Erin Johnson

Tip #125: Create a 3D PDF

Blog Post created by Erin Johnson on Sep 25, 2020

Good morning TBC’ers! Have you ever wanted to save a 3D model as a PDF for data sharing or presentation purposes? Well, today I will be demonstrating the Create 3D PDF command. The Create 3D PDF command saves your 3D model as a PDF which can then be viewed or manipulated in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader as in the 3D view, enabling you to explore your model from any computer or mobile device with 3D PDF support. 


Note: In the 3D PDF, points appear as solid black dots, and images do not appear.


To access the Create 3D PDF command, follow these steps:


1. Filter your view and set properties and layer options to ensure that your model displays all and only the objects you want in the colors and styles you want to appear in your PDF.


2. Navigate to the Drafting Ribbon and select Create 3D PDF under Print:

Alternatively, you can select the Print icon in the Quick Access toolbar and choose Create 3D PDF:

3. Type a path and file name for the exported file in the File name box, or click the Browse icon to browse for a location and specify a file name:

Note: By default, the exported file is given the name of your project.


4. Enter the User name as you want it to appear at the bottom of the PDF (4 in the final image below):

5. Enter any Description text about the model or project that you want to appear below the PDF’s 3D view (3 in the final image below):

6. In the Company Information group, enter your company name, website, email, or phone number as you want it to appear at the top of the PDF (2 & 4 in the final image below):

Note: You can leave any of the user, description, and company boxes empty.


7. To have the user and company information you entered update/ overwrite the same fields in Project Settings > General Information, leave the Modify project settings box checked:

8. To upload your company’s logo or another icon/ image and place it at the top of the PDF (1 in the final image below), leave the Include icon box checked; click the Browse button and browse to the file. A preview of the icon displays in theIcon box:

Tip: Square image files up to 512 x 512 pixels work best.


9. Click OK to create the 3D PDF. The PDF reader opens:


In the reader, the navigation gestures are different than in TBC:

  • Zoom in/ out: right-click and drag up/ down
  • Orbit (around the center of view): click and drag
  • Pan: press [Control] and click and drag


I hope this tip comes in handy next time you are working with 3D models in TBC!