6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 16, 2010 8:08 AM by William Dalpe

    U3D

    William Dalpe

      Fellow Solidworks Geeks,

       

      I want to embed a viewable, rotatable model into a PDF file. I first started out with the add-on in SolidWorks Labs but I cannot get it to work so let's forget that option for now. I have a PDF program called Nuance and is a pretty good PDF generation package and gives Adobe a run for their money in a lot of areas. Anyway, in Nuance I can insert a U3D file right into a PDF and then poof there you have it, or that's what I thought.

       

      I generated the U3D file in SW 2010 x64 SP 4.0 (Windows 7 x64). When I went to insert the U3D file nuance said that the U3D file was of an older version and wouldn't render correctly...and it didn't. Does anyone know if this isi a bug in SW or if there is a 3rd party plug in that will generate different versions of an U3D file? I know, I know you're going to say purchase Adobe but I refuse to pay $700 for it. There is another program out there called Bluebeam that I still need to check out but I figured I'd go the experts......any help would be appreciated.

       

      -Bill Dalpe

        • Re: U3D
          Charles Culp

          MeshLab is an open sorce tool that can import .stl (and others) and will export .u3d

           

          http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/

            • Re: U3D
              William Dalpe

              Charles,

               

              I had high hopes for that solution but I just tried it and it din't work.  ARRGGHHHH....I'm going to download the bluebeam trial software and try it. I'll let you know if that works...thank you.

                • Re: U3D
                  Kevin Quigley

                  Try this one:

                   

                  http://www.simlab-soft.com/

                   

                  Works for me.

                   

                  PS. I wouldn't waste your money on Acrobat Extended as Adobe are dropping support for creating 3D PDF from native CAD data in Acrobat 10. They have sold of all this technology to TechSoft 3D (makers of HOOPS). The intention is that TechSoft will license APIs to CAD companies to integrate 3D PDF/.u3d export from their CAD systems, and, presumable there will be new products coming on stream soon to let you do what yo can already do in Acrobat 9 extended.

              • Re: U3D
                Kevin De Smet

                Pardon if I'm mistaken, but you want to have a blank .pdf with your embedded 3d model?

                You can go to File > Save and then choose .pdf, click the checkbox that says Save as 3D.

                 

                Poof. You're done!

                 

                To control the accuracy of the model you can go to Tools > Options > Document Properties > Image Quality since Solidworks will export that out. Find a good balance between quality and filesize by playing with the sliders.

                  • Re: U3D
                    Kevin Quigley

                    Yes that works very well, but you need .u3d support to embed the 3D into an existing PDF document - what we do is embed the 3D onto a drawing so the reader can see the drawing and the 3D as well. Yes E drawings does this but some people don't like E drawings due to the IT police in their companies - and when we switch versions every year it always takes them time before they can get the IT people to upgrade their E Drawings - so we use PDF.

                     

                    Having said all that I use Adobe Acrobat Extended and Adobe Acrobat Pro and the .u3d from SolidWorks embeds fine into that on PC and Mac, so I suspect the issue here is the 3rd party pdf application.

                      • Re: U3D
                        William Dalpe

                        Kevin,

                         

                        Yes, the problem, I suppose, is with the 3rd party program. I did try to save to PDF using the 3D option but that did not work as well. I have a message into the bluebeam people and I'll see what they have to say. I agree with the e-drawings VS PDF argument. I prefer the e-drawings option but is not possible all the time where as PDF viewing is more universal.

                         

                        Thank you everybody for trying to help me out here!!!

                         

                        -Bill Dalpe