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MicroStation Tips & Tricks: Plotting a 3D Reference as a 3D PDF

By Rick Sewell, Axiom Director of Customer Services


Rick Sewell, beloved CAD ace, lives to help CAD users get their projects done on time. He really lives for this stuff. Give him a call and put him to the test.

If you want to impress your co-workers and superiors, then provide them with a 3D PDF that really shows your handiwork. (As a note, you will need a PDF viewer that can handle 3D PDFs such as Adobe PDF Viewer or BlueBeam’s Revu.) Here’s how:

  1. Start by opening your sheet model and ensure you have your 3D reference attached.
  2. microstation-today-3d-pdf-1

    Figure 1. It’s easy to create 3D PDFs from 3D references. This figure shows two 3D reference models that were attached before plotting.

  3. Go to File | References to load your “References” dialog box.
  4. Highlight the reference that you want plotted in 3D.
  5. microstation-today-3d-pdf-2

    Figure 2. Use the “References” dialog box to select the 3D reference or references you want to plot in your 3D PDF file.

  6. Click the little “Plot as 3D (PDF)” icon that sits at the bottom, middle of the “References” dialog box.
  7. Now go to File | Print…
  8. From the “Print” dialog box click on the “Printer” icon.
  9. You’ll be prompted to name and save your PDF. Name it what you’d like, set the location you want it saved and then press the {Save} button to begin creation of your PDF.
  10. Next, go to the location where the file was saved and double-click to open it.
  11. microstation-today-3d-pdf-3

    Figure 3. Hovering your mouse over the image of the reference that was plotted activates a toolbar with icons that have functions that allow you to navigate your 3D file.

  12. Use the items on the toolbar to navigate around your 3D file.

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