Today, the compilation and exchange of engineering-related materials typically happens through a combination of methods, including the sharing of 2D drawings, TIFF file scans, and faxes and the manual checking of Websites.
“I won’t say it’s a kludge, but there are different ways of doing different things, and this way combines everything,” Opsahi said. “Information could be freely available living in individual engineering systems or line of business systems like PLM or procurement applications, and you can tie everything together in a 3D PDF and create a complete package that has everything you need to support the business process at hand.”
Major OEMs like Boeing (as part of its 787 program) are leveraging the 3D PDF standard. So are Caterpillar and the Department of Defense.
The consortium’s role is to encourage even more corporate adoption of the technology and to foster support of the standard among engineering software providers. As part of its charter, the organization will work with members to establish best-practices and templates for specific collaboration models. It will work with technical committees and standards organizations to create reference implementations, and it will advocate for 3D PDF.
Opsahi said the 3D PDF Consortium isn’t a standards-setting body. That work will continue to be managed through the International Standards Organization (ISO) process.