Adobe Systems Incorporated has announced the immediate availability of a free download for Adobe Acrobat 3D software that delivers updated 3D computer-aided design (CAD) translators. As a result, Acrobat 3D now supports many of the latest versions of major CAD file formats, enabling users to easily convert 3D models from those formats to more secure and widely adopted PDF—regardless of whether they have CAD software. The updated translators leverage technology Adobe gained as part of its April 2006 acquisition of privately held Trade & Technologies France (TTF), a company whose technology is used by many leading CAD, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) developers.
“Acrobat 3D and PDF continue to gain significant momentum in the manufacturing and architecture, engineering and construction industries, as well as praise from customers and influencers who see the technology as a means for addressing long-standing communication and collaboration issues by leveraging a ubiquitous, trusted file format,” said Tom Hale, senior vice president, Knowledge Worker Business Unit at Adobe. “Our acquisition of TTF was another example of Adobe’s commitment to this market and to continually build on the fundamental strengths of Acrobat 3D and PDF. Along with a highly accurate, compact file format that will be part of the forthcoming Acrobat 3D Version 8, TTF provided us with the expertise and technology to quickly respond to the rapidly evolving CAD landscape.”
Among the updated file formats supported are those for Dassault Systemes CATIA, PTC Pro/ENGINEER, SolidWorks, and UGS NX and I-deas. After converting 3D models from those formats to PDF, extended project teams can leverage Acrobat 3D to more quickly, securely and cost-effectively drive to completion critical communication processes that require 3D visualisation and collaboration. For example, design engineers and others in areas such as automotive, aerospace and heavy machinery can enable suppliers, partners and customers to participate in a more efficient document review process simply by using free Adobe Reader software. Adobe Reader users can view product structure and, when enabled by Acrobat 3D, have the ability to use commenting, measurement and cross-section tools directly on 3D objects in PDF files1.
“SolidWorks and Adobe have a common goal of helping people communicate most effectively with 3D data,” said Rainer Gawlick, vice president of Worldwide Marketing, SolidWorks Corporation. “And now, more than ever, manufacturers must efficiently exchange and collaborate on 3D data in order to succeed in the marketplace. As recent industry examples have illustrated, the manufacturing market is ripe for tools that enable collaboration on 3D data in a more secure, lightweight fashion across different versions of CAD formats and beyond the firewall to the entire supply chain.”
Acrobat 3D Version 8, a major upgrade announced in Sept. 2006, will include the CAD translators provided as part of this update. The upcoming version will deliver enhanced capabilities for producing highly compressed PDF documents with precise geometry from large, complex CAD assemblies. The product will also enable users to distribute product manufacturing information—used to convey geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, annotations, and dimensions directly on a 3D model—in Adobe PDF. In addition, users will have the option of exporting precise data from PDF into industry standard formats such as STEP, IGES and Parasolid for use in CAM and CAE applications.