The OpenDesign Alliance has announced the release of is new 3D PDF component which will allow Teigha based applications to convert 3D data in a DWG or DGN file to a 3D PDF file. According to this press release, an alpha version has already been made available to ODA members to download and try out.
PDF uses the PRC (Production Representation Compact) file format to store its 3D data. This data can be tesselated (for visualization) or B-Rep (for exact data exchange and archival). The press release doesn’t go to say whether the both representations can be written to a 3D PDF file. I know the answer but I’m not sure whether I’m allowed to disclose it publicly.
I believe ODA members will appreciate this feature addition to the Teigha Platform. When it comes to 3D file formats 3D PDF is a safe standard to stick to and their customers will be happy to be able to archive their 3D data in a format that isn’t going anywhere for a long time.
The ODA’s 3D PDF component may also affect the prospects of companies like Tech Soft 3D who license low level 3D PDF authoring compoennts like the Adobe PDF Library. Software companies will simply need to join the ODA (if they haven’t already) and use this component to output 3D data from their applications to 3D PDF files. The level of ODA membership they will need join will cost them $5,000 for the first yead and then $3,000 annually thereafter.
Ironically, back in 2010, the ODA licensed the same Adobe PDF library from Adobe to support rendering of PDF underlays among other things. At that time the ODA had their own PDF implementation and I’m guessing it didn’t work too well.
It will be interesting to see how soon ODA members will start using the this 3D PDF component to add 3D PDF output to their Teigha applicaitons. Bricsys, an ODA founding member, already offers 3D PDF export functionality to its customers. But it comes as part of a separate module called BricsCAD Communicator which is priced at $610.