How Much Does a 3D Configurator Cost?

It is probably our most commonly-asked question: how much will it cost to build a 3D configurator?

The answer: it depends 😉 … but there are some details to consider that may help you estimate. 

Before I get into details, if you have a project in mind and don’t have the time to learn the details, get in touch and we can guide you through the process

Sketchfab powers configurators – or customizers – that span from the world’s most iconic brands to small upstarts; from eCommerce to marketing to programmatic banner ads to in-person presentations tools to manufacturing design tools; from automotive to apparel to footwear to jewelry to journalism.

So, there is broad and growing use of 3D configuration, and projects range from very simple to very complex.

22 Factor uses the Sketchfab Viewer API to offer a configurator where you can easily change color and stitch type

3D Configurators are essentially custom applications powered by the Sketchfab Viewer via API. For example, the custom web app will tell the Sketchfab viewer to toggle on or off elements of a 3D model and apply different textures or colors to component parts while, perhaps, modifying camera angles to highlight key features of a product. 

The process to build a 3D configurator is pretty straightforward:

Step 1: Determine the specific functionality and user flow for the configurator

Step 2: Create or optimize 3D models of the products you will make configurable

Step 3: Develop the custom application 

So how can you estimate your costs? There are three main components to consider:

3D model development and/or optimization

Do you have existing 3D models that can be configured? If not, talented 3D artists, like those in the Sketchfab community, can usually build high-quality models from a few product images within hours…Or you can license a royalty-free 3D asset on the Sketchfab store.

Creating a 3D model from scratch will usually cost in the range of $50 to $1000 per asset depending upon the complexity and quality of the asset. 

If you do have existing 3D assets, you’ll want to break it into component (configurable) parts and update to ensure optimal performance on the Sketchfab player. 

The Sketchfab license

At its core, Sketchfab is in the business of licensing 3D visualization software. All of our paid plans outlined here include access to our Viewer API. Sketchfab offers full-service end-to-end custom technology development to customers with Enterprise licenses which start at $1,000 per month. 

Web development

Custom web development costs depend heavily upon the complexity of a project. By way of example, a skilled web developer will usually charge between $50 and $250 dollars an hour, and a simple configurator like the one below would take an experienced developer roughly 25 hours. 

Click and drag with your mouse or move with your finger on mobile. Use the options to change colors.

All in, the average upfront cost of a standard configurator ranges from $15,000 to $45,000 including model development, licensing and custom website development. If you want a better sense of cost for your specific project, please get in touch to discuss with a 3D expert on our team.