Wednesday, November 15, 2017

3D PDF Tips for Revit Users

Exactly 4 years ago, to the day, I wrote a blog post for Tetra4D on their 3D PDF Plug-In for Revit. I believe this plug-in now belongs to SimLab. The post is still applicable today... not much has changed with 3D PDFs. The functionality in Adobe Arobat and Bluebeam Revu are also similar when it comes to 3D PDFs.

The nice thing about this plug-in is that Revit's appearance assets are applied to the 3D PDF... of course that makes the file bigger. I am asked to create 3D PDFs occasionally, and this...
article describes the process... including setting up multiple saved views in the PDF.

Here is a link to the intro post:

Within that post, is this link to the full article (PDF):

Here is a link to SimLab's Revit plug-ins:

Below, are two images from the article.


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  2. A good article Dan, thank you. Good to see 3D PDF’s getting some well deserved attention.
    I think this tool is undervalued in the design profession as it allows for a greater access to 3D geometry by a much larger group who have no access/interest in loading specialist viewers.
    It also adds a longer tail on our work by making it accessible for AM/FM team and end users.
    I have also found this 3D PDF creator from SimLab (previously Tetra4D) very useful after testing out the competition. I initially used the SofiStik 3D PDF maker but that did have trouble with bigger files (back in 2015- not sure if resolved yet).
    I have also taken it a step further by extracting data from the 3D PDF to Excel and filtering out data in tabulated form such as room data (Floor/Ceiling/Wall area, finishes, substrate & perimeter), door information, window information etc via an excel macro. You can see it in use in this video
    (Start at 2.14s as earlier stuff is just demo stuff you have covered in your 3DPDF Revit tips doc).
    Also as you can extract quantities from 3DPDFs it is a good scheduling tool for quoting on work in the FM sphere (just send 3dpdf and extraction macro and contractor can quote on quantities from model- if there are discrepancies between real/model these can easily be verified for cost adjustment)
    Some more information on its use that I have been exploring:
    Blogs on its use as well for services here:
    And some downloadable files on this demo site.
    SimLab support has been great. I would like to make the observation that the embed button doesn’t work though. It is actually an issue of browser viewers. Also Browser viewers need to have their settings adjusted for default PDF viewer as browser default viewer only reads 2D PDFs. You actually have to download the 3dPDF file and then view it with Adobe Reader or an equivalent viewer.
    (for this example see and click on PDF & 3DPDF links, the 2D PDF’s are viewable in the browser, whereas the 3D ones are not)

  3. Good stuff, Max. Thanks for sharing.


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