PDF In-Depth

Easily Create Interactive 3D PDFs that Include Product Manufacturing Information

About the Author

Lars Olson

Lars Olson is the director of technical marketing at Right Hemisphere, the Fremont, California based leader in Product Graphics Management software. At Right Hemisphere, Lars is responsible for the product management of the company's PDF Publishing Module and PMI Module, as...  More



Sharing a 3D model with PMI specifications isn't something all Planet PDF readers need to know. But if you're a manufacturer, supplier to a manufacturer, or have a manufacturing client, then this tutorial is for you and represents a significant opportunity to streamline communications between links in the supply chain.

PMI stands for "Product Manufacturing Information" and includes Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing (GD&T) and Functional Tolerancing and Annotation (FT&A), model views, dimensions, datum, text, rich text, and metadata. These are important manufacturing specifications that give suppliers clearer, more accurate and precise information on how to build something.

When Adobe Acrobat 3D was introduced in January of 2006, Right Hemisphere released two plug-ins for it. Called the Right Hemisphere "PMI Module" and the "PDF Publishing Module," these plug-ins work together to automatically extract, import, and publish JT or CATIA models and associated PMI data directly into a 3D PDF. The modules can also interactively display and publish multiple model views in PDF. This is significant because it allows engineers, suppliers, and others outside of engineering to have complete and accurate manufacturing specifications as well as 3D model views, all wrapped up in a single, easy to view PDF. In the past, this data was typically locked up in a proprietary CAD model and required proprietary applications and viewers to access. In some cases, an entire set of PMI 2D drawings had to be developed to try to communicate the same information.

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