When I posted about my Dream PLM Technologies for 2009 , one of them was Persistent Content. In today’s word, I think that PDF is the most widely used format to keep information for a long period of time. Combined with 3D capabilities, 3D PDF is a very attractive option for users for this purpose.
Adding 3D to the latest capabilities of PDF have allowed 3D PDF to be dynamic make and even more exciting than before. Not only can you retain information, but your users can browse this information dynamically.
Now, let’s get back to Persistent Content. Dynamic 3D PDF allows the resolution of many issues related to the presentation of product information: visualization, finding relationships using bookmarks, and browsing capabilities. From this standpoint, 3D PDF is a good candidate. So what’s missing from this option, you may ask? In my opinion the advantage of PDF as a widely accepted file format – is also its disadvantage! It’s still a file! So, if we continue to package product information into PDF files, we will end up with a huge amount of files to manage.
I predict that the future will bring some enhancements that will allow us to manage information in multiple PDF files , but currently, this is still not something available out of the box. I have seen some examples of PDF usage for content storage. SolidWorks Labs released Presentation Studio for SolidWorks, allowing you to create 3D content in PDF format. 3DVIA Composer allows you to publish lots of content into PDF. Other PLM companies also provide capabilities for transferring content in PDF. Another interesting example I found is being able to keep non-traditional 3D Content (i.e. as a molecular structure) in dynamic 3D PDF files produced by companies in the life science domain. With the emerging PLM influence in this industry sector, I expect an increased customer interest in having 3D available for a long period of time.
I believe that customers and companies have developed capabilities of larger content storage in PDF. If you have this experience I’d appreciate it if you share your comments and other thoughts on this topic.