February 26, 2007
Acrobat 3D Version 8
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Industry News

Acrobat 3D Version 8

by Susan Smith

Patrick Aragon, Senior Marketing Director of the Knowledge Worker Unit at Adobe, spoke this week about the upcoming release of their Acrobat 3D version 8 in the spring of this year.

There is obviously no arguing the impact that PDF has on the world – there are at present approximately 200 million PDF documents on the web. Available soon as a public preview on Adobe’s Lab site is Acrobat 3D version 8, so people can check out the product before it’s released.

Once again, as with Acrobat 8 Professional, this release focuses on 3D. It also contains all the features of Acrobat 8 Professional. In the Knowledge Worker Unit, Aragon said that they are focused on the AEC and Manufacturing markets. “These technical markets have a lot of use for 3D design and 3D content in their workflows,” explained Aragon. “Manufacturing is a lot further along in this process. About 10-15% of the market is using 3D design as part of their design and construction process, or BIM.”

The challenge of sharing large datasets with other team members, whether you’re involved in design phase, supply phase, procurement, construction phase, owner operator, or operation and maintenance, is basically the same although the use cases are different. Designers want to accelerate design collaboration; in procurement there is the need for supply chain collaboration and access to product data sheets and drawings; in the construction phase, people want to share constructability reviews, process planning and technical documentation; and operations and maintenance requires O&M manuals, field service management and emergency response documentation.

Announced last month was Adobe’s intention to submit PDF specification 1.7 (announced last month) to become a full ISO standard. This means that upon approval, the ISO working committee will update and manage the PDF specification. “Many of our customers, particularly in government, wanted a format that wasn’t proprietary or associated with a certain vendor or organization,” Aragon said.

The new power of 3D content in PDF provides mechanisms for people to convert files from a variety of CAD formats and exchange formats to PDF. One such file format is OpenGL. Acrobat 3D captures the model information that is going through the OpenGL path on the screen, and converts it to a PDF. It becomes a fully interactive PDF document that contains the model information but not the metadata.

“We also provide a more direct translation method where you drag and drop the file that Acrobat supports and then do your conversion on the fly.” With that method the PDF can contain much richer data in the process.

“Every time we update a version of Acrobat 3D the CAD companies all have a different update cycle than we have,” noted Aragon. “We’re trying to support them as they make those updates, and we’re providing those as a free update to our customers to run the product so it maintains the consistency of the product that they’re upgrading to.”

New features and benefits of Acrobat 3D Version 8 include

- the ability to convert large CAD files to optimized PDF using a highly compressed 3D format which may include precise geometry with topology.

- The PDF file size is up to 150 times smaller than a native CAD file

- The compression offered maintains a high degree of accuracy

- Support for large CAD assemblies (1 GB)

- U3D file size is 3 times smaller than the previous version

- Import process is 2 times faster than the previous version

Users will be able to

-convert manufacturing CAD files with product manufacturing information (PMI) to PDF, displaying the PMI in geometry/assembly tree

- export precise geometry from PDF to STEP, IGES and Parasolid

- have support for new CAD formats

- share with anyone using Adobe Reader to view, mark up, or measure 3D designs.

- create exploded views, lighting, textures and colors and animations.

- embed 3D designs into office documents.


Acrobat 3D version 8 is priced at US $995, with registered users of Acrobat Professional upgrading starting at US $545. Acrobat 3D registered users can upgrade to Acrobat 3D version 8 for US $295.

The product will be available in English, international English, French, German and Japanese.


Acacia Research Corporation announced that its Disc Link Corporation and Product Activation Corporation subsidiaries, which are part of its Acacia Technologies group, a leader in technology licensing, have entered into a license agreement with Autodesk, Inc. covering patents relating to product activation and portable storage devices with links.

Cimmetry Systems, an Agile Software company and global leader in Collaborative Visualization solutions, and Skire Inc., the premier provider of Capital Program, Facility Lifecycle and Project Portfolio Management solutions, signed a new ISV agreement extending their long-standing strategic partnership.


International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) announced that
Bentley Systems, Incorporated has joined FIG as a Platinum corporate member. Bentley, which was named the world’s number 2 vendor of GIS/geospatial solutions in a Daratech study, will take an active role in FIG in support of its strategy of advancing GIS for infrastructure.


Sage Software announced that it has received a prestigious "Vendor of the Year" award from Skanska USA Building Inc. Skanska is annually ranked among the top construction firms in the world.

Building Design Partnership (BDP) Ltd, a leading provider of architectural, design, and engineering services, has won a 2006 BE Award for its Bridge Academy, Hackney project in the United Kingdom. The award category was “Building: BIM for Multiple Disciplines.”


Primavera Systems, Inc., released details of its record-breaking 2006 fiscal year (ended Dec. 31, 2006), in which the company once again broke its own record for revenue and profitability and continued its string of 24 consecutive years of revenue growth. Total revenue for 2006 increased organically by 13 percent to $122.7 million, confirming the company's position as the industry's largest and most successful independent vendor of project and portfolio management software.


COADE, Inc. announced the appointment of Joseph Dixon as its Product Manager for Plant Design Solutions. In this position, he will provide industry-specific focus to the ongoing development of the software applications comprising COADE’s CADWorx Plant Design Suite, as well as serve as liaison to the company’s reseller community and its global user base. The CADWorx Plant Design Suite includes CADWorx Plant, CADWorx P&ID, CADWorx Datasheets, CADWorx Steel, CADWorx Equipment and CADWorx FieldPipe for Leica fieldPro.

New Products

3Dconnexion, a Logitech company, announced that its line of 3D navigation devices now supports Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) 3D software. With 3DxSoftware Version 3.1, people viewing 3D PDF content in Acrobat 3D software Version 7 and the forthcoming Acrobat 3D Version 8 or Adobe Reader(R) 8 software (or higher) can use the 3Dconnexion SpacePilot(TM), SpaceExplorer(TM), SpaceTraveler(TM) or SpaceNavigator(TM) products to simultaneously pan, zoom and rotate 3D models.

Oce introduced in North America the Oce VarioPrint(R) 1055/2075 Document Printers and the Oce VarioPrint 1055 Book Copier, three application-specific models to supplement the successful Oce VarioPrint office product line. The three models are characterized by their robustness, high quality output and ease-of-use.

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