More 3D with the Helix 3D Toolkit for WPF


Today's WPF Wednesday project keeps us in the 3D realm, but this time in WPF. This very complete, free and open source 3D toolkit will wow you in all it's features and very complete examples and demos...

Helix 3D Toolkit

Project Description
Helix 3D Toolkit is a collection of custom controls and helper classes for WPF 3D. The toolkit contains controls to manipulate the camera, classes to import models (3ds,lwo,obj) and export models.

NuGet package (updated at every code check-in)


  • Camera manipulation control
    • Turntable rotation
    • Trackball rotation
    • Zoom extents
    • Zoom by rectangle
    • Change field-of-view
    • Zoom/Rotate around the mouse down point
    • Support for orthographic and perspective cameras
    • Support for touch manipulation events (e.g. pinch to zoom)
  • Controls
    • HelixViewport3D - camera manipulation, lights and a Viewport3D
    • StereoView3D - cross/parallel stereo viewing
    • AnaglyphView3D - anaglyph viewing (requires red/cyan glasses)
    • ViewCube - rotates the view to align with selected faces of a cube
  • Input
    • Support for 3D Connexion SpaceNavigator
    • Examples for Wii remote
    • Examples for Kinect
  • Export
    • Kerkythea render engine
    • Wavefront files (.obj)
    • X3D (not finished)
    • Collada (not finished)
    • VRML97 (not finished)
    • POV-Ray (not finished)
  • Import
    • 3D Studio files (.3ds)
    • Lightwave files (.lwo)
    • Wavefront files (.obj)
    • StereoLithography files (.stl)
  • MeshBuilder - generates MeshGeometry3D
    • Extrude
    • Revolve
    • Loft
    • Boxes
    • Rectangular meshes
    • Tubes
    • Cone/Cylinder
  • Subdivision surfaces (Loop)
  • Visual3D objects
    • Arrow
    • Box
    • Cube
    • Rectangle
    • Lines (screen space thickness)
    • Points (screen space size)
    • GridLines
    • PieSlice
    • Sphere
    • TruncatedCone
    • Tube
    • Pipe
    • CoordinateSystem
    • Light
    • PanoramaCube
    • Terrain
    • Text
    • Billboard
    • Text billboard
    • Cutting planes
    • SortingVisual3D (sorts transparent objects by distance from camera)
  • Effects
    • Anaglyph shader effect


The only way to really get a feel for this project is to download it and play with the Samples.

Here's just a few of them from the included Sample Browser


From real time cloth examples;


To building LEGOs



There's other demo's to, like the 360 degree panorama viewer;



And my favorite, the Solar System;




Why is this my favorite? A couple reasons. First, how the textures are used to show rotation. Check out the spot on the Sun and how it moves over time. Same for the Earth and other planets. Second is how the solar system is "created".


Yep, creating the Solar System via WPF (and MVVM). How cool is that?

And yes, you get all the source for all of this, the examples and the Toolkit too.


If you're creating 3D based applications in WPF, you need to check out this toolkit...

The Discussion

  • User profile image

    I've been using the Helix Toolkit controls for over a year, and they are fantastic - great features, stable and it is an active project with ongoing improvement. Makes WPF 3D a pleasure. Highly recommended!

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