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Sorry. I forgot to mention. If you go to the website, please click on a couple of pieces of trim to put them into the box on the right, then click on the 3D button down below. That will bring up a 3d version of the trim that you can pan and zoom around. Thanks
You would need to create both a 2d and 3d asset for every item you can select in the menu. Use the 2d asset to let the user place it, then translate the placed 2d sprites location to a corresponding location in your 3d world. When you have the vector you can clone the 3d model of the 2d asset into the 3d world.
Which I guess means that yes, it can be done?
The follow-up question would be is this the way to go about doing this? Is there a better way to create something like this?
Well since it's a shockwave example you linked to then yes it can be done. :)
As for your other question it depends on what you need, if all you want is to be able to see the selected item in 3d you really don't need the 2d part.
My suggestion is to sit down with the involved parties and specify what's needed, when it needs to be finished and how much resources are available to complete the project. Then you can decide what to include and how to go about the achieve it.