Import 3D Freeform Model
Design 3D Model
Design 3D Window Shading
Design 2D Horizontal Overhang
Design 2D Vertical Fin

HelpImport 3D Freeform Model

Import your own 3D models and perform sun and shadow analysis.

The program can open a number of 3D file formats, including 3DS and OBJ. These are significant for the AutoCAD and Google SketchUp programs. AutoCAD can save 3D models in 3DS, and these can be opened by the program. With regard to SketchUp, from the Utilities menu, a SketchUp plugin can be downloaded that allows the export of SketchUp files to OBJ. These can then be opened by the program.

  • To open a model, click on the File menu > Open. The model will be opened and automatically positioned in the centre of the display.
    When a model is opened, it is configured to cast shadows on the surface plane only. This setting should be used if the model is complex and/or computer hardware is limited. If neither of these conditions apply, you can configure the model to cast shadows onto all objects. To modify the setting, go to the Options menu >  Cast Shadows Onto.

  • Use the Camera controls to change camera position and zoom level. Click on the Reset button to reset the camera to its default position.
  • Alternatively, use the left mouse button to navigate the model. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in/out.
  • The Orientation setting allows you to rotate the model around the vertical axis. Orientation relates to the angle of the model relative to North in the sense NESW. Thus, North is zero degrees, East is 90 degrees.
  • The Rotation setting allows you to rotate the model around the horizontal axis. This may be necessary for some models that are incorrectly rotated.
  • The first time you run a shadow animation, from the Date & Location dialog, specify Date, Latitude and Longitude.
  • Control the shadow animation with the Start, Single Step, Start/Stop and Reset buttons. As the animation progresses, current azimuth and altitude are displayed.
  • To change the speed of the animation, modify Time Interval in minutes.
  • The Sun Path settings allow you to select daily or annual sun paths for the animation. If daily sun path is selected, the animation proceeds from sunrise to sunset for the currently selected date. If annual sun path is selected, the animation proceeds from the beginning to the end of the year for the time as specified in the Date & Location dialog.


Mag. Var. Magnetic Variation
D. Saving Daylight Saving