I need to create a 3D floor plan like thing on the web that people can add furniture to, and then walk through in 3D. Like the Sims, or Home floor plan. Or more exactly, like the IKEA kitchen designer but in flash so nothing needs to be downloaded. Be able to rotate and view from the top and at floor level. The furniture elements can be predesigned, but their location on the stage will be determined by the user. The layout needs top be able to be saved on the server in a database of some kind. The database will also inclined prices so that the user can print out an item list, and a price list. Need to be able to print what the user sees on screen at any time , from that point of view. The user will be able to recall his saved layout, with all of the components in the right place, and make changes as desired.
The floor plan itself needs to be able to be drawn by the user, and be able to position doors and windows.
Anybody seen anything like this anywhere? Either for e-commerce or for a game? Any suggestions as to where to start? 3D "engine"? Server and database (the preference is MS SQL server? This needs not run at an ISP, but can run on the client's server.
The furniture designs themselves are now done in Solid Works, but can be exported to other 3D file formats.
That is one ENORMOUS order. Not to be a downer, but if you don't know where to start on a project like this, that's a good indication that you have bitten off more than you can chew. Flash has always been light on 3D capabilities, and getting around those limitations takes a lot of work and is never truely as useable as a true 3D app, so your initial plans for the interface sound difficult enough. Adding on to that the capabilities of saving layouts to a server for returning customers, printing out parts/prices, and you're talking about a significant amount of database integration and manipulation in Flash and on the database server.
Again, I don't want to be a downer, and I hope someone else posts a great answer for you, but IMO, this is a world class flash development level request, a job for the top guys in the industry, and not something you're going to get instructions on from an online forum. I know enough about my abilities to know that it would take me at least 6 months of doing nothing else to even get close to accomplishing this sort of thing, and even with that I would need to pull in an SQL programer and 3D designer at LEAST to help out.
I'm filling a need. Without me there would be no bad examples.
Almost certainly not flash, though I haven't signed up to find out.
Their system specs are very restrictive http://www.plan3d.com/pages/Requirements.aspx - more so that the excellent viewpoint media player, which grew out of the very neat metastream media player. Since it's a skinny Windows-only download, that suggests a custom-written activeX control rather than a Java app ... but I'm only guessing now.