Zea CAD File Format- 3D Rendering Engine

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Pre-process and optimize your large CAD, models for real-time visualization in the Zea Engine while preserving all metadata and PMI.

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Gearbox CAD-02 CAD-03


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Optimized for the Web

Larger assemblies benefit from better optimization since we're able to find more reuse of the same or symmetrical geometry like repeating teeth on a gear. Zea CAD achieves compression ratios between 30:1 and 200:1 when compared to the original CAD file.

Support for All PMI and Metadata

We use the leading SDKs to open your native CAD file and create the optimized zcad file for the web. We can preserve any metadata you have in your file that you would want to reference in your web application.

Confidence in the Whole Process

We don't depend on a flaky supply chain of unsupported third-party libraries to get the job done. We participate in the development of the server-side code required to create zcad files and certify the process.

Feel confident and optimize your data pipeline locally or in the cloud.

The Full Story

Zea CAD is the default plugin to use if you need more than simple web visualization of your 3D model. It's the no-compromise solution for rendering 3D CAD models with all associated metadata and PMI on the web.




Server-Side Code

Compatible with the industry's highest quality translator, 3D InterOp from Spatial Corp., we generate Zea CAD (zcad) files that you can use directly within your web application.

Contact us if you would like to use other file translators.

Client-Side Code

We publicly distribute the Zea CAD client-side code via NPM, we couldn't find a simpler way to get you started. 

More Options

Combining CAD with other types of data like point clouds is also possible, with the Zea PoTree plugin. Add motion to your data with Zea Kinematics

Good to Know

If you aren't looking to optimize your data flow, maintain PMI and metadata attached with the model, you might consider licensing the Zea Engine and using the free open-source GLTF loader.



Just so that there aren't any surprises, you should know that we control the distribution of the server-side code to create the zcad files and publicly distribute the client-side code through NPM. We provide a few zcad files with our demos and templates to help with your evaluation. You'll have to contact us if you want to run an evaluation with your own data.

If you want to fly solo, check out our open source showcase projects. Alternatively, you can start building a web application using our template and sample zcad files. You should be up and running in about 30 minutes.

If you want priority support, or to have a chat to determine if Zea CAD is the right solution for you, that's great! Contact us and we can walk you through and support your evaluation efforts.




  • Proprietary/closed-source
  • Commercial license includes server-side and client-side libraries
  • Server-side: download with license key
  • Client-side: public through NPM
Apps and end-users
  • Unlimited
Developer support
Scene/model size
  • 200,000 + parts
Supported CAD file types
  • Catia
  • Solidworks
  • Siemens Parasolid
Support for mobile check-solid
Support for Web XR check-solid
Real-time rendering check-solid
Browser-based check-solid
Owners Maintained by Khronos Group Maintained by Zea
Massive Assemblies
(>10k parts)
Does not scale well with big assemblies Scales well with big assemblies
(1Gb Asset, 43k parts)
3.8x compression
48x compression
(20 Mb)
Streamed loading No streaming support.
(Designed for small models)
Streaming can be added in the future
Materials and Lighting Rich support for materials and lighting. Basic support for materials and lighting.
Toolchain Many tools can export and import Only Zea SDK can export and import
Security Completely insecure Fairly secure. A focus for future R&D
Spatial 3D InterOp check-solid


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Topics: Code Library, Built by Zea, Popular

See Also

Code Library | Built by Zea | Popular

Potree- Zea Engine

Load and render large LiDAR point clouds directly in the browser with the Zea Potree plugin.

Read More
Code Library | Built by Zea | Popular

Spatial Bridge - Zea Inc.

Extend Spatial's 3D InterOp SDK to convert common CAD formats into zcad files for the Zea Engine.

Read More
Code Library | Built by Zea | Popular

glTF Loader - Zea Engine

Import and load gLTF files in Zea Engine.

Read More