Adobe will today release a new Acrobat product that will enable users to convert 3D designs from major CAD software applications into PDF files. The program is called Adobe Acrobat 3D and costs $995.
CAD is the standard for tools that professionals such as architects and engineers use to create computer drawings of building and product designs. Previously, designers working in CAD applications could share 3D CAD files only with people who had either a CAD program or special software viewers for reading the files, Bhalla says. In many instances, designers would send 2D bitmaps of the designs to the people who needed to provide feedback on projects, such as customers or co-workers.
Those previous ways of sharing 3D files have a couple of drawbacks. The first is that when a company shares the actual CAD designs, it is giving someone else access to its intellectual property (IP). In doing so, it runs the risk of a client or someone else taking those designs and finding another engineering firm to build them, says Nick Butkovich, project manager for Bradock Industries, a company in Des Plaines, Illinois, that builds plastic moldings and assemblies for the automotive industry.