Katharine Edmonds calendar25 January 2022 clock-icon 4 Min

When sharing sensitive data, security is key, especially if the data will be accessed by people outside of your organisation. Once the data has left your machine, you need to be sure that it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

Which is why 3D PDF products offer greater levels of Intellectual Property (IP) protection to users when publishing 3D CAD data directly to a PDF document, from within their design and visualization applications.

A 3D PDF can be:

  • Password protected
  • Encrypted
  • Data Rights Management added
  • Restricted access for specific users with other applications such as LiveCycle, FileOpen etc.

PDF files containing interactive 3D data provide a higher level of Intellectually Property (IP) security than native CAD files by allowing the documents to be password protected.

Native CAD files cannot be password protected, causing IP vulnerabilities when shared or accessed. Using 3D PDF, the CAD data can be translated into a tessellated format, with content such as features, history and constraints being removed, so that the 3D representation can be viewed and manipulated, but the native CAD data cannot be accessed or reproduced from the PDF alone.

This added functionality gives greater confidence when sharing sensitive information with partners and suppliers.

A 3D PDF has the capability for the document to be annotated, and can also act as a ‘carrier’ file for additional data to be transported (such as spreadsheets, AVI Movies, hyperlinks, as well as native CAD data) and create a richer file and source of information, but still keep IP secure. The interactive documents are also lightweight enough to be shared via email.

Try out some sample 3D PDF templates

Anybody with access to the freely available Adobe reader, either on a PC, tablet or phone can access interactive 3D data and are able to view, mark up and interrogate the data without the use of specialist CAD software.

However, the interactive nature of the 3D PDF document isn’t always supported on all device types and you end up with a standard PDF document, so the latest Theorem 3D PDF products also provide additional support for web browsers. 

The web browser version mirrors the interactive PDF format, giving users the ability to access 3D documents in all available browsers, whether on desktop, tablet or mobile devices (IOS and Android) making it a great asset to automate the build of interactive online catalogues and parts lists directly from source CAD.

This means that users can output both PDF and HTML5 outputs at the same time, giving them the best of both worlds, and still protecting the IP as users are only viewing a representation of the data.

3D PDF is opening up opportunities for securely sharing information within an organisation and up and down the supply/distribution chains. The simplicity of 3D PDF, low cost, and ease of use allows for the secure integration of departments, customers and suppliers into the product lifecycle process which in turn leads to reduced lead times, fewer mistakes and better products.

Try out some sample 3D PDF templates

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