Get Time Back Importing and Preparing CAD Data for 3D Experiences

Unity and PiXYS team up to offer new bundle for quicker CAD data import and preparation.

Screenshot of PiXYZ Studio, now included in the Unity Industry Bundle. (Image courtesy of PiXYZ.)

Screenshot of PiXYZ Studio, now included in the Unity Industry Bundle. (Image courtesy of PiXYZ.)

Unity Technologies, developer of the real-time 3D development platform Unity, has announced a partnership with software company PiXYZ (pronounced pixies) to provide Unity users with PiXYZ’s CAD data import and preparation tools.

Unity is a platform well known to game developers, but it has users from a wide variety of industries, including engineering, architecture, construction, aerospace, automotive, defense and more. NASA has used Unity to visualize a virtual Mars rover, Volkswagen will be using it to train 10,000 employees in virtual reality (VR) and it’s been used in healthcare for VR visualization of children’s hearts.

“The number of uses is mind-blowing,” said Tim McDonough, head of industrial at Unity. “Users all start with this: How do I take complex 3D data and visualize it in a real-time 3D environment?”

Historically, importing and preparing CAD data for 3D development tools like Unity has been cumbersome and labor intensive, according to McDonough.“Getting CAD data into Unity typically took about 70 percent of the time necessary for getting the data into the game engine,” he said. “We believe that the experts at PiXYZ have simplified this and have made it easier for customers to improve the quality of their real-time 3D experiences.”

PiXYZ offers several tools to aid engineers in importing and preparing their CAD data. PiXYZ Studio takes in CAD data in formats including SOLIDWORKS, NX, CATIA, Creo, Inventor, Solid Edge, FBX, IGES, STEP and more and converts the data into optimized meshes. It also preserves CAD data such as product modeling information, materials and metadata and automates data preparation with presets and Python scripting. PiXYZ Plugin is a tool that syncs design changes to 3D applications, so you won’t need to rebuild your application every time you update your model.

With the partnership, Unity will be offering a new enterprise option called the Unity Industry Bundle, which packages together Unity Pro, PiXYZ Studio and PiXYZ plugin. The Unity Industry Bundle isn’t yet listed on the Unity website, but more information on that package is expected to be released next month.

McDonough is confident that the new collaboration will go a long way towards solving the woes of CAD data import and preparation for Unity users.

“We’re excited about the collaboration with PiXYZ, because for all those customers outside of the game space, we’re going to make it easier for them,” he said. “They can take that 70 percent and reinvest it in making better applications and experiences.”

To learn about another option to bring CAD data into Unity, check out From Native CAD to Low-Poly FBX.

Written by

Michael Alba

Michael is a senior editor at He covers computer hardware, design software, electronics, and more. Michael holds a degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Alberta.