The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) hosted the Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) Summit on April 3-6, 2017 in Gaithersburg, MD. Having attended several MBE Summits while working for the Navy and two since working for the 3D PDF Consortium, I have witnessed a lot of excitement brewing for MBE and the enthusiasm bodes well for 3D PDF. This year’s MBE Summit was a great example of this.

3D PDF is getting a lot of traction at the Department of Defense (DoD) and other government agencies, as well as private companies if the presentations at the MBE Summit 2017 are any indication. As shown in the summary slide from the Summit, PDF ranked very high in the number of times used in presentations, more so than any other publishing/MBE format.

    (Editor’s note: the slide has been edited by adding a circle around “PDF”)

As the representative of the 3D PDF Consortium, I presented Best Practices for Creating MIL-STD-31000 Technical Data Packages (TDPs) using 3D PDF and STEP, which was based on work of the 3D PDF Implementor Forum. The session was well attended and very interactive at the conclusion of the presentation.

Many of the other speakers discussed how 3D PDF is being used and some interesting ideas were introduced including “3Di PDF”, which refers to “3D intelligent PDF”, a term used by one of the speakers.

Other takeaways from the Summit include:

  1. There appears to be universal acceptance in the use of 3D PDF files to transmit TDP’s throughout the DoD.
  2. The numerous presentations on various topics provided a great snapshot of the current successes of MBE and a glimpse of the future of MBE.
  3. Presentations have progressed to the point where they are more detailed and address implementation issues rather than conceptual issues.

Before the Summit was over, several large corporations approached me about membership and one Navy organization verbally committed to becoming a member of the Consortium.

Using 3D PDF for TDPs appears to be gathering momentum and many people that I talked to are convinced that the DoD will be using the format for the foreseeable future in increasingly important roles.
Just based on the MBE Summit, these are exciting times for the 3D PDF Consortium!

Jerry McFeeters
Executive Director
3D PDF Consortium