3D PDF for Product and Building Information

During years 2009-2014, while working as civilian employee for NAVFAC, the Naval Facilities component of the Navy, I worked on a research project that explored methods to integrate shore facility CAD models with ship CAD models in order to visualize how the two would interface in a virtual environment. Historically, all of the shore facilities had been designed using AutoCAD 2D drawing conventions while the ships were being modeled using current 3D B-Rep solid modeling technologies.  A group within NAVFAC began to use AutoCAD 3D to model shore facilities and both the shore facilities and ships were translated into X3D, most recent version of what was formerly VRML. While exploring various methodologies for integrating the data into a common visualization environment, I attended a MIL-D-31000 seminar which featured discussions on MBD and MBE technologies.  During the meeting, I was introduced to 3D PDF and explored how it might be used to meet some of my research objectives. Needless to say, I was impressed with its capabilities and soon found myself exploring how it might be used as a tool for the inspection of facilities, report generation, and many other downstream uses.  After creating some use cases, I realized the value of being able to tap the wealth of information contained in the CAD models and releasing it to the many organizations within the enterprise that could become more efficient if they could access it quickly.  I found 3D PDF to be well-suited for this task.  We performed studies that included Model Based Definition (MBD) models, used for product development, as well as Building Information Models (BIM), used by the...