It is really interesting to read what is said in the press and the “blogisphere” about Adobe in Manufacturing, and especially Acrobat 3D. Much of I read reflects what we hear from our customers… especially when we separate out those few bloggers who just seem to want to pull us into a public debate. In fact, I enjoyed reading the nice article by Nancy Rouse-Talley in yesterday’s edition of TenLinks Daily on “Rethinking Lightweight CAD Viewers” and the accompanying CAD Digest summary of Acrobat 3D reviews that was there as well. For today however, I’m going to focus just upon personal interactions with real customers. The majority of the feedback is very positive, and of course, the questions are extremely helpful.
It is really interesting to read what is said in the press and the “blogisphere” about Adobe in Manufacturing, and especially Acrobat 3D. Much of I read reflects what we hear from our customers… especially when we separate out those few bloggers who just seem to want to pull us into a public debate. In fact, I enjoyed reading the nice article by Nancy Rouse-Talley in yesterday’s edition of TenLinks Daily on “Rethinking Lightweight CAD Viewers” and the accompanying CAD Digest summary of Acrobat 3D reviews that was there as well. For today however, I’m going to focus just upon personal interactions with real customers.What are real customers saying?The Voice of the CustomerAs a business development manager for Adobe, I spend a great deal of time interacting directly with customers. There are numerous shows, seminars and presentations we do throughout the year. Those are a lot of fun because of the variety of people and companies we talk to. I have to say I have never been around a product that has generated as much interest as Acrobat 3D. Sure, we get customers coming to us with issues and challenges too. Many times we are able help them out right away, which is also gratifying. We also spend a great deal of time with our customers at their sites, understanding their challenges and requirements, but today’s article is mostly about reactions in the various shows during the first half of 2007. Summer is a slower time, show-wise, so I thought I would reflect a bit on the first have of the year. I also want to address some questions we seem to get frequently.What follows are my personal observations and some answers to key questions we get a lot:Customer Questions and CommentsI want to cover the face-to-face comments and reactions here. Not what the press has said and not what I read on-line. You would expect me to say that reaction to the Acrobat 3D Version 8 launch has been very positive. Well it has. There is a wow-factor for sure, but there are great questions too. Here are some of the questions and comments we here a lot:Perhaps the questions we hear most are “how do I import 3D files?” and “what CAD formats do you support?” Jim Merry does a great job explaining in his blog, so hear is a link to Jim’s blog for the answer: JIm’s blog answers.Another question that surfaces frequently is “do you support animation?” The answer is “yes”. Frequently people ask about how to create animation using the 3D Tool Kit which is shipped with Acrobat 3D. There are some great tutorials available to anyone who is interested. If you want to learn more, just go to the adobe we site (Adobe Home Page), click Acrobat Family -> Acrobat 3D -> Free Training.We often here people say “can I do all of that in the free Adobe Reader?” People are very often surprised with the power of the Reader. Sectioning, measurement, review and commenting are all available using the free Reader, if the author chooses to make those features available. You might also want to look at some sample files on the Acrobat 3D website. If necessary, you can download the latest version of the Reader there.Interoperability is very important to a large segment of our customers… maybe more than I anticipated. The ability to export precise, B-rep data in an IGES, STEP or Parasolid format for manufacturing or as input to other CAD formats is creating a lot of positive reaction.One of the things we are observing more and more is a sort of viral effect. People have come to us after receiving a 3D PDF and ask what they need to do to create them. Of course, we are happy to show them.Upcoming ArticlesI have been a little slow recently in posting articles. I will be wrking hard in the upcoming weeks to get caugt-up. There are several subjects I need to get to. I’ll be back shortly with my own views on lightweight viewers, supply chain integration, manufacturing and some very interesting use cases we have come across. As I said, it’s fun to talk to customers. I always learn more from them then they learn from me.See you soon.