Route 66 Digital - Capricorn Project

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In 2022, Robotique FIRST Québec ( approached Route 66 Digital, LLC ( ) to help in the development of a Verge3d application based on an existing CAD model of a competition robot.

This project involves many people from around the globe that have dedicated their time voluntarily to present an educational proof of concept that Régis Bekale of Robotique FIRST Québec has envisioned.

This project is primarily funded through donations, partnerships, and modelers from around the globe.

Original Work by: Régis Bekale

Developed by: Route 66 Digital, LLC

In Partnership with:

Azrieli Foundation

Robotique FIRST Québec

Fusion Jeunesse

Route 66 Digital

École Secondaire Saint-Laurent

Partner With Us

We are harnessing the power of video game technology and leveraging students' desire to explore and create in 3D environments to inform and educate in an entertaining and meaningful way.  We are pushing the boundaries of technology to bring interactive educational 3D content to every student on desktop and mobile devices where they can learn STEM concepts easily and quickly at home, work or play.  Our hopes and dreams are to enable each student the ability to have their own interactive technology platform in the palm of their hands eliminating financial and physical barriers that prohibit many from gaining valuable experience.  Software updates will expand content and functionality allowing the students to use the application as a long-term learning system.  

We need your financial help to achieve our dreams and goals.  Your contributions today can go a long way to helping students Learn without Limits.

Join our team of partners: Azrieli Foundation, Robotique FIRST Québec, Fusion Jeunesse, Route 66 Digital and École Secondaire Saint-Laurent, to help us develop the pedagogical tool named Capricorn. With your support, the possibilities are enormous! But to achieve these goals, we need you! Your technical, creative expertise or financial contribution would be a catalyst to support this project! Please contact us at

Project Goals

The goal of the Capricorn project is to create a 3D immersive educational platform that educators can use to reach their students in new and exciting ways.  To provide an educational tool that can be accessed from anywhere that explains complex scientific topics through interactive lesson plans and gamification while promoting and garnering interest in science and technology.   Educators can utilize existing content such as the initial robot or  upload new content from a future existing library or content they create.   Students can follow along in class or explore the content on their own where ever they are.  They will be able to learn and deepen their understanding of electronics, mechanics, numerous STEM concepts as well as the rapid and efficient prototyping of a robot for the FIRST international robotics competition.

We call upon inspiring people with endless creativity from all STEM fields and many others to help bring our vision to fruition.

Try Capricorn and discover what it means to learn without limits!


JANUARY 17th, 2023

Robotique FIRST Québec and Route 66 Digital have developed a 3D interactive for the 2023 Robotics Festival. Visit the FIRST Tech Challenge Provincial Championship at Grand Quay of Port Montréal on January 28th, 2023. Be one of the first to experience the first of three interactives to be released this year. Video Teaser:

JANUARY 28th, 2023

Interactive on display at FIRST Tech Challenge Provincial Championship at Grand Quay of Port Montréal

JANUARY 29th, 2023

Interactive viewable online at:

The January build's primary function was to reduce the triangle count from over 30 million to under 3 million. The initial thoughts were that the CAD models could be optimized or decimated to achieve a minimum target of 3 million with the phase 1 timing. It was quickly realized that optimization took longer than remodeling from scratch and did not yield good results. Remodeling allowed for complete control over good topology allowing us to use even fewer triangles than expected. Due to the January delivery date requirement, model optimization stopped when we reached 1.9 million triangles 33% below our target. Optimization of the models continues and we expect to be under 1,000,000 triangles by mid-summer 2023. Although the build was designed as Verge3d app output to an Electron App the online version worked so well we thought we would release it too.

MARCH 29TH, 2023

The March build that includes two additional interactive components will be released at the Robotics Competition on March 29-30-31 and April 1 at Colisée Videotron in Trois-Rivières, Québec.

Frequently Asked Questions

January Build

Q: Why is the shading flat?

A: CAD models when imported into Blender arrive with nearly every edge marked as sharp and no smoothing groups, leading to very flat rendered surfaces. The optimized models, created in Blender, have sharps on required edges and auto smoothing producing nice smooth curved surfaces within the limits of the target triangle count for each object as described above. The January Build had many objectives: a proof of concept, a work in progress milestone and a kiosk to be shown to partners and investors but most importantly, the output could not impact the continuing development of the March and Summer builds. With these factors in mind, the January Build left many components not shaded smooth that will be updated in subsequent builds.

Q: Why don't you use normal maps, ambient occlusion or more detailed texture maps?

A: When working on a project with mid process releases, there are a few methods that can be used to produce the delivery. The first is to fork the model and code at a particular point and then work on this branch separately from the main branch, allowing it to be fully optimized, textured, mapped, etc. This type of process requires you have at your disposal a larger team that can handle simultaneous development of the two development branches and most importantly the funding to support the level of effort required. This project is being funded by non profits Robitque FIRST Québec and Fusion Jeunesse and an approach that did not impact their budget was the direction selected. If the project was forked, the model would have been UV mapped, textured, organized, animated and shaded three separate times. increasing the cost of the project. The approach taken, allows the use prototype textures and shaders or simple place holders until all the model optimization and animation is completed. Since the first two releases are "proof of concepts" and "work in progress updates" the final texturing, normal maps, shading, etc. can wait until the end allow us to optimize the textures around the final: object count, triangle count, and memory usage per device type. Most importantly it ensures we do this process only one time saving the client additional costs.


Soft8Soft Youtube -

Video Teaser:

Interactive viewable online at:

Robotique FIRST Québec:

Route 66 Digital:


Individuals (listed alphabetically)
  • Régis Bekale - Robotique FIRST Québec - Executive Producer - original concept creator
  • Martine Campbell - administration
  • Vincent Del Campo - Blender 3D model optimization
  • Daniel Delisle - Senior CAD model developer
  • Lizzie Laubie - 3D modeling intern
  • Sidney Lavoie - technical writer
  • Ryma Merrouchi - technical writer
  • Clément Perrotte - Blender 3D model optimization
  • Jean Philippe Poirier - senior technical advisor, mechanical engineering and animation consultant
Corporate (listed alphabetically)
  • Route 66 Digital - Blender 3D model optimization, interface design, project management, programming and consulting