3D modelling display in Ignition


I don’t know whether anyone has posted similar questions, but I am thinking whether ignition is whether capable of displaying 3D model, instead of displaying 2D dynamo?
The pilot plant I am working on has a 3D model built on AutoCAD. Is there anyway to covert it and display on Ignition?
I have tried to convert it from AutoCAD to svg file, it generates thousands of objects. Each line is a object, it is difficult to demonstrate it in Ignition or any webpage.
My idea thoughts is to have a nice 3D model on the page, the operator can click on each pump/valve/fans and pop up its faceplate. If the 3d model can rotate or zoom in/out, it will be even better.

It is just my wild thought, but with such a powerful Ignition platform, it might be possible.

Appreciate anyone can share your thoughts.


Building 3D models for a plant is very expensive and to render them is very resource intensive task. Furthermore it has to integrate with Ignition gateway for real time data. Although ABB have developed a 3D model interface to their DCS system on XBOX gaming platform using surface modelling, but its very expensive proposition.

We have developed a simple virtual tour module for Ignition which uses a panoramic imaging approach to perform plant virtual tour while looking at the real time plant data on the images of plant equipment like pumps/valves/breakers etc. Please see description of this module on exchange portal Ignition Exchange | Inductive Automation.

Newer version of this is available which can run on a separate server in Integrated mode with Ignition as well as standalone mode. Future versions will have a support to Lidar based model of the plant.

Pretty sure you’d need a new module for this. Something that embedded like this perhaps?

Pity they spelt ‘fibre’ wrong :grin:

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Thanks. I will have a look at your website.

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It seems quite nice.
How about interactive functions. let’s say I want to click on the valve and there should be a faceplate poping up.

I think I missed some of your OP. To be honest, I would forget about showing 3D modelling of whole plant (of anything tbh) as it doesn’t add any real value to the operator. All they care about is: is the plant running well and without fault, and if not, what are the faults and their root cause (how do they fix the bad thing). Fancy graphics only distract and detract from an operator’s goal. Have a read of the ASM standards and the HPHMI guidelines for more info. DLDR: use muted colours (greyscale essentially) to indicate normal statuses, save bold colours for abnormal conditions, use simple graphics, roll up alarms to their root cause - consequential alarms are useless and distracting.


I agree with you about displaying grayscale colors and keeping it as simple and informative to the operator as possible.

However, what if the big dogs want to see visual information, such as custom graphs and embedded 3D models? I worked on Vision/Perspective projects that are essentially full fledged ERP systems that are custom built for certain businesses. Sometimes, managers/president/CEO want to see a high-level overview of the plant, in which case an SVG 2D model or a 3D model would accomplish that goal.

Whether fancy graphics are at all useful is a different question. But, I think we can all agree that they look nice and we know, in safety critical systems, the looks are what matter.

In safety critical systems, situational awareness is what matters, as this is what will influence whether the operator can identify a potential looming warning situation, and react if a warning situation has already begun, and react to it quickly to resolve the root cause. If the SCADA system is full of useless complicated colourful graphics and information, that just impedes an operator’s ability to identify and fix the problems

:wink: I was clearly joking, or maybe not so clearly…

Yes, if anyone missed that, what @nminchin said is correct; design for situational awareness first, especially on safety critical systems.

Haha, maybe i’m just tired…

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Siemens energy has recently announced an offline tool called “dynamic virtual plant insider” which can even run on mobile devices and tablets for plant 3D walk through for O&M staff so that they can use it for repair and problem fixing purposes so that they can easily reach the problem area and perform repair, maintenance work at the right device and right way. They claim this will be very useful tool in modern era of unmanned power plants and process plants, where the O&M will be done by third party service providers who may not be very familiar with the plant.

From time to time, I have to face the similar requests from the managers of my companies or from the client management people. And sometimes it’s true that certain clients do request for the fancy look&feel, like the scientist from the lab/unis when I built the biotech machines for them.

I talked with a few game developer friends, they were surprised that 3d modelling is such a difficult job in automation, to them, it’s a standard practice for over 20years.

3d modelling packed with AR technology will be very useful for Mars colonization mission.

Some earthlings also find it useful.

i have experience with three.js it is super performant. How ever its not so easy to work with and linking it to anything reusable in ignition will be even harder.

it would be fully interactable, but if you are going to make it so, that would be quite a big project

welh yes you are not making any games on ignition i hope xd there are better tools for that

if you really want a 3d model, i suggest you try unity/unreal engine (4)
and upload it there, they have the abilty to export to html5. Which you then could add into perspective. with the webmodule i guess. or in an component
How ever that is going to be quite the project xd and loading times for a big model will take long. As it would have to download it everytime the client reopens the page. How ever ones it is loaded things should go fast (if you did not make it to detailed)

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