Can you share CAD data without a CAD system? Yes!

3D PDF Engine

The statistics show...

​Of CAD data consumed outside design department
​​Of users don't have the right application to view CAD
​​of the time, interpreting 2D drawings leads to rework

​Source: Chad Jackson, Lifecycle Insights

Do you have a secure, effective and efficient way to collaborate CAD data?

Your downstream users need access to CAD data

It can be difficult to share CAD data downstream when your enterprise lacks the software or tools to effectively view product data. Enter 3D PDF. 3D PDF is the only communication tool that allows you to share ​your design intent to users both inside and outside your enterprise. A 3D PDF acts as a 'lightweight' version of a CAD file, meaning that the file size is much smaller.  Additionally, your data is properly secured with digital rights management. ​ All departments, all projects, all companies… everyone can benefit from the use of a 3D PDF.

3D PDF Users

​Who can benefit from a 3D PDF?

​What is a 3D PDF?

​A 3D PDF is a lightweight (low in file size) container, a PDF, that houses CAD data.

Advanced ​PDFs can be used to show engineering data such as CAD geometry, annotations, measurements and bills of materials (BOMs).

​Why is file size important?

When engineering departments need to collaborate with other domains , their CAD files are often​ too large for transfer. More importantly, large file size puts your CAD at risk for theft! ​Rarely do outside users need access to the full-fidelity CAD, so a secure ‘lightweight’ representation – a PDF file – is an ideal solution. Unlike a full-fidelity CAD file, a PDF allows you to create a CAD representation without size restraints. Sending a PDF instead of the entire CAD will also greatly reduce your risk for IP theft​. ​ Additionally, a PDF can be viewed by anyone using the FREE Adobe Reader found on most current electronic devices.  This adds a greater level of collaboration between users without CAD viewing tools.  Specified users in sales and marketing, and anyone outside the company domain, can now easily access the CAD data.

My PLM can export ​PDF already​, how is PROSTEP’s 3D PDF technology different?

Using a PLM to export CAD data to a 3D PDF limits both information and interactivity. The 3D PDF will not be equipped with any security features, either. 3D PDFs from PROSTEP are interactive, animated, and secured through digital rights management, expiration and user access control. PROSTEP 3D PDFs can be fully integrated into your environment, meaning that your PLM system can be adjusted to create PROSTEP 3D PDF’s.  They can also be created using client desktops. 3D PDF gives you the ability to easily annotate and view CAD within a freely collaborative document.

3D PDF Spec Sheet

What​ is the Overall Benefit from using 3D PDFs?

Today's engineering environment consists of multiple domains comprised of partners, suppliers and vendors. ​How will you share your complex data securely, efficiently and effectively while also remaining competitive in the market? The answer is a virtual lightweight representation in the form of a​ PDF. With a 3D PDF, you can illustrate product data and transfer information within a secured ​'container' - something that modern PLM systems have VERY LIMITED functionality over.

Your 3D PDFs ​help:

  • ​Bring products to the market faster due to the easy collaboration between supply chain domains

  • ​​​Reduce production costs by using 3D PDF revision to eliminate errors and re-work

  • ​​​Improve quality with less re-design by monitoring and tracking designs within the 3D PDF

3D PDF in Adobe Acrobat

Key Advantages of 3D PDF Documents

3D PDFs propose several key advantages for engineering data:

  • ​​You can repurpose 3D CAD Model Based Engineering (MBE) data for data sharing. ​Because of the multitude of CAD systems (CATIA, SolidWorks, NX, Creo, Inventor), you can transfer standard file formats to 3D PDF. Standard file formats include JT, STEP, IGES, VRML, STL, Parasolid, U3D, and PRC. ​With the right software from PROSTEP, large CAD compression ratios can be achieved - 186MB to 10MB, 315MB to 31MB. Lastly, 3D CAD data can be reused for other end-user jobs or applications in other departments such as sales, marketing, procurement.

  • ​​​3D PDFs add an increased level of data security. Intellectual property is protected as the original CAD data is never shared. 3D PDFs can place navigation controls on the full metadata, limiting edits to specific users with password protection​.

  • ​​​The biggest advantage of 3D PDFs ​is the ability to read them on the widely used Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader, which is found on nearly 98% of computers worldwide, is all you need to view 3D data. Because of this, the 3D Portable Document Format makes downstream distribution easier.

​How do 3D PDFs Solve the Collaboration Challenge?

  • 3D PDFs ​protect your IP while sharing design data
  • 3D PDFs enable large CAD file data transfer by reducing the file size of CAD data
  • 3D PDFs gives your users​ access through controlled viewing
  • ​3D PDFs enable multiple domains to view CAD using the free Adobe Reader

​Download free 3D PDFs from PROSTEP 

​Can you use 3D PDFs ​o​n the web?

YES!  3D PDF to HTML5 export enables you to view 3D PDFs on the web

​PROSTEP's 3D PDF to HTML5 solution provides 3D CAD data access on any device ​​including desktop and mobile browsers. Your 3D data is published with the metadata ​and supports the geometry, structure, views and​ associated 3D PMI.

Users in a variety of domains can securely view your CAD data on the web:

  • Engineering
  • Suppliers
  • Procurement
  • Manufacturing
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Customers
  • Service
  • Recycling
  • Design
3D in HTML5 Web

​3D PDF to HTML5 Demo

All of your 3D PDF attributes displayed in HTML format.  
Watch the service content generator demo below.

​Download the ​3D PDF Data Sheet

​3D PDF Technology Solutions from PROSTEP

PDF Generator 3D
3D PDF Pro
Tetra4D Product Solutions

How do you create 3D PDFs?

A PROSTEP 3D PDFs​ can be created via a SERVER or CLIENT solution.

​CLIENT Solution to Create 3D PDFs

Client solutions involve converting CAD data into 3D PDF documents via a desktop application, such as Tetra's 4D Converter. Tetra4D Converter is a plugin that you install on the paid Adobe Acrobat Pro software. Such a solution is low cost and necessary for those who have small scale 3D PDF creations. Tetra Enrich, another Adobe Acrobat Pro plugin, is a more advanced version of client 3D PDF creation, leveraging pre-built and configured templates. You can also add animation to your 3D PDFs via PROSTEP's plugin to Adobe Acrobat Pro, 3D PDF Pro. Using 3D PDF Pro adds another dimension of interactivity, demonstrating things like product assembly and disassembly.

Tetra4D Converter
3D PDF Pro
Tetra Enrich

​SERVER Solution​s to Create 3D PDFs

​There are two server solutions for advanced 3D PDF creation. PROSTEP product PDF Generator 3D is the most advanced automated 3D PDF solution. With PDF Generator 3D, you will centrally manage the creation, merging, distribution and archiving of engineering product data in a single ​PDF document. PROSTEP PDF Generator 3D can quickly convert ​any CAD file into a more secure Adobe PDF file. You can easily connect leading PLM, ERP and ECM systems to view, manage and archive metadata and CAD files in PDF.

The other server based 3D PDF solution is Tetra Automate. With Tetra Automate, you can easily ​generate data rich, interactive 3D PDF documents from PDM/PLM systems or internal storage networks.

PDF Generator 3D
Tetra Automate

Work with PROSTEP

Tel: +1​ ​877.678.3701

​Email: [email protected]

Questions? Contact Us

Send Message
Contact us by filling out the form below.

​What 3D PDF Solution is Best for ​You?

​Download the PROSTEP & Tetra Solution Summary

PDF Generator 3D
3D PDF Pro
Tetra4D Product Solutions

How to Create a 3D PDF with PDF Generator 3D

Convert CAD to PDF with a 3D PDF Converter

​Translate CAD data to 3D PDF

PDF Generator 3D from PROSTEP combines complex 3D CAD data, metadata from existing backend systems, various file formats and interactive content to create a dynamic PDF document.  PDF Generator 3D is your server solution that centrally manages the creation, merging, distribution and archiving of engineering product data in a single PDF document. Any CAD file can be converted into a more secure Adobe PDF file. Futher, you can easily connect to leading PLM, ERP and ECM systems to view, manage and archive metata and CAD files in PDF.

Server Solution:

PDF Generator 3D from PROSTEP

PDF Generator 3D

Manage the Creation of Adobe PDF files from a Central Server

PROSTEP PDF Generator 3D makes it easy to incorporate the centralized creation of PDF files in your business applications and processes. Companies can use PDF documents as part of an archiving solution or to safely and more securely share virtually any product information. PDF Generator 3D has flexible deployment options - network-monitored folders, e-mail, web user interfaces and Java APIs easily plug into existing business systems and processes.  The server solution helps ensure all PDF documents generated within a company are optimized for file size, level of detail and security to support established business processes, corporate guidelines and legal requirements. 

3D PDF to keep Everyone Synchronized

PROSTEP's server solution enables all your authorized users to access critical business information when they need it. All they need is the free Adobe Reader (which is already installed on most PCs) to view and edit product data and other documents without the need for any design applications or downloading plug-ins.  Adobe PDF files look exactly like the original documents and preserve source file information - including text, layout, forms, 2D drawings, 3D design and PDFM metadata - regardless of the software used to creat them.

3D PDF Assembly Instructions

Key Benefits of Creating 3D PDFs with PDF Generator 3D

Speed up the Product Development Cycle

PDF Generator 3D quickly automates the conversion and integration of complex 3D CAD models, product manufacturing information (PMI), parts lists, large assemblies, metadata from PDF/ERP and other product data into rich, interactive Adobe PDF files.

Reduce Costs

PDF Generator 3D allows you to use engineering information in the upstream and downstream processes.  You can use existing 3D design and related data from existing systems to start creating technical documentation, marketing material and training documents sooner to meet product launch schedules. 

​Improved Communication

With PDF Generator 3D, you can share product data in PDF files with anyone using the free Adobe Reader, enabling authorized users to view and edit product data and other documents without the need for CAD applications, CAD viewers or clients for PDM/ERP systems.

Protect Your Investments with Open File Formats

Deliver documents in open and standardized formats. Take advantage of open ISO PDF standards such as ISO 32000 (PDF1.7), PDF/E and PDF/A, the ISO standard for the long-term archiving of your documents.

Manage the Security of Your Documents

With PDF Generator 3D, you'll be able to protect the confidentiality and authenticity of business-critical documents. Control who can access, print, copy modify, save and extract content from PDF documents with optional PROSTEP PDF Generator 3D Rights Management module. By using this module, you can also reduce the risk associated with malicious and untintentional data loss.

Additional Functions

​Optional PDF Generator 3D Reader Extensions module allows you to activate a number of useful editing functions in Adobe Reader.  Among many functions, these allow you to annotate or measure embedded 3D models.

Work with PROSTEP

Tel: +1​ ​877.678.3701

​Email: [email protected]

Questions? Contact Us

Send Message
Contact us by filling out the form below.

PDF Generator 3D Additional Functions

Rights Management

With the Rights Management module for PDF Generator 3D, you can provide PDF documents with comprehensive protection, specifying which users are allowed to use which functions in that document. Additionally, you can specify how long a document can remain open or be use, i.e. how long it is valid thus allowing you to retain full control over the document even after being sent.

​Reader Extensions

​The 3D Reader Extensions module for PDF Generator 3D allows you to use a number of additional 3D functions in Adobe Reader. In addition to the standard functions of rotate, zoom, and move an embedded 3D model or view tree structure, the module allows you to annotate or measure the 3D model, slice, and other functions such as edit, storing and printing forms, or adding your signature to the PDF document.


​Create 3D PDF with PROSTEP PDF Generator 3D

Download this 3D PDF here

Try the most advanced and automated 3D PDF creation tool.

Ask us about your no-risk, on-premise installation of PDF Generator 3D.

 Please speak to a PROSTEP representative. ​

PDF Generator 3D

How to Animate 3D PDFs with 3D PDF Pro

3D PDF Pro Creates Animations from Your CAD Files

​3D Animation

3D PDF Pro from PROSTEP is your solution for CLIENT based animation that enables you to create animations from 3D data directly inside Adobe Acrobat.  3D PDF Pro showcases your 3D CAD models within 3D PDF documents.  Expensive software is not necessary to open and explore your 3D CAD model. Further, your technical documents are always secure and managed, allowing your to make them visible to specific users or everyone.  3D PDF Pro allows you to:

  • Build highly interactive service manuals
  • Create step-by-step assembly and disassembly procedures for your 3D model
  • Embed a 3D representation of your product to send to customers or vendors
  • Design interactive product demos

Request a demo.

​Client Solution: 

​3D PDF Pro from PROSTEP

3D PDF Pro

​Shop Floor Visual Assembly ​Instructions

​"3D PDF Pro software opened a whole new world for us in the way forward to go 'paperless on our assembly instructions... Our company is really excited in working with PROSTEP in implementing the visual assembly instructions on our product floor."

- Johannes Liebenberg 

Production Engineer at Airbus DS Optronics (Pty) Ltd.

3D PDF Visual Assembly Instructions

​PDF Animation created by 3D PDF Pro

​Download this .pdf here and more 3D PDFs here.


3D PDF Client and Server Solutions from PROSTEP

​Convert CAD to 3D PDF with Tetra4D Converter

Tetra4D Converter is Your 3D CAD Converter

Now you can share CAD data with anyone! Tetra4D Converter allows you to accurately convert 3D data from the latest versions of CATIA, Pro/E, SOLIDWORKS,Inventor®, and all other major CAD applications to 3D PDF directly inside Adobe Acrobat. Export precise geometric 3D CAD data to STEP, IGES, JT, STL, and Parasolid from all major CAD formats for use in downstream applications.

Tetra4D Converter allows you to:

  • Convert native 3D CAD files into interactive 3D PDFs
  • Supports assembly structure, precise geometry (B-Rep), Product Manufacturing Information (PMI), and CAD attributes
  • Translate CAD data to neutral formats (STEP, JT, etc.)
  • Leverages all Adobe Acrobat features
  • Embed native and neutral format CAD files into the document
  • Provides compression capabilities
  • Includes Tetra4D Reviewer
  • Provide interactive BOMs or parts list order forms

Request a demo.

Tetra4D Converter

​What 3D PDF Solution is Best for Me?

​What 3D PDF Solution is Best for ​You?

​Download the PROSTEP & Tetra Solution Summary

PDF Generator 3D
3D PDF Pro
Tetra4D Product Solutions

​ Download these sample 3D PDFs  

Bill of materials (BOM)


Technical Data Package

3D PDF Technical Data Package (TDP)

​Engineering Spec Sheet

3D PDF Engineering Spec Sheet

Get more 3D PDFs here.

​Download the ​3D PDF Data Sheet

​3D PDF Technology Solutions from PROSTEP

PDF Generator 3D
3D PDF Pro
Tetra4D Product Solutions


White​ Paper

​Generating Service Content More Efficiently

​PROSTEP's service content solutions can be used for 3D assembly planning, spare parts catalog, service documentation and field services.

​Generating Service Content More Efficiently White Paper

​White​ Paper

​3D Formats in ​the Field of Engineering: A Comparison

Our experts give an overview for identifying which 3D format is more appropriate for a given use case.

​3D Formats in ​the Field of Engineering: A Comparison White Paper

Information Sheet

​Paperless Product Documentation with Technical Data Packages

Technical data packages (TDPs) help in acquisition strategy, production, engineering and logistics support (LS). TDPs define the required design configurations and procedures to ensure the adequacy of item performance.

​Paperless Product Documentation with Technical Data Packages Information Sheet


​Benefits of MBD Enabled 3D PDFs in Enterprise

​Benefits of MBD Enabled 3D PDFs in Enterprise Presentation


ENOVIA 3D PDF Demo with 3D PDF Export

ENOVIA 3D PDF Demo with 3D PDF Export Demo


​Download 3D PDFs 

​Download 3D PDFs

Work with PROSTEP

Tel: +1​ ​877.678.3701

​Email: [email protected]

Questions? Contact Us

Send Message
Contact us by filling out the form below.