Frequently Asked Questions

What is BuildingBlocks?

It's a platform that allows you to turn your 3D architectural creations into unique digital assets that can be transacted leveraging blockchain technology. If you're unfamiliar with how blockchains work, we recommend you read the following link - that describes how the Ethereum blockchain works (more below). BuildingBlocks is built on the Ethereum blockchain, and acts as a marketplace and portal to create, sell and buy these unique digital assets. We call them NFAs.

What are NFAs?

You've probably heard about NFTs, most of them also use the Ethereum blockchain. Well, BuildingBlocks uses the same smart-contract as the NFT network to transact, however unlike NFTs, BuildingBlocks assets are large 3D files that require to be downloaded from our platform, using a proof-of-ownership mechanism (or digital signature) that gives the owner of the asset the right to access it. To differentiate them from NFTs, we call BuildingBlocks assets NFAs (for Non-Fungible Assets - or Architecture). In a nutshell, NFA = NFT Smart Contract + 3D Asset.

How do NFAs work?

Architects, designers and creators can use the BuildingBlocks platform to turn their 3D models into NFAs. Creating the NFA is free, thanks to the soft-mint creation feature offered on the platform. All NFAs are available for purchase. The platform offers the possibility to upload numerous type of 3D files which are compatible with various VR platforms/metaverses and can be used for creating scenes or game development. NFAs can also be BIM models of buildings, making them useful for real-life applications. As with NFTs, NFAs allow the creators to fix their royalty fees, which will always be transferred back to them throughout the lifetime of the asset and as many times as it changes ownership. This feature, particular to blockchain technology, adds potential revenue streams for creators. In addition, creators' rights (or intellectual property) are preserved since blockchain transactions are by essence immutable, transparent and allow traceability over time.

How do I buy an NFA ?

Anyone with an Ethereum address can purchase an NFA from Building Blocks. Connect your wallet (see below) by clicking the Connect Wallet button, browse and select the 3D model you’d like to purchase, and then click the Buy NFA button.

What is a Wallet?

A crypto wallet is a digital wallet that is used to store, send, and receive cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. It functions similarly to a traditional bank account, but with a few key differences. Unlike a bank account, crypto wallets do not have a physical presence and are not insured by the FDIC. Instead, the security of a crypto wallet is based on the encryption and security measures used by the wallet provider and the user. There are different types of crypto wallets, including software wallets, hardware wallets, and paper wallets. Software wallets are applications that can be downloaded and installed on a computer or mobile device – they are the most commonly used to connect to Web 3.0 portals like BuildingBlocks, while hardware wallets are physical devices that store the user's private keys offline. Paper wallets are physical documents that contain the user's public and private keys. If you are a novice in the Web 3.0 and unfamiliar with Ethereum wallets, we suggest you follow this tutorial: Getting started with MetaMask, which describes the MetaMask wallet, a user friendly option compatible with the platform. More experienced users can connect to BuildingBlocks using other wallets like WalletConnect and Coinbase Wallet which are also supported on the platform.  Once your wallet is connected, the browser extension allows you to perform key operations required on the platform, including signing-in, purchasing or creating NFAs.

How do I create an NFA ?

If you are an architect, designer or creator working on 3D models of buildings, you can turn your models into NFAs for free on the BuildingBlocks platform. Connect your Ethereum wallet and click on Create, which will appear on the menu bar once you’ve successfully connected. Follow the instructions provided on the Create NFA page. There are certain specifics that differ from the classical NFT creation flow when creating an NFA:

  • Hero image - The hero image is the primary image associated with your NFA. This ensures that your NFA will be compatible for trading in the majority of NFT marketplaces and will be properly represented there as well.

  • Additional images - Building Blocks allows users to add up to 4 additional images to their NFA to represent their model as well as possible. These additional images are only visible on the Building Blocks platform and will not be seen on a different marketplace.

  • 3D Preview File - Our 3D previewer currently supports .GLB and .glTF file types. In order to ensure that your NFA is visualized as best as possible on the platform, we provide the optional upload of the 3D file that will be used for the 3D viewer when your NFA is opened.

  • 3D Asset File - This is the core of your NFA. The actual asset is uploaded here in its best quality. This is the file that will be available for download once the NFA is purchased. If you wish to add more than one file, you can ZIP multiple files and upload them. Our platform will still capture all of the files in the ZIP.

What is a BIM file?

BIM stands for "Building Information Modeling" and is a workflow process. It revolves around models used for planning, designing, constructing, and managing building and infrastructure projects. BIM software is used to model and optimize projects, from planning and designing to building and operating BIM models. BIM models are virtualizations of a project, from conception to completion and beyond its lifecycle. Utilizing BIM can lead to more efficient and cost-effective project completion, with a reduced environmental impact. Under the BIM model option, LOD stands for Level of Development (or Detail). The Level of Development Specification is a reference that enables practitioners in the AEC Industry to specify and articulate, with a high level of clarity, the content and reliability of Building Information Models (BIMs) at various stages in the design and construction process. Here’s what the numbers represent:

  • LOD 100: Concept Design

  • LOD 200: General Modeling with Schematic Design

  • LOD 300: Accurate Modeling and Detailed Design

  • LOD 350: Greater Detail and Construction Documentation

  • LOD 400: Fabrication and Assembly

  • LOD 500: As-Built Models

What 3D file types are supported on the platform?

Your NFA might be in any of the following formats .GLTF, .GLB, .USD, .OBJ, .FBX, .VXM, .DAE, .3DS, .3DM, .DXF, .STL, .RVT, .PNL, .NDW, .IFC You can also upload multiple file types together in a ZIP file. The 3D file types within your ZIP file will be visualized on the NFA Details page under “3D formats included in the NFA”, once the NFA is created. You can include additional information in the ZIP file, such as the additional images added after the Hero image, some supporting documentation in PDF, or other text format. However, these file will not be visible on the NFA Details page, so make sure to include information about these added files in the NFA description while creating your NFA.

Which Blockchain is Building Blocks built on?

BuildingBlocks is a platform that leverages the power of the Ethereum blockchain to provide a secure and efficient environment for creating, buying, and selling NFAs. As the platform continues to grow and expand its capabilities, it was evaluated that Ethereum is the most suitable network to support BuildingBlocks ambitions. The Ethereum blockchain is well-known for its versatility, robustness and interoperability, which makes it an ideal choice for BuildingBlocks' operations. The platform's NFAs are built using the ERC721 standard, which ensures that each asset is unique, immutable, and secured on the Ethereum blockchain. Additionally, the Ethereum network's high throughput and low transaction fees make it a practical choice for BuildingBlocks, given the high volume of transactions that take place on the platform.

What are the platform fees of Building Blocks?

The platform currently only has one fee, which is 2.5% and is deducted at the time of purchase of an NFA. This fee is paid by the buyer, so the creation of an NFA is completely free for all NFA creators. When creating your NFA, keep in mind that 2.5% of the price you set for your model will be deducted for the platform.

Is there a Royalty Fee for NFA Creators?

BuildingBlocks platform allows NFA creators to set a royalty fee ranging from 0% to 50% for their NFAs. This secondary royalty fee is only deducted on secondary sales of the NFA, which can occur on any major NFT marketplace. This means that if a buyer decides to resell the NFA, the creator can earn a percentage of the sale. The royalty fee for each NFA is visible on the NFA’s detail page, providing transparency for both buyers and creators. The royalties are based on EIP-2981, which is a standard for royalty payments on NFTs. This standard ensures that the royalty payments are automatic and secure, without the need for manual tracking and verification. By providing this feature, BuildingBlocks platform supports NFA creators and incentivizes them to continue creating high-quality NFAs, while also providing additional revenue streams.

What is a Two-Party Transaction and how does it work

The Two-Party Transaction is a specific feature of the BuildingBlocks Smart Contract. It ensures that a particular NFA is specifically created for a certain user of the platform. During the creation of the NFA, the buyer's address is included to ensure that the NFA can only be purchased from that specific address. The Two-Party Transaction is not entirely available at the moment and will be introduced for use with the next version of the platform.

Can I preview how my 3D model will look like on Building Blocks before I create my NFA?

We recommend checking how your 3D file preview will appear on our viewer before uploading it to Building Blocks. Currently, Building Blocks supports GLB and glTF files as previews. You can import your GLB or glTF file type into this viewer to see how it will look on our platform. This viewer uses the same 3D models library as Building Blocks, ensuring that what you see there will be the same as what appears when turned into NFA on Building Blocks. There are many other online 3D viewers that can also provide an overview. The next version of Building Blocks will internally support the preview of NFAs.