Drupal in 3D: Leveraging WebGL and X3DOM for interactive 3D content visualization


WebGL-based applications can run on all devices from phone to desktops. The open-source X3DOM framework displays X3D (the ISO standard for 3D graphics on the web) content and allows full interaction between the web page and the 3D environment, without requiring additional downloads or plug-ins. This presentation highlights the work of the National Institutes of Health, Daly Realism, and the Web3D Consortium in the development of a Drupal module, created for the NIH 3D Print Exchange (3Dprint.nih.gov), that allows for interactive 3D graphics display. We also describe the process of transforming Drupal from a content management system to a content generation system through the use of custom scripts and open-source graphics software to generate X3D files from other digital 3D file formats. With this method, Drupal developers can incorporate the X3DOM viewer to display 3D content originating from any number of digital 3D formats. Finally, we address the importance of 3D visualization in user engagement and education, and the development and promotion of web standards.

This presentation is suitable for users at all levels. PHP, HTML, CSS, Javascript, and X3D code and tags will be shown, but it is not necessary to fully understand this to receive an appreciation of the topic and an understanding of how this module would be used. This presentation will include topics which demonstrate how Drupal is used to create, save, and display X3D models using real-time techniques.


Session Track

Drupal Showcase

Experience Level


Drupal Version

When & Where

Thursday, 14 May, 2015 - 13:00 to 14:00
501 - NewMedia