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5 Answers

Hi everyone, I wanted to chime into this conversation and bring a different perspective. I have been fortunate in my career to have managed multiple Autodesk and non Autodesk applications as well as have worked for Autodesk and now with tetra4D, an Adobe Partner with exclusivity in creating 3D PDF technology.

Having been in various positions, the question is never about who sucks and who wins; the question here is what’s the best approach when determining what employees or your customers need to accomplish specific tasks or to view data that best represent your design intent.

Understanding what both programs provide and educating employees on when you use one over the other is very important. These are two different workflows.

I will speak on behalf of the PDF platform, as this is what we do best.

One reason many of our customer use a PDF is to protect their intellectual property without having to dumb down an .aim and .ipt file just to share it. The other reason is that the Adobe Reader is in 98% of desktops worldwide, hands down, no questions asked. It’s installed by default. So when you send someone a 3D PDF, all they have to do is double click on it to open it…just as you would a 2D PDF. It’s simply an extension of a workflow they already understand and know how to use.

We’ve actually made this very easy for everyone by proving a 3D PDF Plug-In for Inventor that allows you to create a 3D PDF directly from the Inventor interface. It’s very to use and you also have the ability to create a background template that can match your marketing or title blocks objectives.

Dear customers, tetra4D has since been sold to TechSoft 3D. To find the original plug-Ins that have since been enhanced, I’m redirecting you to Simlab Soft at for the original 3D PDF plug-ins into Autodesk software.

To covert and enrich your 3D PDF’s outside of CAD Applications you can use tetra4D’s Convert and Enrich products at .

In summary, they are both win/win programs but serving different purposes.

Give 3D PDF plug-ins a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Ira Rodriguez
(former) Product Manager, tetra4D
Learn about Collaborating with a PDF:

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I am not so sure about 2013 being able to publish 3D PDF's as there has been a lot of problems with Adobe about this I myself have not yet tried it with the 2013 version of IV. I do however use Inventor view for such tasks if I am sending someone a model and they do not have IV 2013.... Inventor view is a FREE download to anyone (( Hahaha AUTO DESK - always doing there bit for us all FREE of charge )) and with View you can open any .IAM or .IPT

Adobe sucks AUTO Desk wins


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This question was asked in one of the Autodesk Forums a while back and the official answer I saw the same as William

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Kevin, and William are not incorrect. The inventor viewer is free and works wonders. The issue surfaces when you are in a position like mine, or possibly the original poster's. I work with a lot of companies (primarily steel mills) and due to their policies, employees do not have the proper permissions to download any 3rd party applications. This is where 3D PDFs are a huge benefit. As Ira noted, most computers computers are preloaded with Adobe Reader, and therefor my customers will be able to view the 3D model without the hassle of going through the bureaucracy of their own company to get permission to download a simple viewer. Both points are valid, but in the grand scheme PDF's are much more versatile.

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