Without doubt the customer request we have heard the most since launching Acrobat 3D version 7 three years ago has been, "Acrobat 3D looks great, but can I convert my CAD files to PDF on a server integrated with my PLM system??" Well I am truly escstatic to finally be able to say, "YES! You can!"….
Earlier this week, Adobe announced an update to the Livecycle Enterprise Suite and among the many new capabilities listed in the announcement, you will find the PDF Generator 3D component which provides for conversion of CAD parts and assemblies to PDF in a server environment. The entire Livecycle suite is architected to fit into existing back-end system environments, including Product Lifecycle Management systems and can be driven by external process events. Which is a convoluted way to say, ‘You can use Adobe’s PDF Generator 3D server to convert 2D and 3D data in your TeamCenter, Windchill, MatrixOne, SmarTeam, Enovia, or any other PLM system automatically to PDFs!" Integration points can range from a simple watched folder all the way to leveraging SOA web services.
For example you could automate the production of PDF files that are sent to suppliers when the product definition data in the PLM system reaches the ‘released to supplier’ state. Livecycle can aggregate data, including 3D parts and assemblies, that reside in different systems and push it all into a structured PDF template. If the use case calls for review and comment by external users, Livecycle Reader Extensions can be used to ‘Reader Enable’ the PDF documents so anyone with the free Adobe Reader can use the commenting and markup tools. If security is a concern, or you want to be able to recall/revoke access to the PDFs at anyone point after distribution, Livecycle Rights Management can be used to apply dynamic policies to the PDF documents.
For more information about the LIvecyle Enterprise Suite, take a look at the Livecycle product pages on Adobe.com. (there is not really any information available yet about Livecycle PDF Generator 3D.) You may also want to read about how one of our customers, MFG.com, uses Livecycle in their online manufacturing marketplace.