In every product lifecycle process there comes a time when design data and product information needs to be shared. Almost every department within a company (with the exceptions of HR and Accounting) will need to discuss the product at some point along the process, whether it’s with another department or external suppliers.
It used to be that engineers who designed products in CAD systems would struggle to share the CAD data with those in the Quality & Inspection department, as specialist training and software applications would often be needed, which could be expensive and an inefficient use of time and resource.
The ability to share data with non CAD users internally is extremely important as it reduces ambiguity when inspecting and checking components.
To help resolve the issue, Theorem Solutions have come up with a suite of products that address this problem using 3D PDF.
Using a 3DPDF in Quality/ Inspection
The most beneficial use of a 3DPDF for Inspection and Quality purposes is the ability to introduce the interactive 3D content as part of the product’s Inspection, or as part of a design review. 3D content aids communication as it allows a greater understanding of the product, through interactive functionality available to the user, all within Adobe’s freely available Acrobat Reader.
There are a number of different features and views available that can be brought through directly from the source design data in to the PDF. These can be interrogated, and new views created and saved to highlight specific areas of interest or concern.
The option exists to break the geometry down into different cross sections as well as being able to review individual elements of the component through data filtering. Views can be annotated and measurements checked to aid the inspection process. Additionally, supporting information can be attached to the 3D PDF (such as spreadsheets, hyperlinks, drawing etc.)-effectively using the document as a container (like a zip file) to give the clearest overview possible to help speed up the process and communicate findings.
Along with the Inspection report, an Engineering Change Request in the 3D PDF format-containing an interactive 3D representation of a specific part or component, combined with additional metadata: part descriptions, part numbers, detailed drawings and proposed changes, created as part of the inspection process that can be annotated and findings highlighted and then shared between departments- is a very powerful information communication tool indeed.
From a security perspective the intellectual property (IP) of the native CAD design data remains protected within the 3D PDF format as only a representation is shared although the ‘data’ can still be exchanged. Passwords can also be set on the documents so that the data can only be accessed by required personnel. Source data is never accessible!
What is Publish 3D?
Publish 3D is a software application that allows 3D CAD data to be embedded into a PDF document, alongside any associated metadata, to create a 3D PDF
Most people are familiar with receiving documents in a PDF format, and are used to viewing those documents in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
By creating a 3D PDF document, engineers can pass on CAD data to anyone within the Inspection team who has access to Adobe reader, and they can in turn mark-up, interrogate and annotate the 3D CAD data as per their requirement and then pass it on to whoever requires it next.
How can this benefit Quality/Inspection?
The benefit of this new technology is its simplicity of deployment and ease of use, removing barriers to integrate departments, customers and suppliers into the product lifecycle process. With everyone in the organisation and supply chain contributing to the design process this offers a gain of strategic advantage in an increasingly competitive market and leads to reduced lead times, fewer mistakes and better products.
3D PDF is a great way of leveraging CAD and PLM assets. Now that the CAD data has been produced by engineers, the 3DPDF is a simple and cost effective way of sharing that data with others.
To download some sample documents click here:
If you would like additional information on 3D PDF, Publish 3D or Theorem Solutions please contact us on:
Email Contact Or +44 (0)1827 305 350
Theorem Solutions works with engineering and manufacturing companies to reduce the cost of project collaboration with their customers, suppliers and internal departments. The innovative and advanced data translation products and services provided also helps to protect the value of engineering data and the intellectual property it contains.
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