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X3D-Edit 4.0 Authoring Tool
for Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics

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X3D-Edit is a free, open-source Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics authoring tool for simple high-quality authoring, editing, import/export, validation and viewing of X3D scenes.

X3D-Edit 4.0 splash screen

News: X3D-Edit 4.0 installers are now in beta testing with around 300 downloads so far.

Periodically available: pre-release versions. Now testing X3D-Edit Update Center (updates.xml) to simplify updates for all deployed versions.

Now using Java OpenJDK 19 and Apache NetBeans 15. Major release updated for Web3D 2022 Conference, November 2022.

You are welcome to send issue reports (success, failure, suggestions) to brutzman at and tdnorbra at

X3D-Edit 4.0 welcome screen

Overview to top

The X3D-Edit 4.0 Authoring Tool for Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics supports the creation, checking, display and publication of X3D scenes. It is written in open-source Java and XML using the NetBeans platform, making it suitable both as a standalone application and as a plugin module for the NetBeans integrated development environment (IDE).

Motivation for X3D-Edit design has always been centered around authors making great X3D content for Web users, precise implementation of the X3D specifications, and quality assurance (QA) for producing reliable results.

X3D-Edit features include direct editing of X3D scenes using the XML (.x3d) encoding, embedded visualization of scenes using an enhanced version of the original Xj3D viewer, XML validation using X3D DTD grammars, X3D Schema grammars and X3D Schematron rules, drag-and-drop palette for X3D nodes, popup panels for node editing, and extensive help resources. Menu selections provide import/export support for the VRML97 (.wrl), ClassicVRML (.x3dv) and X3D compressed binary (.x3db) encodings. Further features include encryption and digital-signature authentication using XML Security standards, and additional X3D scene authoring support.

X3D-Edit 3.3 is undergoing developmental testing. Tool capabilities are summarized in the X3D-Edit Update slideset presentation.

Acknowledgements to top

X3D-Edit 4.0 was created by Mike Bailey, Don Brutzman and Terry Norbraten. Additional help and feedback was provided by Don McGregor, Terry Norbraten, Jeff Weekley, plus the MV3204 Introduction to X3D Graphics and the MV4205 Advanced X3D Graphics classes at NPS.

We gratefully acknowledge further assistance by Leonard Daly (Daly Realism), Alan Hudson (Yumetech), Rick Goldberg (Aniviza), plus members of the Web3D Consortium and the X3D Graphics Working Group.

X3D-Edit was built as an externally funded research project performed by the Modeling, Virtual Environments and Simulation (MOVES) Institute at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey California USA.

Research and development inquiries are welcome. We are happy to discuss the possibility of embedding other open-source Java libraries and providing further X3D functionality within X3D-Edit.

Books to top

Downloads to top

Beta testing in progress: X3D-Edit installers release and X3D-Edit installers pre-release.

Now testing X3D-Edit Update Center.

See TODO section for known problems and current work.

You are welcome to send issue reports (success, failure, suggestions) to brutzman at and tdnorbra at so that we might continue to improve X3D-Edit.

TODO. The following section is old and will be revised.

  1. Prerequisite: please install the latest version of Java on your system, the minimum level for X3D-Edit is Java 17 LTS (Long-Term Support) milestone. We are currently using OpenJDK-19.
    To learn more: Savage Developers Guide: Java.
  2. Standalone Application (30 August 2021 version)

    We have rebranded and relaunched X3D-Edit 3.3 as X3D-Edit 4.0.

    All operating systems: download and extract it into a convenient directory.

    Once unzipped, navigate to the new x3dedit40/bin subdirectory. Then launch the standalone executable for your operating system (x3dedit40 for MacOSX/Linux or x3dedit40.exe/x3dedit4064.exe for Windows).

    Once unzipped, navigate to the new x3dedit40/bin subdirectory.

    1. Windows users may need to provide permission to run this executable. Right click x3dedit4064 to select Properties then General tab then Unblock security restrictions.
    2. For Windows high-resolution screens, the Xj3D "quarter screen" rendering bug is corrected by similarly setting executable properties for DPI override as shown in Properties screenshot (example result).
    3. You can now launch the standalone executable for your operating system (x3dedit40 for MacOSX/Linux or x3dedit40.exe/x3dedit4064.exe for Windows).
  3. Initial Configuration (Current version, manual steps following installation)

    Once running, We are working to automatically configure the following steps which improve application layout.

    1. Windows menu: add Favorites and Navigator
    2. Favorites menu: add directory location of your X3D example models, such as
    3. Can close adjacent bin tab showing executables (if present)
    4. Load an X3D model such as
    5. Select Xj3D button. Initial launch of Xj3D View is undocked, so right-click the tab to Dock it. Select and drag the pane to more usable location next to Navigator. Orange box outlines provide a guide.
    6. The full set of NetBeans plugins appears to be compatible. For example, you can add support for version control by
      1. first selecting Tools > Plugins
      2. then Available Plugins tab,
      3. then select checkboxes for git and Subversion,
      4. then press the Install button.

  1. Standalone Application Alternatives (Not working)

  2. NetBeans Plugins (Not working)

    Install the latest Apache NetBeans, which is a comprehensive Integrated Development Environment (IDE) with many features for project development.

    As shown in screenshot, select and install the plugins via
    NetBeans menu Tools > Plugins > Downloaded (tab) > Add Plugins (button) > file selector.

    Once selected, press the Install button. You are required to accept all terms of the associated open-source licenses. You will also need to accept all of these plugins as untrusted, since we have not yet implemented module signing. Restart the NetBeans IDE to complete the installation.

(The following sections are not yet updated, documenting the 2018 version)

Features to top

X3D-Edit has grown in parallel to the X3D Specification, testing X3D functionality throughout years of development. Built-in features include:

X3D-Edit Preferences panel exposes numerous settings for users.

New and additional features include: to top

Issue Tracking to top

(Not yet updated, this section documents the 2018 version)

Licenses to top

X3D-Edit 4.0 is open source, written in Java and XML, based on the NetBeans platform. It may be used for any legitimate purpose.

Other ancillary supporting packages are provided under the terms of their own respective open-source licenses.

Mailing Lists to top

(Not yet updated, this section documents the 2018 version)

Plugins to top

(Not yet updated, this section documents the 2018 version)

To ensure your X3D-Edit stays up to date, select Tools > Plugins > Settings then select Check Interval: Every Startup.

X3D-Edit users can also install the following additional NetBeans plugins.

Support to top

X3D-Edit runs on desktop/laptop/tablet systems and is portable across major operating systems (Windows 7-10, MacOSX, Linux).

TODO to top

You are welcome to send issue reports (success, failure, suggestions) to brutzman at and tdnorbra at

Current X3D-Edit development is using NetBeans 15 and OpenJDK-19S. Configuration information can be found in the Savage Developers Guide.

Confirmation Requests

  1. Java support. Is X3D-Edit runnable with just Java Runtime Environment (JRE), or is the full Java Development Kit (JDK) needed?
  2. Linux support. Does X3D-Edit run on Linux? Yes, we have two beta testers.

Current Issue List

  1. Fixed. Check X3D > X3D Examples > Download Example Archives... all working. Added Humanoid Animation (HAnim) examples archive.
  2. Mostly fixed. Check X3D > X3D-Edit Preferences for correct url addresses and launching of all applications. Add Protege.
  3. Added. Add X3D > Export from .x3d > Export Turtle .ttl menu item and action button
  4. In progress. Add X3D > Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) menu item and action button for launching local https server, supporting X_ITE operation on local files. Attempt to automate such functionality as a user preference.
  5. Needed? Update X_ITE logo.
  6. Add X3D JSON Schema validation when available.

Xj3D Issue List

  1. Most X3D version 4 capabilities not yet supported.
  2. Fixed on Windows: Xj3D "quarter screen" rendering bug is corrected for standalone application by setting executable properties for DPI override as shown in Properties screenshot (example result).
  3. Text node vertical justification remains broken, ouch...
  4. Fixed: driver problems (jogamp, aviatrix) on all operating systems.
  5. Fixed, tests are ongoing: Xj3D did not handle https, refactoring performed.
  6. Fixed: Xj3D did not USE nodes properly in HelloWorld example.
  7. Fixed: bump Xj3D version to 2.3.

Deferred Issue List

  1. JavaHelp not supported in NetBeans 12, taking alternative approach to restoring functionality by adding X3D > Help menu items. TODO if presentation quality improves someday, possibly restore JavaHelp as a launchable help window.
  2. Issue tracking: once initial issues are handled, decide on how to best handle issue tracking (likely on SourceForge X3D discussion).
  3. Once the updated X3D-Edit 4.0 suite is again fully stable, we need to renumber the existing directory trees in subversion.
  4. Signing deliverables: once everything works satisfactorily, we will explore signing jar and module files for reliability.
  5. Once fixed, share links for standalone applications (WIndows, Mac, Linux) in order to support beta testing.
  6. Working on plugin deployment for NetBeans, direct installation locally works. Likely problem is layer.xml choreography.
  7. NetBeans plugin sharing: we are again experimenting with Long term, we plan to move to a new Apache NetBeans plugin repository once available.

Deferred Application Configuration

  1. Favorites and Navigator enabled, Xj3D panel enabled and docked.
  2. NetBeans git and subversion plugins automatically included in deployed application.

Visualization Features to top

Author-assist visualization graphics are provided for certain X3D nodes in order to help show their effects.

Visualization graphics are available for the following X3D nodes:

Contact to top

Questions, suggestions and comments about these resources are welcome. Please send them to Don Brutzman (brutzman at

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for this page is

Page revised 8 January 2023.

(official disclaimer)

"Material contained herein is made available for the purpose of 
peer review and discussion and does not necessarily reflect the 
views of the Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense."