Gert-Jan van der Wel

Hey! My name is Gert-Jan van der Wel. I'm 41 years old, Dutch, married and have three little kids. I co-founded Floorplanner and I'm currently transitioning from running the technology dept to the sales dept. In between family and work, I like to ride my road bike whenever I can.

Here I share what I'm up to and working on at the moment. I aim to update it every few weeks. If you want me to send you an email whenever I wrote something new, you can sign up here.

Smart Products

work - 22 Mar 2019

We have a catalog of over 150,000 products on Floorplanner that people can use to furnish their floor plans or decorate their rooms with. For each product a 3D model is created by hand, which obviously is a lot of work, but luckily we didn’t have to do it all ourselves. The huge catalog of 3D models was one of the important assets of the company we acquired a few years ago. We are not standing still however, we are adding new products to our catalog every day to keep it fresh and relevant.

Most of our products are furniture items which come in more than one color or fabric, and our system didn’t handle that part well. For each ‘variant’ of a product - like a different color or fabric - we made a new model. We copied the existing one, changed the material in the model and added it to our catalog. It works, but it’s not ideal.

Imagine this, you are designing a room and just placed a sofa in the living room. You like the sofa but want to see how it looks in another color, yet you can’t click on the sofa and simply select another color. Nope, you have to search for the same sofa in the sidebar and browse through the results to find the one you like.

Not any more! I am happy to tell you that we now support Smart Products; furniture items of which the material can be changed in real-time. If you want to see a product in different color or fabric, simple click it, select one of the available material options and you’ll immediately see the result.

From now on, all the new product that we create will be smart by default and over the coming months we will upgrade the models in our existing catalog to become smart as well.