Model Targets User Guide


Vuforia Model Targets enable physical objects to be recognized and tracked using a digital 3D model of the object. This document and the accompanying tool and sample docs will guide you on creating a Model Target from a 3D model and employing the resulting Trackable representation in your AR applications. We recommended developers to leverage the Positional Device Tracker for optimum performance. Please refer to Positional Device Tracker for more information.

Model Targets extend the capabilities of Vuforia Engine and are compatible with the Engine’s other Trackable types, which support the recognition and tracking of:

  • Developer defined Images
  • Scanned objects
  • VuMarks (encoded images)
  • Text
  • Surfaces captured at runtime

You can find documentation on all of the features of the Vuforia Engine Plaform in the developer Library.

The Vuforia Model Targets support the development of applications for Android, iOS, and UWP* devices.

*UWP supported is reserved for Microsoft HoloLens and Surface tablets running Windows 10.


Model Targets support the recognition and tracking of object by their shape. Objects are recognized by Vuforia Engine using a specially prepared database that is generated by processing a digital 3D representation of the object using the Model Target Generator application. CAD models are recommended for this purpose as they capture the geometry of an object with a high degree of precision.

Supported objects must:

  1. Be geometrically rigid (i.e. the object cannot be deformable or malleable)
  2. Present stable surface features (e.g. shiny surface are not supported )

Figure 3.2.1: From a CAD Model of a Viking Lander (PTC Creo View), the Vuforia Model Target feature allows you to detect, track and augment a physical version of the lander (here from a 3D print). 


This document is written with the expectation that you are familiar with Vuforia Engine and its development workflows. If you are not familiar with the Engine, please refer to the Vuforia Engine developer website. 

Getting Started

1.1 Supported Objects

The Vuforia Model Targets Feature provides robust recognition and tracking for supported objects and use cases.

The types of objects supported range from toys to full-sized vehicles, to architectural landmarks, and to medical, manufacturing and industrial equipment.

The Model Targets Supported Objects & CAD Model Best Practices page summarizes recommendations to follow on both the physical objects to be augmented as well as the corresponding CAD Model files.

1.2 Supported Platforms and Devices

Vuforia Model Targets supports Android, iOS and UWP devices. For example Samsung Galaxy S7, S8, IPhone 7, iPhone 7s, as well as Hololens are among the supported devices. For a detailed list of devices and OS versions supported please refer to the list of Supported Devices.

As development environments, both Windows or OSX environment are supported. Developers using Unity as their development environment should take note that running Unity Play Mode with Model Targets has additional minimum specifications.

  • Windows - GPU with Direct X 11 feature level 10 support
  • Mac OS – El Capitan, GPU with Metal support

1.3 Generating a Model Targets dataset

The Model Target tracker uses a loaded dataset to recognize and track objects. This dataset is created using the Model Target Generator.

We will use the term Model Dataset to refer to this dataset, and the term Model Target to refer to the representation of the object contained in the dataset, which is used by the Model Target Tracker.

1.4 Building and Starting

The following section provides an overview of the API and the Model Targets Feature. After reading, you can get started with Model Targets by building and running the Vuforia Model Targets Sample App (previously Vuforia CAD Sample App).


Next – 2.0 API Overview ››