Searching the Warehouse

This is either a feature request or an assistance request. When I search for an item on the 3D Warehouse, rarely is the first choice my final choice. I need to download it to a model and examine it before deciding if it meets my needs. If I decide to look at another model and go back to the Warehouse, I get the window for the downloaded component, but the search history is lost and I have to start over.

For a component with a small number of choices, this is not a time waster, but for a component with hundreds of choices, it becomes a real time waster to get back to where I left off. For example, the search on “Drawer Slides” returns 755 components. I tried to use more keywords, but it eliminated some items that I wanted to include.

The warehouse window returning to home after a download is an annoying quirk I agree. I wish it just stayed open when downloading a model instead of closing in the first place. If you open the 3Dwarehosue in a separate browser window then it stays open on download, but you have the extra step of downloading onto your hard drive instead of directly into model.

However, even though the window in the app reopens on home the history is saved and pressing the back button in the upper left should take you back through the previous pages. So re-opening the warehouse and pressing back twice should take you back to the original search.

Many of us find this “extra step” to be quite valuable in order to screen the component for a level of detail that makes sense in the context in which we intend to use it. Personally, I use it almost all the time - the exceptions being (mostly) when I’m downloading one of my own models and I already know it’s suitable.

Agreed, I do the same. Just pointing out the way the options work to the the OP.

I’d be curious to know if you find the 3D view of the model helpful at all? And what other keys would be helpful to aid in speeding up this process for you?

Hi Barry,

First, to answer a question asked elsewhere, I am running SU Pro 2018 on a Mac High Sierra 10.13.3. And I appreciate the explanations from several people to explain their workarounds. I see how I can use a separate browser, but it still seems like the tool should not require workarounds for something this basic. However, I can now deal with the original complaint, so thanks to the community.

The 3D view is very helpful as a first screen since the keywords have no real consistency. For example, search on “bathroom + faucet” and you will see many items that are not faucets, but are other bathroom components. I don’t want to focus on the keyword strategy for one single designer since most seem to do the same thing, but you can see keywords that are only related to the actual object. Therefore, the 3D images are very important.

I assume that the list of items with a hashtag are all of the keywords associated with the item. I don’t think that the keys themselves are the culprit, since you can’t control what people put in for keywords (nor should you even try in a crowd sourced database with contributions from all over the world) and manufacturers will always stretch the relationship between the keyword and the product. I did notice that the return for the robe hook (apologies to Brizo, but they are the first one that gets returned) has no hashtag that is “faucet” or “bathroom” - there are several where “faucet” and/or “bathroom” is part of the hashtag and the search seemed to have returned all items with “faucet” and/or “bathroom” as part of the hashtag. There is also a hashtag of “bath” which may be the match as well.

So, I can only credit the search algorithm for expanding the results to include hashtags that are almost what was requested instead of adhering to a precise match. This is a common complaint I have about all search engines: they return a lot that of results that are not precisely what I asked for – but I digress.


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@Barry Meh, I don’t really make much use of the 3d view, but that probably has more to do with my workflow than it’s inherent usefulness. If I am digging around in the warehouse for items then I am most likely in the brainstorming phase of my work, slamming ideas together against the screen to see how they stick. For that kind of work all I really need to see is a basic 2d photo of the item and file size to see if it’s going to bloat the model. I usually can’t be bothered to wait for the electrons to warm up or whatever the joke is for the imbedded 3d to render, I generally find it slow. It feels like I can download the file and look at it in Sketchup faster than the 3D is ready, and what I’m really looking at is how the file is made to determine it’s usefulness, is it a pile of loosely connected geometry or nicely grouped, which the viewer won’t tell me. If I am looking for something specific that I know has to be build right for the final product then I just build it from scratch and rarely wade into the warehouse because it’s such a crapshoot of badly constructed files. Not that there are not great files too, but it can be a chore to separate the wheat from the chaff. I have certainly been saved a few time with high quality models of things I needed and didn’t have to build myself, and for brainstorming it’s invaluable so I’m not hating on the warehouse, I love it, I just don’t use the 3D much. I do use the 3D viewer option to imbed some of my models directly on my website which I like being able to do.

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I do not use the 3D- option regulary, I am more interested in the (recently added) way to display Materials in a Model, it is useful, but sometimes to small to check textures . Often, it doesn’t display the right number of materials.
I am ususally distracted by the change of the background while hoovering over the model.
Right now, the only ‘inside’ components that you can investigate on the right hand side are components which have been uploaded to the warehouse already. Would it not be great if you can display all the components used in the model?

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Yes it’s one of the most useful features.

It’s the quickest way to see the quality of the model instead of wasting time downloading one that’s not fit for purpose, don’t remove it please :slight_smile:

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It’s so slow, I only use it when the model looks promising, but the 2D thumbnail is just not showing the good bits well. But yes, it’s better than downloading and having to remember to delete files later.

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