3D Product Configurator - Everything You Need to Know


Ophélie Jeanne


July 6th, 2023

7 min read time

Are you considering investing in a 3D configurator but unsure whether it's the right choice? This article will provide all the information you need to make an informed decision. We'll explore the differences between 2D and 3D product configurators, discuss best practices, and present a list of top 3D product configurators available in the market. Let’s get started!

What is a 3D product configurator?

A 3D product configurator is an interactive and digital software that allows shoppers to visualize a product in a 360 degrees live rendering. Thanks to this technology, customers can see their custom products through any angle, thereby improving their overall visualization experience.

Pros and cons of 2D and 3D product configurators

2D and 3D product configurators are both interactive tools used to customize and visualize products according to a customer's preferences. However, they differ in the way they present the product and the level of customization they offer. As a reminder, a 2D product configurator allows the visualization of a product in 2 dimensions, presenting the product in a flat, non-rotating view.

3D product configurator


  • 360 degrees  product visualization 

  • Wow factor

  • Fewer product returns 

  • Competitive advantage


  • Higher costs to implement 

  • More technical requirements 

  • Longer implementation time

  • Slower loading times

  • Less realistic product preview

2D product configurator


  • Easy to use and manage 

  • Budget-friendly 

  • Faster implementation 

  • Faster loading time

  • Photorealistic product preview


  • Limited visualization (no 360 degrees product preview)

How to choose between a 2D and 3D product configurator?

When deciding between a 2D or 3D product configurator for your ecommerce, there are several factors to take into account.

Product complexity: Depending on the complexity of the customizable products you wish to present, you can choose whether 2D or 3D is more appropriate for your products. If your customizable products are very complex, with numerous components, it may be wise to opt for a 3D product configurator, to make it easier for your customers to visualize the rendering, giving them an overall view of their product. On the other hand, if your products are less complex, a 2D product configurator will also meet your needs very well, and will still provide a great shopping experience for your customers.

Budget: Another crucial aspect to take into account is the budget you're willing to allocate for a product configurator. The price difference between a 2D and 3D product configurator can be significant, often reaching thousands of dollars, as the expenses associated with set up fees and 3D modeling creation for a 3D configurator can be considerably high.

Device performance and compatibility: Some 3D product configurators utilize emerging technologies that may not be supported by certain devices or browsers and require a very performant computer or phone. On the other hand, 2D product configurators use more robust and reliable technologies that are compatible with a wide range of devices.

Loading time: Loading 3D models in a web browser will always take longer than loading 2D images. This is primarily because 3D models contain more information and data that are complex and voluminous. In contrast, 2D product configurators use flat images that contain less data and are therefore loading faster. 

Development time: Generally, 3D configurators require more time for development due to their complexity and the need for specialized skills in 3D modeling, rendering, and programming. If you need to go live quickly, a 2D product configurator might be a better option.

Level of realism of the product preview: Achieving high-realism in 3D is complex and requires high-quality models and textures, making the process time-consuming and costly. The intricate details for realism also lead to slower load times due to larger data sizes. In contrast, high-resolution photos can easily deliver realistic results, offering less complexity and faster load times.

3D product configurators are exciting and useful in specific cases, especially when your users have high-performance devices at their disposal, or when you sell a very complex product. For most other cases, a 2D product configurator such as Kickflip is more than adequate.

Kickflip is a powerful solution that provides outstanding 2D product visualization, live rendering, and a multitude of customization options, making it an excellent alternative for businesses seeking to enhance their customers' online shopping experience.

Benefits of a 3D product configurator

Ready for the adventure of a 3D product configurator? You'll be able to take advantage of the benefits it offers, improving your overall customer experience and outcome.

Fewer product returns: In 2020, the US ecommerce sector experienced a financial impact of $550 billion due to product returns. A significant 39.8% of these returns were attributed to discrepancies between the product's description and its actual features. By having a 3D product configurator, you can offer your customers a more accurate visual and proportional understanding of the products they will be buying, thus reducing unpleasant surprises when they receive their order.

Wow factor: With a 3D configurator, you’ll be able to surpass your customers’ expectations by offering them an unusual experience that few ecommerce companies are offering yet. 

Boosting sales: By providing an engaging and interactive shopping experience, the 3D product configurator enables customers to enjoy an elevated customization process, installing trust and assurance in their purchasing decisions. In fact, when a product is displayed in 3D or using Augmented Reality, 60% of online consumers express an increased inclination to make a purchase, highlighting the effectiveness of these visualization technologies.

All these benefits will help your business grow by attracting new customers while retaining existing ones thanks to an enhanced customer experience. By leveraging a 3D product configurator, you'll gain a competitive advantage, reinforcing your brand's innovative reputation and setting it apart from the competition.

3D product configurators’ key features

Given the numerous 3D product configurators available in the market, we have compiled a list of essential features that we believe should be present in an effective 3D product configurator.

  • Customization options: The 3D product configurator should offer an extensive range of customization options, such as real-time color updates, changes of textures, shapes, materials, and size, among others. 

  • Dynamic pricing: This essential feature allows customers to see the cost implications of their product customizations, providing transparency in pricing as modifications are made.

  • User-friendly interface: Make sure you choose a 3D product configurator with an intuitive interface to make navigation and customization easier for consumers.

  • Intuitive admin tool :Many product configurator software come with a high setup cost, often running into thousands of dollars, without even providing an easy-to-use admin tool. Consequently, you would be relying on the software company for updates, which obviously come at an additional cost over time. It is therefore advisable to opt for a product configurator that offers an intuitive admin tool.

Best 3D product configurators

Here is a selection of the best 3D product configurators available on the market. These high-quality solutions offer customers an engaging, interactive experience while enabling businesses to develop customizable 3D representations of their products.

Threekit: Threekit is a powerful 3D product configurator that offers an immersive and interactive experience for customers. With its robust set of features, Threekit helps businesses to create realistic 3D models of their products, allowing customers to customize and visualize them in real-time.


Configure One: Configure One's 3D product configurator provides an interactive and customizable platform for managing sales and manufacturing processes. It enables real-time 3D product visualization, allowing users to modify elements and inspect models in detail.


Marxent: Customers can easily visualize and configure products in real-time, enhancing their overall shopping experience. The platform also supports augmented reality, allowing customers to see how products will look in their own space, ultimately driving engagement and sales.


EPICOR CPQ (formerly KBMAX): Epicor CPQ is a powerful software solution that simplifies complex product customization, enabling businesses to offer their customers an engaging and personalized buying experience. By combining easy-to-use visualization tools with real-time pricing and quoting, it streamlines the sales process and accelerates decision-making.


Best practices when implementing a 3D product configurator

Implementing a 3D product configurator can revolutionize the way customers engage with your brand and products, so you need to provide them with the best possible shopping experience. 

High-quality 3D models: To provide optimal product visualization for your customers, it is crucial to create top-notch 3D models with exceptional detail and realism. You can find skilled 3D modelers on freelance platforms like Upwork. The pricing fluctuates significantly, typically ranging from $40 to $60 per hour, and depending on the intricacy of the work which could take anywhere from 32 to 200 hours, the total cost could amount to several thousand dollars.

Fast loading time: To provide a seamless experience for your customers, it's crucial to have a fast loading time on both devices and mobile phones. To achieve this, consider compressing images and using low polygon models. Indeed, if your 3D models are not designed with low-poly, you will need to allocate funds in your budget to pay a modeler for optimization. This is an additional expense that needs to be taken intoBy optimizing your content, you'll deliver an enjoyable and efficient user experience across desktop and mobile devices. 

Ecommerce platforms integrations: To incorporate a 3D product configurator into your ecommerce site, consider exploring extensions and plugins provided by various e-commerce platforms (such as Shopify, Wix, Woocommerce, etc.) to speed up the installation process and leverage the 3D configurator's benefits.


3D product configurators are gaining momentum in today's ecommerce world. Indeed, these tools offer consumers an immersive, interactive experience and while providing businesses the opportunity to boost sales and engagement around their products. 

However, 2D product configurators are a more affordable, reliable, and proven solution. It's a cost-effective choice that offers stability and has been validated over time through various applications. 

In the end, both 3D and 2D are excellent options; the decision between them should be guided by your budget, project timeline, risk tolerance, and the preferences of your user base. 

Happy customizing!