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Issue Date: June 2005

Bentley adds 3D PDF generation to MicroStation

1 June 2005

Bentley Systems has announced that MicroStation users will be able to include 3D models and animations in Adobe PDF documents, enabling AEC professionals and their clients to benefit from dazzling, interactive 3D visualisation.
MicroStation V8 2004 Edition users can already create interactive files in Adobe PDF, the universally accepted viewing format for complex engineering information. With the press of one button, MicroStation users can generate PDF files that contain DGN and DWG drawings, project documentation, and engineering data. With this advance, and for the first time from any product, users will also be able to include interactive and animated 3D models in PDF files.
Using the PDF files created with MicroStation, professionals, their partners and clients, and the public need only Acrobat Reader 7 to view animations and interactively explore 3D models of engineering projects. This advance empowers a remarkable new level of insight and communication.
A full set of navigation tools in Acrobat Reader 7 also lets viewers selectively control the visibility of model geometry, move to predefined viewing locations, and adjust display modes. Online demonstrations are available at
As Ray Bentley, executive vice president of software development for Bentley, explains, "This functionality brings 3D design data to a whole new class of user. Designing in three dimensions has always been valuable to engineers and architects, but for the most part, the 3D data has been used only for design and construction or manufacturing. Now that the 3D data can be contained and presented efficiently within PDF documents, it can also be used in many other areas, including training, sales, product documentation, marketing, and technical support."
Bentley adds, "By embedding a 3D model within a PDF document, it is possible to effectively convey the essence of a design in a manner that would be impossible with 2D images. When you add the ability to animate the model or take the viewer on a tour of the model along predefined paths, 3D data becomes even more valuable. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a 3D document is worth a thousand pictures."
Such easy sharing of richer engineering information will have a major impact in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) and geospatial industries:
* A city engineer who relies on spatial data to analyse the environmental impact of various scenarios will be able to make better decisions using the 3D information in Adobe PDF files.

* A municipal planner will be able to better judge proposals by seeing the impact of structures on skylines or landscapes.

* An architect will be able to bring a project to life on the desktops of clients, contractors, and colleagues with interactive, photorealistic models and fly-through animations.

* Plant owner-operators will be able to reduce total cost of ownership by providing maintenance crews with composite PDF documents, including hierarchical animations of access and dismantling procedures to help them repair or refit equipment. Interactive 3D models, work instructions, specifications and schedules can all be included in a single PDF file.

* Members of the public will better understand proposed changes to infrastructure and cast more informed votes for approval or rejection.
For more information contact Bentley Systems SA, 011 462 5811,

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