Batch Processing Revisited — Part 2

This is a follow on to a recent article about batch conversion of 3D files.  I explained in the previous article Adobe’s Livecycle PDF Generator 3D Enterprise Suite, which was released in July, is helping enterprise customers automate the production of 3D PDFs.  Last time we gave an example of a 3D PDF and described, at a high level, how it works.  In this entry, I will dig more deeply into ways customers are using PDF G3D, from simple to the most complex options available.  Read on to learn more about Livecycle PDF Generator 3D.

Available Options

Customers require flexibility in how they make product development information available across and beyond the enterprise.  For example, almost all customers rely on 3D information for design collaboration and approvals.  By generating simple 3D PDF, product design information is shared with non-CAD users across the company, with suppliers and customers by simply relying upon the Adobe Reader.  It is not necessary to provide CAD or visualization applications to everyone.  In these cases, starting with a one-page PDF, Reader Extending it for analysis, review and commenting is all that may be necessary.  Of course, other 2D and 3D information might be combined into a single PDF. 

Here is what a design review workflow might look like with PDF Generator 3D installed:

Figure 1   Design Review Workflow (Both Daily Batch or On-Demand Operation in Place)

And here is an example “simple PDF” open in Reader during a design review:

Figure 2 Simple PDF Being Used in a Review and Comment Cycle

Of course there are other use cases that require more complex templates. In this case, a template is a PDF with a 3D window, but there can be much more.  In the previous article we showed an example of a PDF with feeds from multiple sources and JavaScript-based forms interaction with the 3D annotation.  While it would be possible to create complex PDFs like that one using Acrobat Pro Extended, perhaps starting with simple PDFs that are created automatically, many customers will create a template with all of the capability in place, and then “up-rev” it when related source data changes. (There are a number of ways the workflows can be orchestrated based upon Livecycle’s SOA architecture.) 



Figure 3  PDF with XML Feed, Forms Data Collection and JavaScript-Based 3D Interaction

I have just book ended the types of PDFs that can be produced with PDF G3D.  There of course is a range of complexity in between.  To explain what is possible, we have introduced this model to explain the range of 3D functionality:  



Figure 4  Range of PDF Generator 3D Functionality

Like all of Adobe’s Livecycle data document services, we have designed Livecycle PDF Generator 3D ES to provide a wide range of implementation options.  In this article I have explained some of the levels of functionality that are possible.  I have hinted at some of the implementation options, but we will have to explore some of those options in future articles.  The next thing to concentrate on is the kinds of processes we have designed PDF G3D to support.  To get you thinking about areas where you could be reducing cost, improving quality and speeding time to market, here is a list of some of the process areas we will dive into in the future:

  • Merging 3D data and non-CAD documents
  • Workflows requiring data capture in XML forms
  • Control of sensitive data beyond the firewall
  • Long term archival
  • Supply chain collaboration
  • Marketing Collateral Publishing & Distribution
  • Publishing & distribution of technical documents
  • Shared reviews beyond the firewall
  • Design approval by non-engineers
  • Real-time collaboration beyond the firewall

Next time I will show some examples of these and demonstrate how PDF Generator 3D ES and the Livecycle Suite can help you.

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