How to Use 3D PDFs

3D PDFs are a great tool for those who might not have the SOLIDWORKS software to view 3D models and annotations. 3D PDFs can be viewed in Adobe Reader, which is a free program available for download.

Although 3D PDFs are easily accessible via Adobe Reader, most of the time users are not taking advantage of 3D PDFs various functions and abilities due to the lack of training materials on this topic.

This video will teach you the necessary knowledge of viewing a 3D PDF using Adobe Reader, and will address these 11 common concerns:

1.    I open the 3D PDF in Adobe Reader, but the 3D content does not show up

2.    I want non-design teams that don’t have CAD software to view my models

3.    I want the shop floors and suppliers who don’t use digital devices to have hard copies of my models in different views

4.    I want to see exactly which datum features are the datum symbols referencing

5.    I want to easily locate the components in the assembly to the BOM table

6.    I want to add additional PMI to the 3D model

7.    I want users of 3D PDF, such as designers to add comments and suggestions

8.    I don’t like the white background color of the viewports

9.    I want the SOLIDWORKS file and STEP file in the 3D PDF

10. I want to see a section cut, but the viewport doesn’t include one

11. I can’t clearly see the boundaries between edges because of the model’s color

If you would like to follow along, the 3D PDFs used in the video are attached below.

3D PDF Examples:

3D PDF_Myomo 3D

PDF Spindle Shaft

3D PDFs can be used to lower the 3D data communication barrier between everyone that needs to view the models, which makes it an extremely powerful tool. 3D PDFs are also printer friendly, which can expand the use of 3D PDFs in manufacturing and design.

This post is not sponsored by Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader was used in this tutorial video for the purpose of illustrating 3D PDF’s functions.  

Author information

Jamie Lee
Jamie Lee
SOLIDWORKS MBD intern and rising junior double majoring in Economics and Business at Brandeis University. Avid golf player and photographer.

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