24 Replies Latest reply on Nov 20, 2014 6:33 AM by Markku Lehtola

    SaveAs 3D PDF

    Bill Stadler

      A sales person is wondering if they can send a 3D PDF to a potential customer and be rest assured it can not be re-engineered.  Is there a way of making sure that can't happen?





        • Re: SaveAs 3D PDF
          Scott McElroy

          Well the 3d model would be to scale, but it can only be imported into SolidWorks if the computer opening it also has Adobe Illustrator CS3 or later. Then I couldn't tell you if SolidWorks would be able to back out the model. I would think that an assembly would be near impossible to reverse engineer, or any part with multi-bodies with internal parts not visible from outside of the part. The part can also be defeatured to just show enough to the customer to understand the form and function without seeing every little detail. The company I work for would still get the customer to sign a non-disclosure agreement first.

          • Re: SaveAs 3D PDF
            John Burrill

            edrawings is better for that.

            • Re: SaveAs 3D PDF
              Bill Stadler

              Thanks to all that replied.  I just sent an email to our VAR and will let you know what I get back in from them.  I am also going to do some tesitng with file size and performance between a 3D PDF and e-Drawings.  I am assuming the e-Drawings would be bigger since it would need to be an EXE with the embedded viewer.


              I will update this post when with my findings.


              Thanks again!

                • Re: SaveAs 3D PDF
                  Jeff Holliday

                  The customer can download the free e-drawing viewer from SolidWorks and then the file size does not need to include the embedded viewer software each time.

                    • Re: SaveAs 3D PDF
                      Bill Stadler

                      Thanks Jeff,


                      We entertained that as well.  We are trying to make it as easy for the customer as possible.  Downloading software is another step along with dealing with IT rules and what not.  These are potential customers so they may never need e-Drawings again.  Getting them a file they can click and go vs. having to install special software is the preferred method.  File size should not be an issue anyway.  Performance would be a bigger factor.  I know that in the past an e-Drawing of an assembly consisting of thousands of components can get pretty clunky.  Have not tried for awhile but will today. The 3D PDF is a simple interface as well.  Not that e-Drawings is all the difficulty but if customer does not have SolidWorks or never used e-Drawings it is one more thing for them to figure out.  If we need them to be able to explode, hide, etc. then e-Drawings will defiantly be the way to go.  For an inital concept for the potential customer a PDF may be better. 

                  • Re: SaveAs 3D PDF
                    Aaron Baumgartner

                    Or save the edrawing as an html file so it launches in internet explorer.

                    • Re: SaveAs 3D PDF
                      Bjorn Hulman

                      You could save the assembly as a part, selecting exterior faces or components, then save that part as a 3D PDF, you'd then have eliminated a lot of the engineering.

                      • Re: SaveAs 3D PDF
                        Bill Stadler

                        Thanks again to all.  After looking at it a little closer I am going to push them to use e-drawings.


                        I thought there was an option to save it as an exe right from SW.  The only way I can figure out is to save it out as na edrawing and then open it and save it as an exe.

                        • Re: SaveAs 3D PDF
                          Gemma Hadfield

                          Hi Bill,


                          I realise this conversation was a while ago but I'm interested as to why you're going to push your sales people to use e-drawings and what the situation is like for you now?


                          I assumed that PDF would be a safer method, as Deepak mentions above measuring isn't possible with the PDF so is this not the better option for you to use?


                          I'm having the same problem with sales at the moment and to be honest have only just discovered that 3D PDFs are a possibility after researching embedding the models into websites...  PDF would be so much easier for us instead of trying to explain to everyone that they need to download a copy of edrawings.


                          I appreciate any advice/information you have.



                          • Re: SaveAs 3D PDF
                            Poorvesh Mistry

                            Bill & Gemma,


                            I thoroughly understand your point of view, sharing a 3D model to a customer, where customer should not be able to re-engineer it & is 3D PDF the right choice ?


                            Even we share 3D PDF with our customers, but it tends to become a huge file (some times as per the complexity, it reaches above 1GB) which is not convenient to share & nor it could be easily opened on customer's low RAM systems, so we have to ask them to get E-drawing viewer.


                            3D PDF could be measured & thus your customer could re-engineer it, just that he needs to have a right ratio, like 1 model unit (pdf) = 39.38 inch


                            (spelling of "Ratio" is wrong, but that is Adobe's problem)


                            Just in case if you don't know where to get the above in Adobe reader.


                            1) Go to "Edit" in Menu bar & under "Analysis" select "Measuring Tool"


                            2) As soon as you see following tool bar


                            3) Right click in the 3D model display area and following menu appears


                            4) And select "Define Model Units" to get that small unit conversion window


                            Similarly you can have for "mm"


                            So even in my belief E-drawing is a better option


                            Sorry for the long message, but I love to post such details, in case if I forget & need to recollect or share with my colleagues & friends


                            Cheers ! ! !

                            • Re: SaveAs 3D PDF
                              Markku Lehtola

                              Something like this is also possible (check the video)

                              SLOWorks-Web3D - SLOWorks-shop