3D PDF on the Front Line: A Review of the NIST MBE Summit 2016

As an attendee of every NIST MBE Summit ever held, a couple of things stood out to me about this year’s conference.  The summit began with a request for all first-time attendees to raise their hands. Over half of the people did so, demonstrating the fast expansion of MBE to new people and new companies. This was made continually evident throughout all the presentations. One presentation polled its attendees, asking if they had ever seen a 3D PDF before, and the response?  Every single attendee had seen one. This poll alone showed the tremendous exposure that 3D PDF has gained in only a few years.

The presentation I found most interesting was from Tom Parks of LMI, on the status of using 3D PDF to transmit Technical Data Packages (TDPs) for DLA. LMI is beginning a trial where TDP’s will be delivered to three companies as 3D PDF files embedded with STEP files, without drawings. If the trials go well, 3D PDF usage for the delivery of TDP’s will be expanded. As an employee of PROSTEP, I really enjoyed seeing STEP files being used with 3D PDF for TDP’s, since this is something we specialize in.

The high level of exposure for 3D PDF at the MBE Summit was extremely exciting for everyone involved with 3D PDF, especially the members of the 3D PDF Consortium.  In addition to PROSTEP, several other Consortium members took part in this summit, including ITI, Capvidia, Anark, General Electric and Boeing. It is awesome to see how far 3D PDF has come, and the work that the Consortium has done to assist with that.

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