Getting Started - What is a 3D PDF? How do 3D PDF's Work?

PDF3D products such as PDF3D ReportGen, PDF3D.IO development SDK, PDF3D PV+ and PDF3D SDK PRO can be used to convert over 90 file formats to 3D PDF.

What is a 3D PDF?

3D PDF is a PDF file with 3D geometry inside. Using any 3D PDF enabled viewer, rotation, zoom and part selection is available within the 3D view. This is often used for documentation, sharing and collaboration. 3D PDF is just like a normal PDF (Portable Document Format) file, which contains a 3D view somewhere on some page. Just like a PDF containing an embedded image, except when you put the mouse over it, you can rotate, zoom, pan and explore the scene in 3D (three dimensions). The file actually contains a 3D geometric representation of the scene, not just images from different viewpoints. Not all PDF viewers support 3D. If in doubt, use the Adobe Reader for viewing 3D PDFs. PDF itself is ISO32000 a published ISO standard used by many vendors and industries. It is a container, wrapper for many types of content, most often text and images within a document. It can also contain rich media, interactive content, including full 3D view ports. A special type of 3D PDF called PDF/A-4 is used for long-term preservation. The 3D portion within the PDF can be composed of either a U3D or a PRC encoding type.

How do 3D PDF’s Work

A PDF file is a self-contained document file. PDF files can be displayed for reading using various PDF viewers. A 3D PDF is a little special, inside the document there is a 3D viewing window, where you can rotate, zoom and pan the contents of a 3D scene. The actual data for the 3D view is embedded inside the PDF file. Not all PDF viewers support 3D – if in doubt, use the Adobe Reader for viewing 3D PDFs. How 3D PDFs are constructed is covered by internationally agreed ISO standards.