Sometimes we want to be able to send 3D information to individuals who may not have SOLIDWORKS access such as managers, customers, vendors, etc. How can we send them 3D information?
In SOLIDWORKS we have the ability to save a model as an eDrawings file format which another user can then open and view the 3D model in the eDrawings application.
If you are interested in learning more you can download the free eDrawings Viewer.
Question: What do we do if a customer, supplier, or user is reluctant to download the eDrawings program, or doesn’t have permission?
No need to worry, as SOLIDWORKS also has the ability to save a 3D PDF. Yes you read that correctly, you can save the SOLIDWORKS 3D part or assembly model as a 3D PDF without downloading or installing any additional programs!
To create a 3D PDF from SOLIDWORKS:
First go to File > Save As for the Model that needs to be saved as 3D PDF.
Save the type as PDF and remember to select the “Save As 3D PDF” checkbox.
When you open the saved 3D PDF, you may see the following window. Make sure to choose trust this document at the top right.
Last thing we need to do is click right in the center of the PDF window to view the 3D Model.
Completed SOLIDWORKS 3D PDF:
Inside the Adobe Acrobat Reader you can rotate the model and view the assembly tree etc.
Note: You have additional options on the toolbar located at the top of the 3D Model which can be used to manipulate the view of the model such as turning it to bounding box or transparent. The model can also be rotated, zoomed, and panned with the farthest button to the left on the toolbar. Play around with the settings and enjoy!
Things to keep an eye on:
- If the PDF shows only a screenshot image and not 3D, try resaving the PDF and making sure the “Save As 3D PDF” is checked
- If the 3D PDF still isn’t working, please try updating your Adobe version and check again.
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