Wrapping up a several month-long, free public beta program, Adobe Systems Inc. is finally shipping the commercial version of Acrobat 3D Version 8, a major upgrade which enables 3D design collaboration.
With the software, Adobe is providing an alternative to lightweight CAD collaboration tools from companies like Dassault, Autodesk Inc. and SolidWorks Inc., among others, to help engineers and non-technical colleagues, suppliers and partners share 3D CAD data when collaborating on product development projects. Acrobat 3D can be used to convert 3D CAD files, including large assemblies of more than 500M bytes, into a single PDF document, which maintains precise geometry and can be compressed over 100 times smaller than the original file, Adobe officials said. The 3D data can also be combined with other critical project information, including product specs, spreadsheets and bills of materials, into a secure PDF document.
Once in PDF format, these documents can be shared with an extended design team for design reviews, simply by using the free, Adobe Reader software. The idea here, just like the other lightweight 3D data sharing products, is to reduce the risk of misunderstandings and design mistakes earlier in the process by having an entire team have access to 3D data.
Acrobat 3D Version 8 supports conversion to 3D PDF from over 40 formats, including Autodesk Inventor, CATIA, Pro/ENGINEER, NX and SolidWorks. Users can also export precise CAD data from PDF into neutral file formats such as STEP and IGES.
The software is available immediately for $995.