3D PDFs Enhanced for 3D Print Workflows
By Anthony J. Lockwood
March 8, 2017
Tech Soft 3D, a provider of software development tools and native 3D PDF technology, recently released the 2017 edition of its Tetra4D product portfolio for integrating 3D PDF into engineering, manufacturing, technical publications and other workflows. According to the company, key enhancements in version 2017 include new support for 3D printing workflows and app-like functionality for 3D PDF documents.
|A new feature introduced in the 2017 edition of Tetra4D enables document authors to insert a search function|
inside 3D PDF documents that end users can employ to locate 3D information. Image courtesy of Tech Soft 3D.
A new feature introduced in the 2017 edition of Tetra4D enables document authors to insert a search function inside 3D PDF documents that end users can employ to locate 3D information. Image courtesy of Tech Soft 3D.
The Tetra4D portfolio consists of three solutions: Tetra4D Converter for converting native 3D CAD data into interactive 3D PDF documents, Tetra4D Enrich for creating data-rich interactive 3D PDFs inside of Adobe Acrobat Pro regardless of programming expertise and Tetra4D Automate, a server solution for creating interactive 3D PDF documents automatically or on-demand.
Tetra4D 2017 debuts support for the 3MF Consortium‘s new 3MF (3D Manufacturing Format) format. Tech Soft 3D explains that this 3D printing format allows design applications to send full-fidelity 3D models to various other applications, platforms and services as well as 3D printers. The company adds that 3MF is engineered to avoid the problems associated with other 3D file formats and that it supports multiple types of information including colors and materials.
For creating 3D PDF documents for use in the 3D printing workflow, Tetra4d 2017 launches a new capability that provides document creators control over how search results are displayed in a 3D scene. Search results can also be emphasized by color, in isolation or, as shown here, with color and opacity. Image courtesy of Tech Soft 3D.
The 2017 Tetra4D portfolio also now supports version 9.5 of the JT (Jupiter Tessellation) ISO-standardized 3D data export format. JT supports interoperability and archiving in such workflows as visualization, collaboration and digital mockup.
Tech Soft 3D says that enhancements introduced in the 2017 version of Tetra4D Enrich result in 3D PDFs that function more like an application than a standard 3D PDF. This, the company says, can provide a more interactive, richer experience for end consumers.
As an example, it cites the software’s new search capability. After document creators insert the new search functionality into a PDF document, search operations based on the 3D information in the document become possible. PDF authors can set search criteria to control what kind of search data document users can access.
Document creators now have the ability to define how text fields in a 3D PDF document are populated. Additionally, they can define how the parts corresponding to a selection in a table are emphasized. Search results can now be emphasized by color, color and opacity or through isolation.
Tech Soft 3D reports that the Tetra4D 2017 portfolio has updated CAD reader support for the latest versions of widely deployed CAD formats, including NX 11, Solid Edge ST9 and SOLIDWORKS 2017. In addition, the STEP reader and writer now supports the validation properties feature (STEP AP 242) that enable users to validate a CAD data-translation process. Miscellaneous enhancements include automatic log file with detailed information about the imported attributes and mapping errors. Also, Tetra4D 2017’s new help menu can now redirect creators to resources such as how to create templates and working with videos.
The HOOPS Publish software development kit provides functionality to generate interactive PDFs containing such engineering data as 3D graphics, tables, lists and drawings from within their applications. Image courtesy of Tech Soft 3D.
|The HOOPS Publish software development kit provides functionality to generate interactive PDFs containing such|
engineering data as 3D graphics, tables, lists and drawings from within their applications. Image courtesy
of Tech Soft 3D.
“Our customers start using 3D PDFs for particular workflows, and quickly realize how they can expand the use of 3D PDFs in other processes and workflows throughout the organization,” explained Lionel Vieilly, product manager for Tetra4D in a press statement. “The Tetra4D 2017 portfolio is loaded with feature enhancements including support for new export formats such as the 3MF, the ability to search within a 3D PDF, and many more improvements that help to address ever-expanding roles that 3D PDFs can play in streamlining manufacturing processes.”
In related news, Tech Soft 3D also offers the 2017 release of HOOPS Publish, its software development toolkit for enabling applications to generate 3D data in multiple formats, including native 3D PDF, HTML and standard CAD formats such as STEP AP 242, JT 9.5 and 3MF.
Among the improvements in HOOPS Publish 2017 is a new ability to publish a 3D model with product manufacturing information (PMI) in several standard CAD formats. Also new is an HTML export feature with built-in controls for end users that enable them to navigate, review and interrogate models in a web browser without a proprietary viewer or CAD system. Support for many new import formats has been added.
The Tetra4D portfolio of 3D PDF solutions is available from Tech Soft 3D directly and from its global reseller network. Evaluation versions are offered. For more information, click here.
Watch how to convert CAD data to 3D PDF with Tetra4D Converter:
Watch a video on creating custom 3D PDFs with Tetra4D Enrich:
Download some 3D PDF sample files here.
Browse the Tetra4D library of how-to videos here.
See why DE’s editors selected Tetra4D 2017 as their Pick of the Week.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
There's more information available on the Digital Engineering website.
Tetra4D is brought to you by Tech Soft 3D. Tetra4D Converter is priced at 498.00 USD per license. Tetra4D Enrich is priced at 1,748 per licensed copy.
There's more information available on the Tetra3D website.