Twelve Days of CADD Care (Day Eight): Bluebeam Revu and 3D PDFs

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On the eighth day of CADD Care, the CADD Team gave to me…a post about Bluebeam Revu and why 3D PDFs rock!

Bluebeam Revu is as close to a true love for me as one could hope for from an application. With so many fantastic features, how can one not fall in love it with? Over the last several years I have had the privilege to present at several Bluebeam XCONs and the number one topic I present on is 3D PDFs and why they are so unique, useful, and easy to use. So lets take a moment to dive into this.

A simple way to describe a 3D PDF is that it is a PDF file containing interactive 3D elements and objects. A model is created through a modeling software and converted to a 3D PDF. This enables users with Bluebeam Revu, and other supported PDF viewers to view, markup, collaborate and interact with the 3D modeling without the use of modeling software such as Revit, AutoCAD, Navisworks, Solidworks, and more. Here are a few ways that 3D PDFs can help you.

Model Visualization

Communicating design intent and helping a team visualize that design is imperative to a project. A 3D PDF helps simplify that communication and streamline it for anyone with an enabled 3D PDF viewer. 3D PDFs within Bluebeam Revu give users an avenue to view a model without the requirement of expansive software or hardware requirements. Simple, easy to understand visual tools give the user the ability to turn objects off, make them transparent, change colors, add clarity, and so much more. The visualization tools in Bluebeam Revu for 3D PDFs bring intrinsic value to a project and its team.

BIM Object/Element Data

3D PDFs not only provide a means in visualizing your model, but they also provide the user key BIM object-based modeling information for the user. A user can determine exactly what they are looking at; be it a wall, floor, piece of conduit, a light fixture, a door, a desk, air terminal, plumbing fixture, and the list goes on. Revit produces these “smart” BIM objects whenever a designer uses them in the software. The BIM data within Revit is used to provide key information for the user. That key information can be transcribed where it is readable by the 3D PDF. This provides transparency into the model itself as well as the elements making up that model that can be easily understood by the user.

BIM-enabled software has been the norm these days in generating an intelligent and parametric design model. That BIM data is important to have throughout the design, construction, and operations phases of a building. However, simply being able to read that information has been difficult for other software to take advantage of. If a user does not have Revit to open the BIM project file, then the BIM data is almost useless to that person. 3D PDFs enable BIM data to transfer from the modeling program to an easy-to-use 3D PDF. Using the 3D Model tab and Properties tab built within Bluebeam Revu, users are able to read the intelligent BIM data for any object appearing within a 3D PDF. Design data can be right at your fingertips, providing a means of communication, collaboration, and efficiency like never before.

3D modeling with BIM “smart” data has become the norm these days for everyday projects no matter the complexity. However, the entry point for these applications can be rather high, especially for larger project teams where oversight and communication is key. 3D PDFs provide a means by which any person can visualize the model, provide feedback and markups, export those markups, check BIM data, and collaborate efficiently within a simple, easy-to-use software like Bluebeam Revu.

As always, you can reach out to our Bluebeam CADD experts if you have any additional questions. Happy Holidays!

Check back next week to see what the CADD team has in store for the remaining Twelve Days of CADD Care.

View previous posts in the Twelve Days of CADD Care blog series:

(Day One): Expert Insight
(Day Two): Autodesk Build
(Day Three): A Hybrid Work Plan
(Day Four): Customer Success
(Day Five): Favorite Revit Toolbox Utilities
(Day Six): A tip to fix low-resolution images
(Day Seven): CADD Care tip

Join in the Twelve Days of Giving

Tis the season for giving back. If you are looking for ways to get involved in your local community this holiday season, visit our CADD Foundation page for a full list of volunteer opportunities.

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