3D PDF’s from Revit?

September 27, 2011

One of our Project Architects waved an RFP in front of me today and asked can we do this?  He pointed to the highlighted verbage which read deliver interactive 3D PDF’s.  I said of course as I quickly did a web search to back up my hasty response.  Well the consensus out there seem to also be yes.

I’ve included some of the links I discovered for your reference.  I’ll test the freebie method tomorrow and let you know how it goes.





A special thanks goes out to Luke Johnson at “What Revit Wants” who posted the most informative links / info.


9-27-2011 Update

Thanks Kirk for the additional link, which you will find in the comment for this topic.

Here are the results of the Revit-2-Bentley-2-PDF conversion process. The following image shows the final pdf on the left and the original Open GL Revit 3D view in Revit that was screen captured.  The Bentley capture process takes about 1-2 minutes.  Aspects of color, shadows and ambient occlusion are not captured.  Only basic geometry.  Visually the results are disappointing. It’s a time consuming process to download and install the Bentley products.

Double Click Image to Enlarge

Adobe Acrobat Pro as it’s now called (not Acrobat Extended 9 or 10) may give better results but our version of Pro doesn’t have the 3d Capture attribute so I’m unable to check the quality. We did find out that the upgrade path is around $200.

Scott Davis over on the AUGI forum (via the Link Kirk provided in the comment) recommended the export to DWFx in Revit.  The resuts were much better, see below.  If you have Design Review, double clicking the resulting DWFx file you create from your 3D view will prompt Design Review to open (shown in the image to the right).  But you can force the file to open in IE by right clicking on the file and selecting “Open With” and selecting IE which is shown in the image on the left.  The familar navigation cube works in IE which is nice.

Export to DWFx has my vote right now.

I need to go and uninstall the Bentley products, maybe the Corp should do the same 😉


One comment

  1. Carl,

    One of our Revit users here in the office (a SARUG reader) wanted me to mention to you that the thread at RevitForum.org is ripe with 3D PDF information.


    There’s always DWF, too 🙂

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