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Recommended best practices for exporting to 3D PDF?

It's probably operator error on my part but I have been quite unsuccessful producing a useable 3D PDF export (V21 w/Communicator, Win10).

So far, every attempt I've made has yielded a PDF with a black background and a model which is also flat black. I can change the background color to white in the PDF reader but nothing I have tried has affected the PDF model appearance. It's there and can be manipulated but, since it's a uniform flat black, it only appears as a silhouette with no visible features.

3D PDF files from e.g. McMaster-Carr are okay in the PDF reader with a white background and gray surface colors.

So, I'm obviously missing something. Any suggestions?

Comments

  • What are you using as PDF reader?
    E.g. Adobe Acrobat (full version) and the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader and BlueBeam PDF do show the PDF files properly, also because they fully support 3D PDF.

    E.g. PDF Xchange does support 3D PDF but only U3D is decently supported and PRC is not supported very well at the moment so it displays the model as black colour, with a black background. Setting the background colour to white in the PDF may cause the model to show up, but it also depends on the zoom factor.
    The same is probably the case with other PDF viewers that should/claim (to) be able to read 3D PDF files.

    DId you try Acrobat Reader to see how it shows up in there?

    The PDF model appearance is controlled by the settings of the layer colours as well as the render materials that are applied (either as layer property or applied to individual items). By default it should show up as gray surface colours with either a black or a white background, provided that the layer colour that holds the model isn't white. If the layer colour of the layer holding the model is white then the model may show up a flat black.

    It also makes a difference whether the items are part of an e.g. an assembly in mechanical, when you may need to set things at the component level as well.

    Do you have a test file that you could share?

  • @RSW said:
    E.g. PDF Xchange does support 3D PDF but only U3D is decently supported and PRC is not supported very well at the moment so it displays the model as black colour, with a black background. Setting the background colour to white in the PDF may cause the model to show up, but it also depends on the zoom factor.

    Looks like that's the answer, as I am indeed using PDF Xchange.; it's the paid version with PDF editing and so on. I particularly like how they implement the Find feature and a few other things. Haven't gotten around to installing the ur-PDF reader (Acrobat) since it's a fairly new laptop.

    And today I learned more stuff about the innards of 3D PDF files. Thanks!

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Origami
Origami is the Japanese word for paper folding. ORI means to fold and KAMI means paper and involves the creation of paper forms usually entirely by folding.

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