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Thread: Anyone know of a good secure .stl viewer?

  1. #1
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    Anyone know of a good secure .stl viewer?

    Hi everyone,

    I work for a manufacturing company, and we're looking for a way to allow clients to view and interact with .stl files, but without them being able to download our files.

    I have had a bit of a root around on the internet, and have found one potential product. I have also seen quite a few browser based options, but while they are free, they mainly appear to be focused on 'sharing'.

    Years ago, a QTVR would have been my 'go to' solution. LOL... Showing my age now.

    Thought it was worth asking to see if anybody here has experience with anything similar, or even a passing familiarity with a tool that might fit the bill.

    Cheers,

    Derek

  2. #2
    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    Age = wisdom.

    [The concept of] QTVR (or any other js-based image sequence turntable render) is still viable and the most secure as it provides absolutely no 3D data to the client.

    You can find people scraping 3D models from video games but you won't find anybody scraping models from bluray movies. There's a good reason why.
    Last edited by raymondtrace; 12-11-2019 at 08:31 AM.
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  3. #3
    www.Digitawn.co.uk rustythe1's Avatar
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    https://sketchfab.com/feed
    you can upload them to sketchfab and make them non downloadable
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustythe1 View Post
    https://sketchfab.com/feed
    you can upload them to sketchfab and make them non downloadable
    Cheers Rusty, Do you know if it's possible to restrict viewing of specific objects to a single customer? A lot of the stuff we produce is custom, and we wouldn't want a general store for all to see...

    Raymond, I've been optimistically remindign myself about QTVR this afternoon, but it seems that the codecs for Quicktime are only 32bit, so that's sadly not an option. Shame.

  5. #5
    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuzo View Post
    ...optimistically remindign myself about QTVR this afternoon, but it seems that the codecs for Quicktime are only 32bit...
    No - I'm not suggesting QTVR, just the concept. QTVR was only a method to display a series of images. We now use JavaScript for that in the most open way, without vendor-specific obstacles like QuickTime.

    Using a series of rendered images with JavaScript often uses less bandwidth than sending 3D data and the code to render @ the client's device.

    Examples:
    http://jquery.vostrel.cz/reel
    https://polarnotion.github.io/turntable/

    ####

    Everything on Sketchfab that can be rendered locally at the client is also downloadable. This is the inherent fault with client rendering of 3D data. That 3D data has to be sent to the client for it to render. Sketchfab does not protect your data from theft!

    This is the same concept as downloading YouTube videos. YouTube does not allow you to download their videos but there are still plenty of browser add-ons that let you do it.

    This is an old script to download Sketchfab models. I don't know if it still works but the concept is still valid and can be updated as Sketchfab moves their target. https://github.com/Annovae/sketchfab-dl-script
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  6. #6
    www.Digitawn.co.uk rustythe1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuzo View Post
    Cheers Rusty, Do you know if it's possible to restrict viewing of specific objects to a single customer? A lot of the stuff we produce is custom, and we wouldn't want a general store for all to see...

    Raymond, I've been optimistically remindign myself about QTVR this afternoon, but it seems that the codecs for Quicktime are only 32bit, so that's sadly not an option. Shame.
    looks like they do but might cost, there is a private sharing note in the FAQs https://sketchfab.com/enterprise?ref=footer
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  7. #7
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    3D_pdf ? check this file...

    cylinder_rotator.pdf



    If you sign up on designsparks for designsparks mechanical, you can use their cad software for free, you just need to sign up, once installed you can load any stl file, or obj...and then simply go to export 3Dpdf.

    That way you can send a pdf document with the stl file to view, and the customer do not need any additional software other than a free pdf acrobat viewer, you need to activate trust content though in acrobat, since 3d content is disabled by default.
    Once you open the pdf and also click on it to load the stl within the doc, you will automaticly have pre-made views such as isometric, trimetric, top, left etc..or manually rotate by left mouse click and drag. you also have 3d tools for measuring and views for setting various cross sections.









    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
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    Thanks to everyone who responded.

    We've gone the PDF route. The main office has a solidworks license, so we already have the capability to export documents without any further £££ outlay.

    For anyone else who is considering sharing 3D content this way, the PDF does not contain the .stl itself. It is converted to a highly compressed format known as PRC, and I've been told that there are very few programmers who can interpret this data, so it is very secure, especially when this is combined with passwords to control access, etc.

    Cheers,

    Derek

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondtrace View Post
    No - I'm not suggesting QTVR, just the concept. QTVR was only a method to display a series of images. We now use JavaScript for that in the most open way, without vendor-specific obstacles like QuickTime.

    Using a series of rendered images with JavaScript often uses less bandwidth than sending 3D data and the code to render @ the client's device.
    Thanks for the info on modern versions of QTVR. I might have a play with that in my spare time (If I ever get any!)

    Cheers,

    Derek

  9. #9
    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuzo View Post
    ...For anyone else who is considering sharing 3D content this way, the PDF does not contain the .stl itself. It is converted to a highly compressed format known as PRC, and I've been told that there are very few programmers who can interpret this data, so it is very secure, especially when this is combined with passwords to control access, etc.
    You may not have been told the truth. You might want to post an example file here to see how quickly some random person can exploit it.

    Unless you dumb down the geometry (not just converting it), you'll be giving away your assets. PRC can be converted back to STL, or any other format.
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  10. #10
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raymondtrace View Post
    You may not have been told the truth. You might want to post an example file here to see how quickly some random person can exploit it.

    Unless you dumb down the geometry (not just converting it), you'll be giving away your assets. PRC can be converted back to STL, or any other format.
    He doesn´t have to post an example file, Ivé already posted a sample pdf file in post 7, go ahead and crack it, the sample file was just a gun rotator magasine downloaded from sketchfab.
    The pdf file isn´t secured with any password though.

  11. #11
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    Would be good to have a few more minds testing the security of 3D-PDFs. I'll hopefully have a file to upload sometime soon, extracted from solidworks to upload, though prometheus has a valid point.

    I have already had a good rummage around the internet, and there are converters out there for changing PRC files to other formats, but there seems to be a confusing overlap with a PRC format relating to media files.
    I can find loads of converters to change 3D formats TO PRC, but haven't found one to do the reverse.

    Also, bear in mind that the industry I'm working in isn't that big, and anyone copying our designs would be busted pretty sharpish. Also, we're dealing with reputable companies, so the threat of hacking our previews are much reduced anyway.

    But it would be a fun Christmas challenge if anyone wants to test the security of the 3D-PDF format.



    Cheers,

    Derek

  12. #12
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    Here's a generic .stl shape exported using our copy of solidworks... Good luck to anyone who wants to see if they can extract the 3D model...



    Derek

    PDF-TestShape.PDF

  13. #13
    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    I'm home on holiday (unable to access my better equipped computer @ work) but still found some success in converting.

    Prometheus, here are your very easily extracted U3D files and conversions:
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...Rl?usp=sharing

    A good chunk of the heavy lifting was done with PDFStreamDumper freeware from sandsprite.com. Once the stream was extracted, it was converted from U3D in SimLab Composer to OBJ and STL.

    The TestShape PDF file uses PRC data, which I do not have time/tools to translate on my home computer (SimLab should have done it). However, it should be realized that PRC is not an inherently secure format. It is just a compressed format intended to efficiently share CAD data. It is based on an open standard which some CAD programs can open (often directly from the PDF file...without separate stream dumping). Example: https://www.prototechsolutions.com/p...rsion-library/

    The TestShape PDF file had a "page extraction" restriction but the file was not password protected so it was simple to disable the restriction. Beware that had you used a password on the file, I would probably still be able to open with freeware PDF-password tools.

    PDF is a crap format for security. It was designed for sharing.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Rayek's Avatar
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    Yep, I also was able to extract the prc data. It's just a matter of finding a converter now.

    By the way Prometheus: thank you for that Designsparks tip to save 3d PDF files. I was looking for something like that.

    And instead of the terrible Adobe reader, I would suggest PDF-XXhange Editor instead. The free version is far nicer than Adobe's reader, and also reads and displays 3d PDF files.
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  15. #15
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    Backing you up here, raymondtrace: the shallowest of Google searches gets one here, fwiw:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CskM1GPVpc
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