Sharing 3D CAD files is an on-going challenge, to say the least. First off, not every design team uses the same CAD tool, which can make the hand-off of a 3D model an exercise in translation and integration tools, most of which no one wants to master. Also, not everyone needing access to the data knows CAD, let alone your particular flavor. All of the CAD vendors have been actively trying to address the problem, pursuing a multitude of paths‹from so-called open CAD strategies to forging partnerships with rivals, even launching lightweight CAD sharing tools.
One software company on the periphery of CAD circles has actually put a lot of energy into the problem, and may, in fact, have the most straightforward and accessible solution. Adobe last year announced its Acrobat 3D software, which lets users create and publish 3D design data in the well-known Acrobat format, providing a familiar and cost-effective way to share these models with non-CAD users. Adobe just came out with a free download that delivers updated 3D CAD translators for Acrobat 3D, extending its support to the latest version of popular CAD file formats.
Simple, maybe. But a workable solution‹there¹s no doubt.