AEC Tech News #150

20 Jul, 2005 By: Michael Dakan

Cadalyst AEC Tech News

3D With Reach

QuadriSpace extends 3D publishing capabilities to include Adobe PDF

QuadriSpace announced last week the release of its 3D PDF Module, which, when used with the company?s Document3D desktop publishing package, lets the user create interactive Adobe PDF (portable document format) files that include 3D objects without the need for JavaScript programming or intermediate translations. This news is significant to the AEC community not only because the product is one of the first of its kind, but because of the advantages it brings to the AEC document-review process. In this edition of AEC Tech News, I?d like to talk about the company and its product line and discuss the benefits of this latest offering.

QuadriSpace and 3D Publishing
QuadriSpace has been providing 3D publishing solutions for a number of years, primarily software used by mechanical design engineers and technicians to create technical manuals and assembly drawings for mechanical design. First certified for use with SolidWorks and other solid modelers, QuadriSpace publishing software now supports other CAD formats and streamlines the workflow of publishing all sorts of technical documents, including drawings that are useful in the AEC world.

Using QuadriSpace applications, you can create documents for printing, interactive 3D models incorporated in Web pages, Macromedia Flash animated files, AVI animations and executable files, and you can publish to CD-ROM with a 3D reader incorporated. With the addition of the 3D PDF Module, you now can also publish directly to an Adobe PDF that includes embedded 3D objects.

QuadriSpace?s premier product suite, Document3D ($2,495), consists of three applications: Pages3D, Notes3D and Publisher3D. Each is also available as a separate and complementary module, but when purchased separately total more than $3,000.
Pages 3D. Pages3D ($1,595) is a complete authoring application for creating static and interactive documents containing 3D drawing information. 3D CAD models can be directly imported into Pages3D and incorporated in a document. Files that can be directly imported include those from SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor and AutoCAD. Also supported are rendering files from Autodesk?s 3ds max and VIZ.
Pages3D publishes interactive QuadriSpace QSD format files for the Web as well as executable (EXE) files. You can also publish to CD-ROM  or create publications for print. The viewer of a QSD Web page can  interactively manipulate embedded 3D models to see various views using the free QuadriSpace Reader3D Active-x control.

Notes 3D. Notes3D ($495) adds the ability to create animated drawings from imported CAD files to show assembly or disassembly sequences and exploded views, for instance. In addition to creating native QSD files, you can use it to publish files to Adobe U3D format for manual use with Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional. The U3D format requires that you create a navigation control module in the Web page using JavaScript.

Publisher 3D. Publisher3D ($995) is an add-on to Notes3D or Pages3D that lets you publish the completed, documented model as a static Web page, a high-resolution file format, an animated Macromedia Flash file or as an AVI animated file.
These applications are being used in the AEC world to create interactive presentations to illustrate design concepts, such as for modular design; assembly and construction details; design and construction phasing; and more.

3D Support for Adobe PDF Files with 3D Objects
Now QuadriSpace has announced the 3D PDF Module add-on ($295) for the Document3D applications. This new module allows the user to directly create Adobe PDF files that contain embedded 3D objects. File recipients using the free Adobe Reader 7 can view an Adobe PDF containing 3D object information and interactively manipulate the 3D model within the context of the rest of the document.
The 3D PDF Module creates a complete Adobe PDF that contains the required user control module so no additional JavaScript programming is required. No additional intermediate file formats such as the separate creation of a U3D file is needed, making this is a one-step process that creates everything needed for an Adobe PDF file that contains embedded 3D model information. Metadata is maintained in the file, which also maintains links to CAD data such as that needed to create a linked Bill of Materials. You can create assembly and other drawings that, when clicked, can display materials or product information from the CAD file.
With the recent release of Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional, these 3D Adobe PDF files can be viewed and marked up by users of the free Adobe Reader 7 viewer. This greatly extends the usefulness of the QuadriSpace applications to include users of the popular Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader programs. Adobe states it has distributed more than a half-billion copies of the free Adobe Reader program since its introduction in 1993, so this new QuadriSpace functionality greatly extends the range of those able to view and interact with the QuadriSpace-created publications.

Michael Dakan is an author and independent CAD and information technology consultant. E-mail him at

what's new at
For an online version of this newsletter as well as past issues
of AEC Tech News, go to

Be Among the First to Hear What's New! :Cadalyst's latest e-newsletter will alert you when new content is posted each month on, including all the latest magazine articles, online tutorials and code downloads. Click here to sign up to receive What's New at Cadalyst: AEC.

AEC From the Ground Up (Column) : Sharing files can be difficult. Find out whether data-exchange standards such as aecXML and IFCs can help.

Tech Trends (Feature Article): A winning design for a girls' soccer complex in KwaZulu-Natal will be built by the local South African community.

Cadalyst Online: For links to all the latest articles in Cadalyst magazine and on, set your bookmark to: