Understanding the Differences Between 3D PDF Templates

Written by Jennifer Cox
Posted on
5 mins

We’ve spoken before about the benefits of sharing your design data with 3D PDF documents containing interactive CAD data. They’re easily sharable, accessible by anyone with Adobe Acrobat Reader, and can be created directly from within your CAD system or run in batch mode and integrated into your PLM system. There are multiple templates available, designed to suit a variety of use cases. We will be going over some of the most popular templates that are requested and available in more detail.

For users simply looking to share a representation of their design data, a basic model viewer template can be used. This can make CAD data accessible to anyone involved in the manufacturing process, and since this data is taken from your CAD system you can be sure of its accuracy. If Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) exists as part of your design, this can also be included as part of the output, allowing users to utilize model-based definition with their 3D PDFs.

With model-based definition, users can include important manufacturing information, such as PMI, alongside a 3D model. This can help to reduce time and costs associated with the manufacturing process as everything required can be found in one place, and with 3D PDF this is easily shareable too. In addition to the model viewer there are also more specifically tailored templates available.

Technical Data Package

3D PDF Technical Data Package Template

The technical data package (TDP) template ensures that recipients have all of the necessary information they require to manufacture a product or component. The benefit of using a 3D PDF as a TDP is the ability to attach and compress vital documents to the 3D PDF.  Users can view documents like technical drawings, and spreadsheets containing costing and build information, alongside the relevant interactive CAD model. TDPs can reduce misunderstandings and errors by ensuring all the documents required for manufacturing are available in one place, and by using 3D PDF users can ensure that they can easily be shared.

This can make information easier to locate by making it readily available within the 3D PDF. Plus, by including CAD data together with additional documentation users can ensure the information is viewed with important context, making everything easier to understand.

Bill of Materials

3D PDF Bill of Materials Template

A bill of materials (BOM) typically includes all the information regarding a list of items required for manufacturing; however, this may be presented without a model of the final product. With the BOM 3D PDF template, the related CAD model is included with the typical BOM list, adding context to what is being manufactured.

Additionally, with this template users are able to click on a part from the BOM list to highlight it in the model. This makes it simple to navigate the model, leading to a better understanding of what is being manufactured.

Data Exchange Notice

3D PDF Data Exchange Notice Template

The data exchange notice template allows users to send 3D CAD data and relevant information to external partners all in a single document. This CAD data can be shared with partners and suppliers that use different CAD systems, simplifying sharing information.

Uses can also include saved views of the CAD model, allowing them to capture specific aspects to be assessed. These views are easy to access in the 3D PDF, making it even easier to supply associated information in this format.

Interactive Marketing Materials

3D PDF Marketing Brochure Template

Using 3D PDFs to create interactive marketing materials can help differentiate your business. By including interactive CAD models in marketing materials, users can provide a visual element that is both engaging and informative.

With this method, users can show customers an accurate representation of their products, even if the person receiving your document doesn’t use CAD. Customers will be able to interact with the CAD model e.g. by zooming in/out or rotating it. Not only does this provide context for customers, but it also makes marketing materials more dynamic and compelling.

Work Instructions

3D PDF Work Instructions Template

3D PDFs are a great way to create work instructions that are impactful and memorable. Users can create step-by-step animated training instructions that are accompanied by an interactive CAD model, making it more likely that the information will be retained and understood.

Users can also add associated documents for each step, which makes the work instructions much easier to work through. Having all the required documents available in one place without needing to search for them means that you can focus on working through the instructions.

Animation Data

3D PDF Motion Replay Template with Animation

Animations can also be added to 3D PDF documents, providing even more opportunities to showcase your designs. By including animations of your CAD data in a 3D PDF you can share documents that are more impactful and interesting.

Along with this by including animations in your documents you can show things that you typically couldn’t with a static model, such as moving parts. This can be particularly useful in situations where movement is an important part of a design that it is necessary to show.

Request for Quotation

3D PDF Request for Quotation Template

When creating a request for quotation (RFQ) it is important to ensure the supplier understands exactly what the document pertains to. By using 3D PDF for your RFQs you can include interactive CAD data alongside the typical information included as part of the RFQ to reduce the chance of misunderstanding.

3D PDF documents can present a clearer idea than only using images or PowerPoint slides. With 3D PDF documents, there is less ambiguity when sending out RFQs, ensuring that everyone involved in the process understands the document.

Military Standard

3D PDF Military Standard MIL-STD Template

The military standards document is designed for the military and their suppliers, meeting military standards requirements. This template makes it easy to navigate the interactive CAD model by including a parts list where users can search for and select parts to view them or the model.

Users can also include set views, a snapshot of the model in a certain position, making it easy to look at the relevant area of the model. The views can also be printed out by selecting them for printing within the document.

Final Thoughts

By choosing a 3D PDF template tailored to your use case users are able to create an interactive document that puts everything they need in one place. These templates can be customized to have your company’s branding or users can create their own templates if they need a tailored solution. Selecting the correct template can make processes more efficient by improving communication between departments and external partners and suppliers, and CADPublish can make the 3D PDF creation process simple by allowing users to save as directly from their CAD system or create documents in batch mode.

Want to try out a 3D PDF for yourself? Browse our range of 3D PDF samples for download.

To learn more about 3D PDF for your organisation, get in touch with our team of specialists, or request a 3D PDF evaluation today. You can also follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest news and updates