Simplifying “Puzzling” Instruction Sheets with 3DVIA Composer

My six-year-old daughter came home from a birthday party recently with some party favors. One of them was a spherical 3D puzzle. It has nine plastic pieces, and you have to slide pieces in and out to make room for other pieces to fit in properly.


Her first struggle came in simply taking the sphere apart. That was the first time I was called in for help. When she and I finally got the pieces separated, it was time for her to try to put it back together. She tried for about 30 minutes without success. There was a small instruction sheet but the images were tiny, black and white, and 2D. She never assembled the puzzle.


When she moved on to another game, I decided to put my skills to the test. I modeled the nine parts in SolidWorks and made a short, interactive animation in 3DVIA Composer. I added a “Play Next” button so viewers could advance one step at a time through the animation. Viewers can rotate the model to make sure they are putting the parts together in the proper orientation.

I called my daughter back to my computer and asked her to give it another try. I gave her the animation in the free 3DVIA Composer Player and laid out the nine plastic pieces for her. She was able to complete the puzzle in under five minutes on her first try with the animation!

How many “puzzles” do you try to put together? I am sure you have bought equipment, toys, furniture and more with some assembly required. If you even bother with them, I imagine you look at the assembly instructions with dread. Let’s hope more companies embrace 3D and start replacing those hard-to-read, black and white instruction sheets with 3D interactive content with a tool like 3DVIA Composer.

For more information on 3DVIA Composer, click on the images below to view 3DVIA Composer videos:

1)     First Look at 3DVIA Composer Video



2)     3DVIA Composer User Manual video series (registration required):


Joe Rousseau

Joe Rousseau

Joe is a Senior Training Manager, Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS