3D PDF Batch Processing Revisited

Batch Conversion Revisited – Part One

Well over a year ago I wrote a blog article about batch conversions.  It was an article that described how Acrobat 3D version 8 could convert files, including 3D CAD of course, to PDF in batch mode.  Acrobat Pro Extended, as Acrobat 3D is now known can certainly do a nice job of batch conversion, but with the advent of Adobe’s Livecycle PDF Generator 3D Enterprise Suite, we truly have an enterprise option.  Here is an example of what is doable with 3D PDFs generated automatically using PDF Generator 3D:

Imagine you are a manufacturer with an incoming parts inspection need.  You must supply instructions to users on the plant floor and collect data for management reports.  With PDF Generator 3D it is possible to create advanced PDFs such as these.  Even though I am not going to cover everything required to create 3D PDFs like this in this article, I wanted to show you an example of what is possible and explain in basic terms how these PDFs can be created automatically. 

Please read on to learn more about PDF Generator 3D can help you be successful with these kinds of manufacturing work flows.

Livecycle PDF Generator 3D

In this case I showed you, the PDF uses buttons to show the operator the exact part of the assembly they should be working on.  In this example, there are also some key product assembly parameters that are shown to the end user and even some data collection, but I won’t get into all of these details in this article.  The point is that sophisticated results are possible, because of the Livecycle architecture.  So let’s start with Adobe’s Livecycle Enterprise Suite.

PDFG 3D is part of Adobe’s Livecycle Suite, which provides a wide range of document services that can address numerous customer needs for integrated, enterprise solutions such as the example above.  The Livecycle Suite provides leverages Adobe’s ubiquitous runtime tools by integrating with enterprise applications like PLM to extend content and workflows to channels, customers, suppliers and partners.

 

As part of Livecycle, PDFG 3D performs the following steps:

  1. Generates content in a variety of formats, including PostScript, text, image files, standard business documents (word processing files, spreadsheets, and presentations), multilayered engineering drawings and/or 3D CAD assemblies/parts.
  2. Converts submitted content to PDF using LiveCycle PDF Generator 3D ES. Flexible deployment options include network watched folder, e-mail, web browser, web service, or Java™ application programming interface (API).
  3. Combines multiple files or pages into a single, customized Adobe PDFs.
  4. Automates the process of encrypting PDF documents, or apply document usage controls.
  5. Deliver and archive PDF packages across many channels, including print, fax, e-mail, and web to employees, customers, or partners. Or archive PDF files for easy search and retrieval.

At a high level, here is an example of how that can work in your environment :

To automatically create PDFs, a simple implementation would include setting up the work flow described above, creating a template (template = PDF with a 3D window) and defining needed conversion settings.  Generation of PDFs using PDFG 3D can be that simple to set up. Of course there are variations on this approach. Some customers will generate 3D PDFs routinely as part of their data creation and check-in procedures to be leveraged by everyone, including design collaboration. For those customers, the 3D PDFs can be converted later to more advanced documents using desktop tools such as Acrobat Pro Extended.  Others will design add several more specific templates tied to various workflows, to be produced automatically.  In either case, with a simple approach, you can be up and running in a matter of a couple of weeks. 

There’s a quick view of what can be done. Next time I will explain how the output can be simple PDFs or very complex ones.  I will introduce a model showing various levels of complexity.  In subsequent articles, we will show how PDFG 3D is being applied to address needs across the entire product lifecycle of manufacturing from concept development through production and end of life and across the entire extended enterprise. I will explain some additional ways our customers are implementing PRFG 3D into their environments including PLM integrations to leverage and expand their investments in those systems.