FreeX3D - User Interface

Last update: 21 July 2013


You can make lots of changes to the model on the screen, this section outlines what you can do.


Models rendered in FreeX3D can be spun around, or zoomed near/far. As FreeX3D renders STL models within a rich X3D environment, only one form of movement is possible.

Examine mode One finger movement spins model around. Two finger pinching or pulling zooms into or away from the model shown. (work in progress - it is getting worked on as we figure out what works best migrating the FreeWRL library onto a tablet)

Walk mode One finger, pressed and moved left/right rotates the model in front of you. Finger up moves you forward, finger down moves you back. Two fingers pinch moves you up or down, and left/right.

Other X3D modes (eg, "Fly") are currently not supported.

Additionally, the X3D model can specify movement types, or movement speed. FreeX3D will adhere to the requests found in the X3D model, so it is possible to load a model that does not allow user-defined movement.


In early 2012, Google decided to move Android away from older menu systems, and focus on the "ActionBar". FreeX3D follows the Android ActionBar methodology, and uses a compatibility library (ActionBarSherlock) for operation on older pre-Android 4.x devices. ActionBarSherlock does have some issues with some of the smooth transitions, but in general works as expected.

The ActionBar is shown at the top of your screen, just underneath some system information.

FreeX3D allows you to set the ActionBar so that it is on the screen for 5 seconds, 20 seconds, or for ever. If the ActionBar has timed out and is not shown, touching the area where it should be will bring the ActionBar to the screen.

All menus in FreeX3D are shown in the ActionBar, but, depending on device, screen size, and orientation, Android may put some of the menu items under the "menu" button, so screen shots shown here should be understood to be approximates to your actual device/Android revision.


This allows you to select a new file from your local (device) storage. You can select any file, but (of course) not all files are actual files that FreeX3D can use. Choosing a valid file should show the contents of the file rendered on screen, choosing an invalid file will not work.

The "Log" screen will be shown if errors are found on the input file.


For STL users, there are a few "Viewpoints" defined, and selecting "Viewpoint" will go to the next Viewpoint. All Viewpoints will cycle through, and, should you get yourself into a location (say, inside of the model, or facing some unknown direction), selecting the "Viewpoint" will transform you back to a known location.

For X3D users, Viewpoints defined in the X3D model are used, and no additional Viewpoints are added to your model.


Settings are for the model that is displayed on the screen.

The "Settings" menu gives the following options:

Settings: Shape Appearance Setting sub-menus

FreeX3D also lets you manipulate the look of your shapes on screen. This code is currently in beta testing, and will make its way into the production version as sections are finalized.

Here's a list of the sections:

  • Texture Properties: In a future release you will be able to assign textures to your shape; what we will do here will be visually very interesting. Keep your eyes on FreeX3D for info... ;-)


    This screen shows options meant to affect models as they are being loaded.

    The "Prefs" menu gives the following options:


    The Info screen pops up when FreeX3D wants to tell you something, or if you wish to see messages, build versions, or my email address.

    It is used to display the last 3 system messages, (latest near the top), the system build time and version, and the contact email should you wish to email an issue.

    It will automatically appear in case of issues, such as X3D syntax mistakes, or will appear for STL, giving rendering updates (for slow-to-parse ASCII STL files) and statistics on FreeX3D's algorithms to streamline STL files for mobile rendering.

    FreeX3D History

    FreeX3D is a value-added version of FreeWRL. STL layering and model manipulation has been overlaid on the FreeWRL X3D engine.

    From circa 1999 to April 2010, the FreeWRL project was managed by John A. Stewart.

    There is absolutely no warranty, express or implied for this software. For details on the conditions of use, see the FreeWRL distribution.

    FreeWRL is Copyright (C) 1998, 1999...2009 Tuomas J. Lukka, John Stewart and others.

    The FreeWRL library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Library General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

    The FreeWRL library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Library General Public License for more details. Logo