How to create 3d pdf with Solidworks Composer

This is a simple tutorial to show you how to create 3d pdf file with Solidworks Composer.

Solidworks Composer is a separate application, that means it is not an add-on for Solidworks. You can buy the software separately. And you don’t need to have Solidworks installed too. With Solidwork Composer, we can do many things. For example, we can create product manuals, spare parts documents, interactive 3D animations and videos, etc. At the same time, we can use some tools to protect our designs. We can reduce the accuracy to prevent unauthorized reverse engineering.

It takes time to learn all of the features. But in this article, we will only talk about the steps of how to create 3d pdf files. And we will use the simple tool to protect the design data.

Step 1-Open your file

File>Open, Open the file. In this sample, we open the file “Base.stl”.

Support files of type: sat, sab, 3dxml, igs, iges, stp, step, vda, asm, prt, xpr, xas, 3ds, obj, stl, wrl, u3d, sldprt, sldasm, ipt, iam, pdf; bmp, jpg, jpeg, jpe, tga, rgb, svg.

Step 2- Create views

Switch to View Mode and create some views. Usually we need to create some views, but it is no problem if you don’t do that. In this article, we will use a pdf template with five views, so we create five views.

Step 3-Protect the design data

Click Geometry>Secure>Secure 3D Brush

Change the precision to 0.2 mm or any other number you want, press ENTER.

Hold down the left-mouse button and drag the pointer over the selected actors. Press ESC when finished.

“Secure 3D Brush” reduce the 3d model’s accuracy by moving tessellation vertices and you cannot get the accurate values when measuring.   

Step 4-Publish to PDF

Now go to File>Publish>PDF.

Select “USE CUSTOM TEMPLATE” if you have your template file; Or you can use the default template too. In this sample, we will use the simple template “3d pdf template-single model – sample”. You can get this template here.

In the EMBEDDED 3D FILE, choose U3D.

Type in the file name and click Save. After you click “Save”, there may be a message: “The current view has changes. Do you want to update it with your changes, or save your changes in a new view?”, choose “Update”.

Step 5-Open the 3d pdf file and add other information

You can open the 3d pdf file with Acrobe PDF reader, and then add other information, such as name, part no., version, date, notes, company name and website.

Comparison before and after security

We get three measurements in the pdf reader. Before security, they are 150, 100, 30; After security, they are 150.055, 100.039, 29.856. So it is ok to protect the design data in this way.

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