Adobe adds a third dimension to Acrobat

San Jose (CA) - Adobe today announced a new flagship for its Acrobat software family: Acrobat 3D enables CAD users to create PDF files from 3D models and embed a functional 3D viewing application into a PDF document. The illustrations can be viewed, magnified and viewed in a standard version of Acrobat Reader.

The visualization of 3D models has been viewed one of the major opportunities in electronic marketing and electronic document distribution for several years. But the field was largely characterized by trial and error projects and - if Flash is left out of consideration - has missed the mass market so far. A new opportunity that immediately impacts the mass market could be Adobe' Acrobat 3D approach.

Users who would like to embed their 3D models into a PDF document - Adobe especially aims for design engineers, technical publishers and creative professionals in manufacturing industries such as automotive, aerospace and industrial machinery, as well as the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) market - will need Adobe's new Acrobat 3D software, which can create PDFs either directly from a "popular" CAD application or from CAD models that were imported into Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint.

Acrobat 3D models can be viewed in the Acrobat Reader (versions 7 and above) software and behave as separate applications. Users are able to move a model, change lighting sections, magnify or turn an illustration. Designers are able to set default views to highlight aspects of a model.

The software is available now in English, French and German language versions for a suggested retail price of $995. Upgrade pricing from Acrobat Professional 7 is $545. Adobe offers the software Windows XP/2000; the capture utility is also available for IBM AIX 5.2, HP UX 11.0, SGI Irix 6.5 and Sun Solaris 2.8. Company representatives contacted by TG Daily could not provide details on which CAD applications are supported by Acrobat 3D.