Alibre Design and PDF (Alibre Options Tutorial)

31 May, 2007 By: Michael Todd

Use Acrobat 3D to render your Alibre models.

From within Alibre Design, you can create a published PDF file of your rendered models and assemblies with Adobe Acrobat 3D. You need to use Alibre Design v9.1 or higher and Acrobat 3D to render your models.

Publish a PDF
To begin, open the part model or assembly that you want to publish to PDF in Alibre Design.

To begin, open a model or assembly.

Select the Publish to PDF icon from the menu at the top of the workspace or select File/Publish to PDF from the Menu bar. Next, select the template layout that you want to use for your assembly. Options that are grayed out are ones that you can choose if you select to Publish to PDF while active in an exploded view state.

Next, type in a header and footer that you want to display on your PDF document. You can skip this option by selecting Next.

In the next dialog box, you can insert different views that display in the PDF document that you create.

Insert view layouts for your design.

Click Next and then specify what type of page layout you want. Select the Publish button to publish your model to PDF.

Choose your options for page layout. Here you have the option to Preview the PDF document before you publish it, which is a good idea, especially if you're doing a custom layout. Using this option allows you to make any needed changes before publishing the final publication.

Editing the PDF Document in 3D Toolkit
To begin, left-click on the model shown in the PDF document to enable 3D mode on your model. You also can enable 3D by right-clicking on the model and selecting Enable 3D.

Start by enabling 3D.

Next, right-click on the model and then select the Edit option in 3D Toolkit.

After the 3D Toolkit launches, you can move your model around using your mouse.

Add Features
To add textures, shades and materials select View/Explorer Bar/Folders from the menu bar. You also can access the same folders from the submenu bar by selecting the Folders icon.

In the folder options, you can select options to change the appearance of your model.

Choose Folder Options in 3D Toolkit to change the look of your model.

To apply a texture, shade or material, left-click to select it and then drag-and-drop it onto the part of the model where you want it applied. Once applied, the model updates.

A model after textures are applied.

After you've finished applying textures, shades and materials and updating the original PDF document, select File/Save. In addition, to make a rendering of the model to send out or to update a Web site, choose File/Render to File, specify a filename and where to save the file and press OK.

If you don't want to save a rendered copy of your model but only want to see the updated model in the PDF document, reopen the PDF document and click on the model to Enable 3D mode. The model will show your updated and rendered model.

An updated PDF document.

Select Default View
Now that you have the rendered copy displayed in your PDF file, you may want to set the default view to be the rendered version. To do so, select Views/Manage Views.

In the Manage views dialog, choose New View and name the view. Click Rename to accept the new name. Next, choose Use As Default to use it as the default view.

The Manage Views dialog box.

Be aware that the way you position the view before you begin to manage the views is the way it is set. If you want to set it to display in a certain view, rotate and zoom the rendered display into that position now.

Next, select Tools/Advanced Editing/3D tool from the menu bar and then select the rendered image to display the object you want to set as the default view. Now, double-click on the view to bring up the 3D Properties dialog box and select the Edit Content . . . button to set your default view. In the Edit Content dialog, select the option Retrieve preview image from default view and then OK.

After you select OK, save the changes to the PDF document so you and other users have access to the newly specified view.

Add 3D Content dialog box.

For more information about Alibre Design or Adobe Acrobat 3D, please visit the Alibre Web site.

About the Author: Michael Todd

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