultimately shortens the product life cycle.
  • Reduce the Time-Consuming File Conversion Process: Converting 3D CAD models into AR-ready files can result in a loss of important data that compromises model integrity, but with the Meta Model Viewer users will be able to dramatically reduce the loss of key design information.
  • Optimize Presentations to Clients: Present designs to clients for approval in an immersive environment that lends itself to shortening the design approval process.
  • No Coding Skills Required: Everyone from designers to developers, to salespeople and others can utilize this tool — no specialty technical skills needed.
  • Open a 3d model for viewing it in AR. The supported file formats are: Khronos glTF 2.0, SolidWorks glTF, *.SLDASM, *.SLDPRT, *.STEP, *.STP.
  • Use hands to do basic model interactions: Move, Rotate and Scale.
  • SolidWorks display states and animation can be viewed by simply applying these states to a model using simple and natural hand gestures.
  • View Solidworks glTF models in real-world 1:1 scale.

Use Cases

  • Sales and Marketing
  • Design Review
  • Training
  • Education

Meta Model Viewer – User Guide

The Meta Model Viewer is the first application to launch and manage complex CAD content within the Meta 2 headset, without writing a line of code! It allows you to view standard as well as SolidWorks glTF formats to support the efficient transfer and rendering of content to the AR experience. It preserves the native quality and integrity of the model, capturing display states information,  and exploded view and motion study animations.

Optimize the design process by reviewing a preliminary design with your manufacturing team, or present your design vision to a potential customer. AR provides you with the ability to visualize and contextualize your designs in a manner that was previously only an option at the physical prototype stage. Sales and Marketing professionals will be able to create more appealing sales presentations. Designers, developers, sales personnel, and non-technical employees will be able to import and view AR-ready CAD models in an immersive environment. – May remove this para later.

How does it work?

File Creation

The user creates the CAD model in SolidWorks or another CAD program. Display states and animations are saved with the file in the Khronos glTF 2.0, Sketchfab glTF,  and SolidWorks glTF file formats. Additionally, the Viewer supports the following file formats: .step, .stp, .sldprt, and .sldasm.

The user stores the file in a local directory. The user opens Meta Home and selects “My Files.” If there are glTF files available it loads and imports the file to the model list.

If there are no glTF files, it shows a zero state. The designer can drag a file into the directory and click to have it load to the model list. During the importing of the file, errors are handled. Error states are:

  • Too large – Refers to the scale, the limitation would be based on the length of your tether.
  • Too many file – Current limitation is 16 models
  • Too many polygons – Current limitation is 60,000 polygons per one mesh.

The Workspace

The designer sees the “plate” or primary work area and the “pod,” that shows the files that are available.

The plate is the work surface that displays an opened model, and has an  Information Panel that shows:

  • State Number
  • Scale
  • Model Name

This is used to give feedback to the user about the current state of the model. The plate is moveable by the user, and provides a bounding volume, which an application may use to provide special features for interacting with the plate, like gravity.

Side Pads

Side pads are additional surfaces that can snap to attach to either side of the plate.

They are arranged in columns  from front to back. The side pad on the left contains Model Hierarchy and additional Meta Data. The side pad on the right contains Display States and Animation options, all of which are created when the model is made, and are saved with the file.


A pod is a modular container that holds up to 4 previews of models that are each encased in a bubble.

The bubble indicates to the user that the object inside is ‘grabbable.’ Additional pods are created to accommodate the number of models that were imported. The pods snap together to form stacks.


There are four model types that appear in the Model Viewer:

  • Content: These are models. All model content (presumably defined by the content that is imported by the user into the system, but could perhaps include any default or sample content) fit inside of a “bubble.” The bubble is a transparent, glass-like spherical shape that wraps around a virtual object to both communicate the physical affordance of the grab interaction as well as help the user understand the difference between content and tools.
  • Tools: Tools are objects that carry out specific functions. Tools are generally applied to models in order to change modes, where specific functionality and components may be revealed therein. The exploding tool is an example. 100% Scale, States, and Animations.

Model Types

Each model type can be in one of five states:

  • Loading State: Volumetric object that depicts that the object is loading.
  • Loaded;Idle State: Preview of the Model  in the bubble.
  • Error State: Volumetric object that depicts an error has occurred.
  • Active State: A visual depiction of the ‘seat.’ This helps prevent it being confused for an empty state. When a model is pulled from the Pod, it shows an empty seat, prompting the user return the model to the Pod in that spot. If there are only three models in a pod, the 4th spot is empty with no seat.
  • Empty State: A representation that there is room for another model in the Pod.

The designer can use grab or mouse interactions to select and open the model by removing it from the pod. If a model was previously open, the Viewer closes that model, returning it to the pod, before opening the new one.

When the content is released within the bounding volume of the plate, the importing begins and the model opens. Gravity pulls it down to rest on the plate.

There is an area outside the pod called the Minified Size Zone where the model retains its preview size until it is moved out of the zone. As it drops to the plate, the bubble around the model disappears and it expands in size.

There are three ways that a model is sized on the plate:

  • If the 1:1 Model Size is greater than The Plate Size, then the Model Size will constrain to the Plate Size.
  • If the 1:1 Model Size is less than the Plate Size, then the Model Size will display at 100%.
  • If the 1:1 Model Size is less than the Minimum Two Hand Grab size (18 cm), the Model will display at 18cm.

When the content is released outside the bounding volume of the plate, the model importing process begins, and the model opens in space, wherever the designer placed it in 1:1 scale. It does not drop.

When the content is grabbed and released inside the bounds of the pod, it is removed from the AR environment, and stored back in the pod.

Hand Interactions

Imported models will have an encompassing bounding box or sphere that will enable hand interactions for translating, rotating, and scaling. Scaling will happen on 5% intervals.Since a model may have an unbounded number of configurations, the user controls for Models may have different configurations and animations that we would like users to be able to control. Additional user interface elements will be provided to control the animations, configurations, and model scale.

Changing the configuration will be designed to simplify the experience of viewing the configurations. They consist of previous and next buttons, as well as a current configuration label.

Like model configurations, model animations may or may not exist, or may have an unbounded number of animations. The controls allow the user to toggle through the models’ animations through previous and next buttons. The user can play and pause the currently selected animation, which is identified through a label.

There will be a control to scale the model to 1:1 or 100%.