January 23, 2006
Adobe Acrobat 3D Targets the AEC Market
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each AEC Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the AEC industry, AEC product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by AECCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

About this Issue….

Welcome to AECWeekly! Just announced from Adobe is their Adobe Acrobat 3D software, the newest member of the Acrobat software suite, targeted at the architectural and manufacturing markets.

Acrobat 3D enables architects and engineers to publish and share 3D design information from popular CAD applications with users who don't have copies of CAD programs, but who have Adobe's free Reader. Since there are 1.25 billion copies of Adobe's free Reader out in the marketplace, ostensibly, 3D design information could reach a lot of folks. Read about it in this week's Industry News.

This coming week I'll be at the daratechPLANT conference in Houston. Hope to see many of you there. Look for a special report on the conference in next week's AECWeekly.

AECWeekly is a news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.

AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, Financials, Appointments, Awards, New Products, and Upcoming Events.

AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think.

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Adobe Acrobat 3D Targets the AEC Market

by Susan Smith

Just announced from Adobe is their Adobe Acrobat 3D software, the newest member of the Acrobat software suite, targeted at the architectural and manufacturing markets.

Acrobat 3D enables architects and engineers to publish and share 3D design information from popular CAD applications with users who don't have copies of CAD programs, but who have Adobe's free Reader. Since there are 1.25 billion copies of Adobe's free Reader out in the marketplace, ostensibly, 3D design information could reach a lot of folks.

Patrick Aragon, Acrobat Product Market Manager, gave me a demonstration of the new Acrobat 3D and a short history of how Adobe ended up in the AEC marketplace. Originally, Adobe targeted creative professionals, but they found out that a large percentage of this market were architects and engineers who used Acrobat and PDF in their workflows.

The focus of Acrobat 3D is “document based collaboration” - “securely collaborating with your customers, suppliers as well as your partners,” explained Aragon, who was brought on board with the release of Acrobat 7 Professional, which was targeted at AEC professionals like its predecessor, Acrobat 6 Professional. Just before the release of 7, Bentley
licensed Adobe's PDF libraries technology and embedded that into MicroStation so they can create PDF content from DGN as well as DWG files.

Essentially, Adobe is experiencing big growth in AEC: from Q3 2004 to Q3 2005, they enjoyed a 70% growth rate. The Acrobat desktop business also grew 21% over that same time period.

Acrobat 3D extends the electronic base design collaboration to include 3D information as well. It is a “superset” of Acrobat 7 Professional, which is the product for the AEC market. However, those AEC professionals who use 3D quite extensively who want to exchange content beyond the core design team will find value with this product.

“The whole goal of clarifying design intent and accelerating time to market, is to reduce design interpretation errors and associated re-work,” said Aragon. “On a design build project, you make a change, and it takes time to actually get the drawings printed out electronically or in print, with everyone understanding the full nature of the change that has happened. With 3D that can be clarified very quickly. Also in a bid scenario, it's critical to communicate those ideas clearer to the customers and prospective bidders. It also provides access to the design assets who may not have a native CAD application.”

Main features of the Adobe Acrobat 3D product:

1) Convert CAD files from a number of CAD formats into a PDF without even having a CAD application on your desktop. With Acrobat 3D, you don't need to have the CAD application on your desktop for many of the formats that Adobe supports.

This is useful for constructability reviews, contract formation or RFPs, technical documentation, and all customers may use it for their marketing information to distribute to their customers.

2) To capture information and put it in a PDF document, hit print screen on your computer and Acrobat recognizes and captures that information from the OpenGL path, giving you an option of what you want to do with that content in the resulting PDF file. You can accept all defaults, change background color, lighting, add default views, add JavaScript, and it converts quickly. You can make adjustments inside the PDF 3D file.

You can capture data into PDF with any application that uses OpenGL, which is the majority of 3D applications. If you don't have the application or viewer for that application, Adobe Acrobat 3D provides a way to directly translate many of those files into a PDF.

3) You can add comments to your model information (comments were already in Acrobat 7 Pro). In 3D, should you move the model view around, that comment is actually associated with that particular view. “We've added a” tab” with all products - Acrobat Standard, Reader, Acrobat Pro and Acrobat 3D. People who receive content can go to the model tree tab and go to any views that have defined as well as specific comments they've defined. So it will zoom in and bring you to the view you were in when you made that comment and provide easy navigation for someone with only the free Reader or who not familiar with Acrobat.”

You can save as either a normal PDF file or a reader-enabled file. “Having Acrobat 3D or 7 Professional I can enable commenting for those who only have free Reader,” Aragon suggested. “I can either send them an email with a PDF on an email based review, or if I just do this on my document management system it's even easier--I can enable commenting analysis in Free Adobe Reader. “

4) You can add comments using familiar Acrobat tools. “I can navigate to the comments. The free Reader will have commenting toolbars - I can add comments and markups to this document. With Acrobat 3D, I can add to comments, or navigate to the comments and reply to them. The product also includes a set of standard business stamps and you can create custom stamps.

5) You can combine 3D files with other documents such as email, web documentation, spreadsheets and insert 3D CAD designs into Word, Excel or PowerPoint files and use Acrobat 3D to convert them into PDF.

6) Advanced security controls are provided in Acrobat 3D, with password protection that restricts access, printing, editing and other actions.


COADE, Inc. and Alias Ltd. announced that the two software companies have entered into an agreement under which COADE's CAESAR II Version 5.00, the company's popular software for pipe stress analysis, now bundles a license of Alias' ISOGEN, the world's leading software for producing automatic piping isometrics. This will allow engineers to create annotated piping isometrics directly from CAESAR II, thus saving significant time and expense over producing them manually.

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You can find the full AECCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.

Review Article
  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'TerryJordon'
    I was reading your article "Adobe Acrobat 3D Targets the AEC Market" and I was hoping that you could help me. We recently purchased Acrobat 3D and we were hoping to use it in colaboration with Autodesk Revit Structure.
    From what we can tell, the Revit .rvt extension is not recognized by Acrobat 3D. This surprises me for a company that is targeting the AEC industry. We've contacted Adobe and they act like they've never even heard of Revit. We can export to AutoCAD from Revit and then import the 3D model into Acrobat, but we lose all embedded Revit information.
    Do you know if what we're trying to do is possible?
    Terry Jordan
    KJWW Engineering Consultants, P.C.
    623 26th Avenue
    Rock Island, Illinois 61201

      Was this review helpful to you?   (Report this review as inappropriate)

  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Richard Williams'
    Hello Ms. Smith,
    As usual I get smarter with all the articles that I read from you in your newsletter. Please keep it going, I'm sure others feel the same way.

      Was this review helpful to you?   (Report this review as inappropriate)

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