14 Replies Latest reply on Oct 10, 2018 2:40 PM by Chris Dordoni

    Import 3d pdf

    X. Men

      I can export 3d pdf without any problem with Solidworks 2015 but when I try to import 3d pdf it says

       

      Adobe Illustrator version CS3 or later Installation is required to Import an Adobe Illustrator file to SolidWorks

       

      Why do I need to install Illustrator ? Why export is working but importing is not ?

        • Re: Import 3d pdf
          Chris Dordoni

          Simlab Composer can convert a  mesh based (u3d) 3D PDF to another mesh format SolidWorks can read. However, 3D PDF exported from MBD applications are not supported yet.

            • Re: Import 3d pdf
              X. Men

              Simlab Composer isn't free. Also the Solidworks cant even open 3d pdf exported by solidworks itself.

                • Re: Import 3d pdf
                  Chris Dordoni

                  You are right, there is no 3D PDF import in SolidWorks. It's possible SolidWorks MBD would import 3D PDF, though I cannot confirm that myself.

                   

                  As long as you do not need MBD support in your 3D PDF files, Simlab in my opinion is the most reasonably priced solution. If you did need MDB functions, there are solutions from SolidWorks, Anark, Tetra4D and others, but there is a significant increase in cost.

              • Re: Import 3d pdf
                Doug Seibel

                A 3D PDF file is not a "neutral" file format designed for easy export/import of 3D data.  It is a special format that is designed for the sharing of 3D data without the risk of that data being imported.

                  • Re: Import 3d pdf
                    Chris Dordoni

                    I don't use MBD myself, and I don't know what the options are for exporting that model to a neutral format. It is my understanding that MBD is used to communicate manufacturing or inspection specifications with the 3D geometry of the part. Therefore it is a logical conclusion that the 3D data may be extracted from the 3D PDF for that purpose.

                    • Re: Import 3d pdf
                      Andrew Heeren

                      I don't think it's about data security, I think it's primarily about sharing the 3D model in a format that is super accessible.

                      • Re: Import 3d pdf
                        Shawn Stugard

                        I tend to agree with Doug on this. I use 3D PDF as a way for the client to see the entire model without too much risk of them exporting the data and telling me to take a hike. No method is perfect in this regard, but at least it won't be easy to do so.

                         

                        I also think Andrew's point about easy access and sharing is a big selling point of 3D PDF. Many clients don't have easy access to a 3D CAD system and this makes it really easy to allow them to see "all the bits".

                          • Re: Import 3d pdf
                            Chris Dordoni

                            The inability for 3rd party viewers to display 3D content in the PDF has always been a bit of a frustration. For whatever reason it seems a lot of people don't have Adobe Reader installed.

                             

                            However, I haven't revisited this in some time, so perhaps its no longer an issue ... are there 3rd party viewers that will display the 3D content in a PDF?

                              • Re: Import 3d pdf
                                Shawn Stugard

                                I have not come across any 3rd party software that allows this. In my mind that is sort of a blessing, as each piece of 3rd party software would be another possible avenue for being able to export or capture the 3D data.

                                 

                                At the very least, if I send a 3D PDF, I can tell the client that they need to install acrobat reader, which is free and easily available. Even the more stringent security/IT departments will allow acrobat reader. I can't think of any other software that is installed on most PCs (up for debate) that can display any 3D models at all.

                                • Re: Import 3d pdf
                                  Doug Seibel

                                  Chris Dordoni wrote:

                                   

                                  The inability for 3rd party viewers to display 3D content in the PDF has always been a bit of a frustration. For whatever reason it seems a lot of people don't have Adobe Reader installed.

                                   

                                  However, I haven't revisited this in some time, so perhaps its no longer an issue ... are there 3rd party viewers that will display the 3D content in a PDF?

                                  It's a zero profit opportunity.  Adobe already offers the reader for free.  A 3rd party viewer, in order to be competitive, would have to also be free.  That is a zero profit opportunity.  Besides...if they don't have Adobe Reader, which is a completely free download from a well-known and well-established company that most I.T. people will allow to be installed on a company computer, why would anyone think that they might instead have some obscure 3rd party viewer?  A better option would be for Adobe to create the ability to make 3D PDF files that have an embedded viewer (like you can do with edrawings).  Of course, the downside to this is that when emailed, just about every security software will flag the attachment as containing a potential virus and will automatically delete it before it ever reaches the intended recipient.

                                    • Re: Import 3d pdf
                                      Chris Dordoni

                                      I have sent out many 3D PDF and many times receive feedback that the files cannot not be viewed. Adobe Reader no longer ships by default on most computers, so its not unusual for people to be using Edge on Windows or Preview on the Mac to view PDF files and don't bother to install Adobe.

                                       

                                      I admit haven't kept up with this in recent years, particularly with the mobile viewing options. Are 3D PDFs a no-go on phone and tablets?

                                        • Re: Import 3d pdf
                                          Tom Gagnon

                                          Chris Dordoni wrote:

                                           

                                          I have sent out many 3D PDF and many times receive feedback that the files cannot not be viewed.

                                          3D and Multimedia content is not enabled in a default installation of Adobe Reader. It is activated in Edit > Preferences > 3D & Multimedia > [√] Enable playing of 3D & multimedia content. This is a standard instruction in a supporting document that we provide repeatedly with each sharing of a 3D PDF file.

                                           

                                          I have no idea if phones and tablets are an issue, but Reader was greatly redesigned when Windows 8 was released and touch interfaces became standard, so I would imagine that it works just fine with the same Preferences assignment caveat.

                                            • Re: Import 3d pdf
                                              Shawn Stugard

                                              I'm with Tom on this one.

                                              I've made a habit of including an "instruction sheet" whenever I send a file (3D PDF, FTP access, etc..) to someone who I suspect may have an issue viewing the file. This includes a link to download the appropriate software.

                                               

                                              It has nearly eliminated all "I can't open it" replies and subsequent headaches.