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Editor’s Pick: 3D PDFs Enhanced for 3D Print Workflows

Tony LockwoodDear DE Reader:

I recently learned that the origin of the idiom “a picture is worth a thousand words” is a subject of word-weeny haggling. Some source it to a 100-year-old ad for a car repair shop in Ohio. Really. Be that as it may, a well-rendered technical document with interactive 3D data is worth more than a document with tiny, static and illegible images. Today’s Editor’s Pick of the Week looks at a new release of an applications portfolio designed to make your engineering communications worth more than their thousand words.

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.

Tech Soft 3D’s Tetra4D applications trio is all about integrating 3D PDFs into engineering, manufacturing, technical publications and other workflows. That makes it as much of a productivity aid as a communications toolset.

The trio offers an application to convert native 3D CAD data into interactive 3D PDF documents and a 3D PDF creation tool that requires no special expertise to use. There’s also a server version providing automatic and on-demand 3D PDF creation. You can get a trial of any of them.

At a Glance: Tetra4D 2017

• Latest edition of software suite for integrating 3D PDF into engineering and other technical workflows.

• New support for 3D printing workflows, including the 3MF format.

• New functionality for adding app-like searches of 3D data into interactive documents.

• Updated CAD reader support; STEP reader/writer now supports validation properties.

• Complimentary trial version available.

Learn more here.

Just out in its 2017 edition, Tetra4D offers new functionality that extends its capabilities into 3D print workflows. It also offers a nifty new feature for all 3D PDF communications. Let’s start there.

Tetra4D has a new application-like search capability for document creators and those using your documents. For creators, this feature lets you insert a 3D data search function into 3D PDFs. For people using the document, this means that they can search for data – say, attributes – linked to the parts from 3D annotations. Creators retain control over what end users can access, so readers get only what you want.

For 3D printing workflows, Tetra4D now supports 3MF (3D Manufacturing Format), a new open-source format for additive manufacturing that enables design applications to send full-fidelity 3D models to other applications. 3MF files contain color or material/property information, mesh topology and other data that the STL file format does not. Companies like Siemens and Stratasys are founding members of the 3MF Consortium.

Tetra4D 2017 has more enhancements like a new help system that’ll show you how-to videos and new ways to emphasize search results. But it all boils down to the fact that people need to know what your design or product is all about. Tetra4D can help you get your message across. Hit today’s Editor’s Pick of the Week link to learn more.

Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, DE

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@digitaleng.news.