How to create 3D PDFs

Applies to:

  • Revu 21
  • Revu 20
  • Revu 2019
  • Revu 2018

Jump to other versions:

For Revu 21, you must have a Bluebeam Core or Complete plan to create 3D PDFs. For Revu 20 & below, you must have a CAD or eXtreme edition license.

The advantages of 3D PDFs

3D PDFs allow you to create, share, and edit documents with rich CAD data that anyone can access. With 3D PDFs, these files are no longer exclusive to their original programs, allowing for easy sharing between teams and users of Revu.

How to create a 3D PDF with drag and drop

If you’re working with the Universal 3D (*.u3d) or Industry Foundation Classes (*.ifc) file extensions, then you can drag and drop these files into Revu to quickly create a 3D PDF.

How to convert files with the Bluebeam plugin

If the 3D files are in their original CAD program, you can use the Bluebeam plugin to convert them to a 3D PDF. The Bluebeam plugin can generate 3D PDFs from the following programs:

  • AutoCAD
  • SolidWorks
  • Revit
  • Navisworks
  • SketchUp Pro

Add 3D content to an existing PDF

In addition to creating a full 3D PDF in Revu, you can also add 3D content to an existing PDF that contains text and regular 2D graphics. With the Add & Edit 3D Content tool, you can define a set area in your PDF to add a 3D model. Just go to Edit > PDF Content > Add & Edit 3D Content. Once you import the 3D content, you can change the default display settings, interact with the 3D Model Tree, and edit details and names.

3D Model Tree and Views

The Model Tree provides an intuitive way of browsing through your 3D model and its components. Just like the Markups List, the Model Tree allows you to sort and edit your 3D metadata. Need to change the color of the piping in your 3D structure? Sort the Model Tree by Name, select the appropriate piping objects, and edit their color in the Properties panel.

With Views, you can save specific perspectives and configurations of your 3D model for reuse and configurations of your model for later. Views remember the exact zoom, panning, and transformations you apply to the 3D PDF. Need to quickly zoom in and call out a specific beam in your 3D structure for a presentation? Save a View and load it later.

Export data to CSV

3D PDFs contain a lot of information, so there may be times when you need to extract some of that data. Using the filter feature in Revu, you can quickly refine your Model Tree to display only the most relevant data to your needs.

Once you’ve filtered successfully, you can export that data to CSV by selecting 3D Model Tree > Summary > Export to CSV Summary. Revu will then generate a CSV that only contains the information you filtered for.


Revu 2019

Document Processing

Revu 20

Revu 21

Other versions of this article

Revu 2017 and older


PDF creation using the Bluebeam Plugin for AutoCAD

Relevant Products

Revu CAD or eXtreme 2017 and above
Bluebeam has been providing PDF creation functions in AutoCAD through the Bluebeam Plugin. Now, in Revu CAD and eXtreme version 2017, the Bluebeam Plugin for AutoCAD can use 3D data from AutoCAD 2016 and above to create 3D PDFs which you can open and mark up in Revu.
Revu CAD or eXtreme Version 2017.0.10 is required in to perform this task in AutoCAD 2018 and above. AutoCAD LT software is not supported by the Bluebeam Plugin for AutoCAD.
The Bluebeam Plugin should automatically appear underneath the Output tab of your AutoCAD ribbon. If it’s not there, the plugin will need to be enabled in the Bluebeam Administrator. Please follow the instructions listed in, “I’ve Installed a New AutoCAD Version. How Do I Get the Latest Plugin?”
You may notice that the button above the arrow occasionally changes. This is because the last option used in the dropdown menu always appears in this space.

Creating a 3D PDF

In AutoCAD 2016 and above, create or open the DWG file that you want to create a 3D PDF from. Then, go to the Output tab. The fourth button from the left in the plugin menu includes an arrow underneath it. Click it to access the following functions:
Before continuing, look at the tabs underneath the drawing window in AutoCAD. Make sure you are in the Model tab and not a Layout tab.

Create 3D PDF

This button creates a single-page 3D PDF.
  1. After clicking the Create 3D PDF button, a Save As dialog will open.
  2. Select the location where you want to save your new 3D PDF.
  3. Click Save.
The new 3D PDF will automatically open in Revu when the process has finished.

Create U3D

The creates a U3D file which can be opened in any edition of Revu.
  1. After clicking the Create 3D PDF button, a Save As dialog will open.
  2. Select the location where you want to save your new U3D file.
  3. Click Save.
U3D files do not automatically open in Revu.
Using a U3D File in Revu
To interact with the file in Revu, you will need to either open it as a 3D PDF, or import it into an existing PDF as described below.
Both sets of instructions below will also work in Revu Standard.
Opening a U3D file as a 3D PDF
  1. Open Revu and click Open.
  2. Double-click the U3D file.
  3. The New 3D PDF dialog will open.
  4. Select the desired Background, Lighting Scheme, and Rendering Mode settings, then click OK.
Inserting a U3D file as 3D content into an existing PDF
  1. Create or open a PDF in Revu
  2. Go to Edit > 3D Editor. Your cursor will turn into a crosshair when you hover over the workspace.
  3. Click and drag to designate the size of the 3D model.
  4. When the Open File dialog opens, select the U3D file you want to import.
  5. Adjust the settings as needed, then click OK.

Copy 3D to Clipboard

This button will copy a 3D model to the Windows clipboard as U3D data. Follow the steps below to paste the data to a PDF in Revu:
  1. Create or open a PDF in Revu.
  2. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+V to paste the file into the document. Your cursor will turn into a crosshair in the workspace.
  3. Click and drag to designate the size of the 3D model.
  4. The Add 3D Content dialog will open. If Revu detects 3D data on your clipboard, the 3D File: field will display “From Clipboard.” (Otherwise, Revu will prompt you to open the U3D file from within the Windows Explorer).
  5. Adjust the settings as needed, then click OK.

The 3D PDF Settings

The options in the 3D PDF Settings dialog allow you to adjust settings for the 3D PDF and U3D files created by the Bluebeam Plugin.


Revu 2017 & Below

Integrations & Plugins

Learn how to create 3D PDFs with CAD data, add 3D content to an existing PDF, and more.

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