RE: Who uses 3-D graphics?

Subject: RE: Who uses 3-D graphics?
From: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>
To: "Bryan Johnson" <bryan -dot- johnson -at- thecomwellgroup -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2008 09:47:47 -0500

The article is in the January 2008 issue (Yeah, I'm a little behind),
and it talked about the Adobe software that can embed 3-D graphics into
PDF files. I can see where one could fall into the trap of getting
caught up in all the bells and whistles.

From: thecomwellgroup -at- gmail -dot- com [mailto:thecomwellgroup -at- gmail -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Bryan Johnson
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 10:37 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com; Downing, David
Subject: Re: Who uses 3-D graphics?

While I haven't read the Intercom article, I can say that we have used
3D graphics quite a bit. We have documented many different hardware
products, robotics, baby strollers, acetylene generators, etc. where 3D
graphics are of great help not only in the ipl (illustrated parts list)
but also in installation instructions. We have created 3D graphics from
scratch using hand sketches and Illustrator. But the best practice is
the use the clients mechanical drawings. Many companies are now modeling
their products in 3D using ProE, SolidEdge, AutoCAD and a variety of
other CAD packages. These drawings can easily be output as wireframe
models and opened directly in Illustrator as vector based art, ready for

The next wave will be including fully active 3D models directly in the
pdf. If you haven't checked out Adobe Acrobat's new Acrobat Pro 3D
extended, I highly recommend checking it out. It gives you the ability
to embed a fully active 3D model directly within the pdf. The model only
becomes active when clicked on and a static "poster" lies over the model
when printing. The ability to rotate a product, remove parts, view an
active parts list can be invaluable to a customer. The only danger is
providing too much information or getting caught up in the "eye candy".
I have had clients shy away when they discover how much detail is
available... fear of reverse engineering. You must strike a fine balance
between providing quality information and giving the store away.

now I'll have to track down that article... like i needed another thing
to do... ;-)

Great question! Thanks for bringing it up!

All the best,


Bryan K. Johnson
Senior Partner
The ComWell Group, LLC

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