How do I add a 3D Product Configurator for Shopify?

A 3D product configurator on Shopify let’s your shoppers customize, personalize, and configure the product they want to buy. When you allow your customers to interact with your products online the way they would in store, you stand to benefit. 

3D product configuration can be done two ways. 

One way is to pay a 3D designer to create every single potential product configuration. Every color, every fabric, every potential configuration. This will usually take months, is expensive, and will be hard to check quality. 

Also, because each 3D file is one set asset, each change in your 3D configured product will load on it’s own, which is very slow.

The second way - with Threekit 3D production configuration - involves professional services and software. This creates an incredible visual customer experience quickly that enables your product and business to scale. 

Our professional services team, made up of 3D pioneers and world-class 3D artists create master 3D files for your products. 

Then, we upload your product rules (like colors, materials, customizations, personalization features, configurations, etc.) 

Finally, our software is then able to take the master 3D files and rules, and is able to create pixel perfect 3D renderings of your product. And it’s fast because instead of needing to re-load a whole new 3D file every time there’s a change, our software brings in just the new part rather than an entirely new file. So customers can see changes immediately. 

Threekit offers both the expert services and the software so that customers can be up and running with an incredible visual customer experience in less than a month.

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How to create a custom product builder in Shopify?

Product builders in shopify allow your customers to build your product to their exact specifications, usually starting from scratch. 

We’ve seen companies, especially in B2B, use a product builder to great success because it allows the salesperson or distributor to collect important specifications and requirements from the customer and to build the product from there.

With a product builder customers or sales teams or distributors can start by asking “what are your needs?” and from there they can get to building. 

Creating a product builder is one of those things that sound easy but for anyone who has done it, most have found it to be more difficult than they thought it would be. 

Product builders on Shopify start with rules. Certain features, colors, fabrics, materials, can go together and some can’t.

Let’s start with an example of a builder with a threekit customer, BostonTec. BostonTec builds custom workstations, mostly for factories. Before Threekit they would sit down with prospects and map out needs based on a 64-page catalog of features.

To create a product builder with Shopify, companies upload their product requirements. This can be anything from a word doc to a JSON file listing all of the rules. 

The next step is to visualize every potential component. 

Third, use software, like Threekit, to map all of the potential mapping points of where components lineup. 

The final step is allowing the software to bring the rules, components, and mapping points together into a single user experience.

For BostonTec, the Threekit product builder, has allowed them to go from needing to ask their application engineer to develop every single potential design (and waiting two weeks) to being able to design and price custom workstations real time with prospects. This puts them “head and shoulders above the competition” according to Meagan Steffes, Project Manager at BOSTONtec.

To create a product builder in Shopify, be aware of the complex rules and process needed to properly assemble and create a brilliant product experience and let us know if we can help!

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How to do product personalization in Shopify?

Product personalization on Shopify means making  completely personal product -- this includes things like custom engraving, photo uploads, and monograms. 

Personalization is a great fit for anyone selling items that might be given as gifts. About half of the respondents to Deloitte’s survey agreed that personalized items make great gifts. And offering personalization can turn something ordinary (like a guitar) into something special (like a guitar with the owner’s name etched into its body).

The personalization trend is also just getting started -- In Adobe’s 2019 Digital Trends report, 28 percent of companies cite “targeting and personalization” as a top trend, second only to “customer journey management.”

The most simple - and low quality - way of doing product personalization is simply putting enabling a text box over the areas where customers can personalize your products. 

These designs usually look like what they are, text on top of a product. Fine for low cost products, but for high quality or expensive products, it doesn’t look real. And also, usually, a person on your team will need to review the personalization and fix it before printing. 

Threekit follows real physical rules when applying personalization.

We give depth to engraved metals, height to stitched materials, and when a product is shown at different angles the personalization will follow any curves/changes on the surface of the product.


Threekit doesn’t just look real in a way it actually is part of your product. This makes personalization look hyper-realistic. Checkout Pukka Hats (a customer’ of Threekit) for a good personalization example.

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How to do augmented reality with Shopify?

Augmented reality on Shopify is the ability for your customers to be able to show your product in the customers space via the customer’s mobile device. 

For example, a furniture manufacturer could enable customers to view a couch on their phone and then select “view in my room” on their mobile device and the camera would open and the user would then be able to put the selected couch in their room. 

This allows the customer to see your product in their actual space which builds trust and engagement which lead directly to higher conversion. Not only that, because customers are using AR to put something in their space they can better visualize the product and are less likely to return the product. 

Augmented reality can be enabled & disabled on any Threekit player by default. It will generate Android & iOS-ready AR files directly from the browser with no additional applications needed to download or install.

Threekit's AR files will reflect any configurations currently in a player for true-to-life representations of configured products.

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How do I fix slow 3D and image load times on Shopify?

The best way to fix slow 3D and image 

A common issue we’ve seen on Shopify is slow load times for images, 3D product configuration, and product customizers. When your shoppers are seeing a spinning “loading” wheel for more than a second or two they’re mostly likely going to bounce. After all, studies have shown that Just a 1-second delay in load time can hurt conversion rates by 7 percent.

We’ve heard feedback from prospects that worked with one-off designers or agencies that “everytime my Shopify site gets more than 100 concurrent visitors, the 3D configurator or our images load super slowly and conversion drops off”

What’s causing the slow load times for a lot of people on Shopify is that the custom 3D or product image that merchant’s are using are being fully rendered on the Shopify site. Meaning for each change in the image, they have to totally reload every bit of the visual. And especially with 3D files (which are larger) this means loading every single layer and mesh.

The fastest way to load 3D products, or product images is via a player where a partner, like Threekit, has already rendered every possible combination of your product. With the threekit player on Shopify, any variation of your product are created nearly instantly due to the scalability of Threekit's platform & services. We create & serve content while Shopify only holds the player.

Shopper expectations for a better visual customer experience are already growing like crazy. It’s not enough to show your product in an immersive way and to allow customization and personalization. It needs to be fast. If you are working with one-off dev shops or agencies for 3D or images on Shopify and the load times are slow, it’s because the product visual needs to re-rendered every single time from scratch.

Consider Threekit because our player embedded in your Shopify player means that your product and every customization is already pre-rendered and super fast.

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