3-D PDF from the User’s Point of View

by Dr. Uwe Wächter

 3-D PDFs & Adobe Acrobat Reader

3-D content in PDF has been around for many years. In a PDF, the 3-D object standardized file formats are Universal 3-D (U3D) and Product Representation Compact (PRC). Today, Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.x. PDF can be used to create 3-D PDFs from some CAD systems via export. For other CAD systems, there are third party exports like Tetra4D.

With SEAL Systems’ solution, existing interactive exports can be automatically used by our conversion server. Using our solution, 3-D PDFs are generated on the server-side – completely without CAD. SEAL Systems also provides an automatic conversion with our DPF framework with the 3-D PDF generator server from Prostep.

How does a 3-D PDF present itself to the user? Acrobat Reader comes with the following operating elements for handling the 3-D object:

Roechling01 3-D PDF from the User's Point of View

An additional menu can rotate, zoom, crop, etc.

Roechling02 3-D PDF from the User's Point of View

A structure tree allows you to navigate through the structure of the assembly and select parts, for example, to hide.

Roechling03 3-D PDF from the User's Point of View

As well as a selection of ready-made views, the contents of these menus are already provided by CAD.

What benefit does a user in a company have if he can use the result of the design as a 3-D object in PDF?

The user can gain a good insight into the appearance of the respective component. But that is all. SEAL Systems with our partner Prostep, picked out a possible application case and used it for a customer to display additional PMI and parts list information for the visualized assembly in PDF.

An overview of the most important SAP DIS and classification data is provided:

Roechling04 3-D PDF from the User's Point of View

In addition, there is the Bill of Materials (BOM):

Roechling05 3-D PDF from the User's Point of View

If you click on a line in the material parts list, the corresponding component is highlighted in the 3-D view. Conversely, you can click on a component in 3-D so that the corresponding line in the material BOM is marked. The DIS and classification data are also displayed in a table for the selected part:

Roechling06 3-D PDF from the User's Point of View

Additional control elements for fast navigation:

Roechling07 3-D PDF from the User's Point of View

The button marked in red, for example, displays an additional PDF file containing a list of spare parts in classic view:

Roechling08-1024x711 3-D PDF from the User's Point of View

All data required for these ads is embedded in the PDF. The PDF file can also be used offline with all its functions, and a connection to the SAP system is not required. Lastly, the PDF file is enriched with the corresponding data once when it is created.

3D PDF is standardized over PDF (ISO 32.000-1) and PDF/E (ISO 24.517-2). But, with PDF/A (ISO 19.005-x), this PDF cannot be archived. However, in SEAL Systems’ PDF/A workflow, we have created the ability to identify 3D objects and their replacement representations so that an administrator can make an informed decision about the PDF’s archival from the results identified.

Further information: Conversion server for Röchling group

Would you like to know more about the 3-D PDF solution from SEAL Systems? Request our contact information now!*

*No newsletter, no data transfer, contact only via email for the above mentioned purpose.


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