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Editor’s Pick: Low-Cost Application Creates 3D PDFs

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

LockwoodQuadriSpace just released a new low-cost application for translating your 3D CAD models into interactive 3D PDFs. It seems to do all that I would need to wow clients with a nifty interactive 3D PDF that they can fiddle with for a cool $99 introductory price.

The skinny on Share3D PDF is that it’s an entry-level product that gets you into 3D publishing fast. But it’s not entry-level entry-level. It provides you the ability to take a 3D DWF, Inventor, Rhino, SketchUp, or SolidWorks file and convert it to a PDF that readers can pan, zoom, rotate with Adobe Reader 9 or higher. (An optional module is available for PTC Granite .asm and .prt file formats as well as ACIS, IGES, Parasolid, STEP, and VDA.) A cool part of it is that your model trees get translated, so the PDF receiver can click and interact with a 3D something in the tree.

Share3D PDF is also engineered to be easy to use and quick. The key way it accomplishes that is that it is template-driven, meaning that page designs are defined and your text, images, and 3D controls determined by your template. Share3D PDF comes with 50 templates — data sheets, engineering drawings, presentations, etc. — so you can get productivity out of the gate without hassling.

But you can fuss with your file from the get-go. Text, images, materials, and colors are customizable. You can add notes and animate exploded views. Share3D PDF’s preview function lets you view and interact with a document before publishing it to PDF. Since I tend to gild the lily, I may never finish a Share3D PDF.

You can read more about QuadriSpace’s Share3D PDF in today’s Pick of the Week write-up. A link at the end of the write-up takes you to a complimentary 15-day download, which was easy to install. I clicked the button to go to the “getting started” pages on the QuadriSpace website and downloaded the manual, which seems well done. (Hint: Demo models are available at “import model.”)

First impressions: The interface is very clean and straightforward. The help files came up and responded — always a good sign. Things worked as assumed. The Share3D PDF “getting started” page promises video tutorials soon, but you can watch an intro video from a link at the end of today’s write-up right now. After that, you can do the trial download.

Share3D PDF sounds — and feels — like a good one. The list price will be $199, so, with the hundred bucks off introductory price, now is a good time for a test drive. If you have to share your work, Share3D PDF might be the easy, fast, and reliable way to do it that you’ve hoped for.

Thanks, pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

Read today’s Pick of the Week write-up.

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About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.