Success Path
Everything you need to get started with augmented reality

Prepare to Create Augmented Reality Experiences

Before you start designing your first Vuforia Studio AR experience, there are a few things to know. First, learn how the technology works. Next, learn AR design and development basics. Finally, depending on your use case, you may need to obtain your CAD files and learn how to use ThingWorx and Creo Illustrate.

Get technology overview

Vuforia Studio is made up of four components that work together to deliver AR experiences.

  1. Vuforia Studio: A web-based tool used to author and publish AR experiences.
  2. Vuforia View: An app used to access and view AR experiences. There are several ways for a user to find and launch an AR experience–scanning ThingMarks or QR codes, or from their Experience Library.
  3. Experience Service: A server used to store and deliver published AR experiences. Each experience service comes with a unique URL. This URL is required to publish AR experiences.
  4. ThingWorx: A development platform used to authenticate Vuforia users. All Vuforia Studio customers get access to ThingWorx. But if your organization purchased a license for ThingWorx, you will use it to incorporate IoT data into your Vuforia Studio AR experiences.

To start building AR experiences, you will need credentials to log in, and your organization’s Experience Service URL. Contact your administrator to learn more.

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Explore capabilities and constraints

Vuforia Studio empowers users to create immersive experiences by combining 2D and 3D assets, real-time product data, and augmented reality. There are numerous “out-of-the-box” widgets that developers can use to create experiences. These default widgets are simple to use. If your use case requires enhanced functionality, JavaScript can be used to alter the default widgets—these AR experiences will take more time and skill to develop.

For example, if your 3D model needs to have reflections, highlights, or a glowing color; a developer would use advanced techniques to alter a 3D model widget.

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Learn AR development basics

An important concept that AR developers must learn to successfully use Vuforia Studio is tracking. Tracking is the method that connects virtual experiences to objects in the physical world. Each AR experience has a tracking method. It determines how users find and open the experience, and how it functions in the real environment. Choose the tracking method that best suits your AR experience.

Common tracking methods include:

  • Model target: A widget that is used to recognize a physical object by comparing it with its 3D representation, and display 3D augmentations.
  • ThingMarks: Uniquely identifiable markers that are universally recognizable by Vuforia View. ThingMarks are like QR codes: when scanned, they display their associated AR experience. This is the only type of tracking that can associate a physical object to IoT data. 
  • Spatial target: A widget that allows you to place an AR experience on any flat surface, without using a ThingMark. Spatial targets are not “aware” of the space around them.
  • Image target: A widget that allows you to anchor an AR experience based on the location of any flat image. 

We recommend you choose which method your AR experience will use before you begin development.

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Learn Vuforia Studio framework

The framework for Vuforia Studio is similar to web design. Many concepts inherent in web development are applicable to AR experience development. For example, there are three layers to every AR experience:

  • Structural: Widgets (as opposed to HTML) are the elements within the AR experience. For example, a button is a widget.
  • Behavioral: Javascript determines what the widgets do. For example, the button advances to the next step of a sequence.
  • Presentational: CSS dictates what the experience looks like. For example, the button has rounded edges and green text.

When authoring AR experiences, developers can often rely on web development principles.

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Obtain CAD files for your AR experience

If your AR use case requires 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) data, you must obtain and optimize the CAD files. If you’re unsure who to ask for this data, it will likely be a mechanical engineer or product owner in your organization.

Determine how you will ensure the CAD files remain up to date: if there is a change to the CAD model, you will need the new files(s) to maintain the AR experience it supports.

The CAD files must be optimized for use in Vuforia Studio.

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Learn how to use ThingWorx (IoT use cases only)

This task is required for organizations that purchased a license to ThingWorx and are creating IoT-powered augmented reality experiences. If your organization is not using IoT data, this task is not necessary.

Vuforia Studio is a powerful platform for visualizing IoT (Internet of Things) data. If your AR use case incorporates real-time data from other systems, you will use ThingWorx to connect to those systems. Learn how to create entities in ThingWorx.

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Learn how to use Creo Illustrate (sequences use cases only)

This task is recommended for organizations that purchased a license to Creo Illustrate and are creating animated sequences for their augmented reality experiences. If your organization has not purchased Creo Illustrate, this task is not necessary.

With Vuforia Studio, you can use existing CAD (Computer Aided Design) files to develop AR experiences. Creo Illustrate is a tool for creating 3D technical illustrations, 2D drawings, and interactive animated sequences. AR developers use Creo Illustrate to create animated “sequences.” Learn how to create and connect sequences to your Vuforia Studio AR experience.

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How PTC can help

In addition to the recommended resources named above, PTC offers Success Services that fit seamlessly into your Success Path, making it even easier to reach your desired business outcome.

Design, Development
Vuforia Studio Developer's Workshop
Advance your AR experience development in Vuforia Studio


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