Import 3D Files (3D Analyst)

License Level:BasicStandardAdvanced


Imports one or more 3D models into a multipatch feature class.



Import3DFiles_3d (in_files, out_featureClass, {root_per_feature}, {spatial_reference}, {y_is_up}, {file_suffix}, {in_featureClass}, {symbol_field})
ParameterExplanationData Type

One or more 3D models or folders containing such files in the supported formats, which include 3D Studio Max (*.3ds), SketchUp (*.skp), VRML and GeoVRML (*.wrl), OpenFlight (*.flt), and COLLADA (*.dae).

File; Folder

The multipatch that will be created from the input files.

Feature Class

Indicates whether to produce one feature per file or one feature for every root node in the file. This option only applies to VRML models.

  • ONE_ROOT_ONE_FEATUREThe generated output will contain one feature for each root node in the file.
  • ONE_FILE_ONE_FEATUREThe generated output will contain one file for each feature. This is the default.

The coordinate system of the input data. For the majority of formats, this is unknown. Only the GeoVRML format stores its coordinate system, and its default will be obtained from the first file in the list unless a spatial reference is specified here.

Spatial Reference

Identifies the axis that defines the vertical orientation of the input files.

  • Z_IS_UPIndicates that z is up. This is the default.
  • Y_IS_UPIndicated that y is up.

The suffix of the files to import from an input folder. This parameter is required when a folder is specified as input.


The point features whose coordinates define the real-world position of the input files. Each input file will be matched to its corresponding point based on the file names stored in the Symbol Field. The Coordinate System parameter should be defined to match the spatial reference of the points.

Feature Class

The field in the point features containing the name of the 3D file associated with each point.


Code Sample

Import3DFiles example 1 (Python window)

The following sample demonstrates the use of this tool in the Python window:

import arcpy
from arcpy import env

env.workspace = "C:/data"
arcpy.Import3DFiles_3d("AddisSheraton.skp", "Test.gdb/AddisSheraton", False, "", False)
Import3DFiles example 2 (stand-alone script)

The following sample demonstrates the use of this tool in a stand-alone Python script:

Name: Model Shadows For GeoVRML Models
Description: Creates a model of the shadows cast by GeoVRML models 
             imported to a multipatch feature class for a range of dates
             and times. A range of times from the start time and end 
             time can also be specified by setting the EnforceTimes 
             Boolean to True. This sample is designed to be used in a 
             script tool.
# Import system modules
import arcpy
from datetime import datetime, time, timedelta

#*************************  Script Variables  **************************
inFiles = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0) # list of input features
spatialRef = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(1) # list of GeoVRML files
outFC = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(2) # multipatch from 3D files
inTimeZone = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(3) # time zone
startDate = arcpy.GetParameter(4) # starting date as datetime
endDate = arcpy.GetParameter(5) # ending date as datetime
dayInterval = arcpy.GetParameter(6) # day interval as long (0-365)
minInterval = arcpy.GetParameter(7) # minute interval as long (0-60)
enforceTime = arcpy.GetParameter(8) # minute interval as Boolean
outShadows = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(9) # output shadow models
outIntersection = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(10) # shadow & bldg intersection

# Function to find all possible date/time intervals for shadow modelling
def time_list():
    dt_result = [startDate]
    if dayInterval:
        if endDate: #Defines behavior when end date is supplied
            while startDate < endDate:
                startDate += timedelta(days=dayInterval)
        else: # Behavior when end date is not given
            daymonthyear =
            while startDate <= datetime(daymonthyear.year, 12, 31, 23, 59):
                startDate += timedelta(days=dayInterval)
    return dt_result

    importFC = arcpy.CreateUniqueName('geovrml_import', 'in_memory')
    # Import GeoVRML files to in-memory feature
    arcpy.ddd.Import3DFiles(inFiles, importFC, 'ONE_FILE_ONE_FEATURE', 
                            spatialRef, 'Z_IS_UP', 'wrl')
    # Ensure that building models are closed
    arcpy.ddd.EncloseMultiPatch(importFC, outFC, 0.05)
    # Discard in-memory feature
    dt_result = time_list()
    for dt in dt_result:
        if dt == dt_result[0]:
            shadows = outShadows
            shadows = arcpy.CreateUniqueName('shadow', 'in_memory')
        arcpy.ddd.SunShadowVolume(outFC, dt, shadows, 'ADJUST_FOR_DST', 
                                  inTimeZone, '', minInterval, 'MINUTES')
        if dt is not dt_result[0]:
  , outShadows)
    arcpy.ddd.Intersect3D(outFC, outIntersection, outShadows, 'SOLID')
except arcpy.ExecuteError:
    print arcpy.GetMessages()
    # Get the traceback object
    tb = sys.exc_info()[2]
    tbinfo = traceback.format_tb(tb)[0]
    # Concatenate error information into message string
    pymsg = "PYTHON ERRORS:\nTraceback info:\n{0}\nError Info:\n{1}"\
          .format(tbinfo, str(sys.exc_info()[1]))
    msgs = "ArcPy ERRORS:\n {0}\n".format(arcpy.GetMessages(2))
    # Return python error messages for script tool or Python Window


Related Topics

Licensing Information

ArcGIS for Desktop Basic: Requires 3D Analyst
ArcGIS for Desktop Standard: Requires 3D Analyst
ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced: Requires 3D Analyst