Overview of preparing 3D models for Dynamics 365 mixed reality applications

If you're using Microsoft Dynamics 365 mixed-reality apps, you might want to import your own 3D models (CAD models) into the applications. This topic shows you how to prepare your 3D models for use with Dynamics 365 mixed-reality apps by using a combination of third-party tools and Dynamics 365 Import Tool (Preview).

glTF and GLB file formats

All geometry in Dynamics 365 mixed-reality apps uses the Khronos Group glTF file format. This royalty-free specification minimizes both the size of 3D models and the run-time processing needed to unpack and use those models. The GLB format is the binary version of .glTF version 2.0, which can include textures.


The Khronos Group provides a robust overview of best practices: Art Pipeline for glTF.

Parametric geometry vs. polygonal geometry

Modeling tools in most CAD applications use sets of adjustable mathematical parameters to define parametric solids. Parametric solids and surfaces provide highly accurate detail that can be used to carry out engineering simulations and manufacturing processes. Both glTF and real-time rendering applications require models to be represented as a triangulated polygon surface.

The following illustration shows a model visualized in Autodesk Inventor and Microsoft 3D Viewer.

Parametric versus polygonal geometry

A. Parametric 3D model ready for simulation and manufacturing
B. Polygonal surface 3D model ready for real-time rendering

Overall process for preparing 3D models

Preparing CAD content for Dynamics 365 mixed-reality apps involves three main steps:

  1. Convert 3D models from their original geometric definition into one that supports real-time rasterization. This converts the models from parametric geometry into polygonal geometry.

  2. Optimize the converted 3D models to ensure the best possible performance in real-time applications.

  3. Use Dynamics 365 Import Tool (Preview) to prepare the models for Dynamics 365 mixed-reality apps.

The following illustration shows a more detailed view of this process.

Overall flow

A. Create 3D models using the CAD software of your choice.
B. Convert CAD files to one of these file formats: GLB, glTF, FBX, OBJ, STL, PLY.
C. Use the Dynamics 365 Import Tool (Preview) to convert the 3D model to a GLB file locally.
D. 3D models are optimized and converted into the GLB format.
E. 3D models are ready to be imported into Dynamics 365 mixed-reality applications.

See also

Convert 3D models
Optimize 3D models
Best practices for converting and optimizing 3D models
Tutorials for converting and optimizing 3D models
Use Dynamics 365 Import Tool (Preview)