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I would like to add a technical drawing to my document. Until now, I have exported it as a figure and included that. Sadly, it loses its vector properties during the process. Furthermore, I have seen .pdf files including objects that can be e.g. rotated by the reader. Having a 3D technical drawing I thought it might be possible to include it in a similar manner?

The file is in the .dwfx format (an export format for CAD), but I could save it to almost all common formats for CAD. Any suggestions, thoughts and of course solutions are welcome (:

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Welcome to TeX-SX! You may have a look at our starter page for a quick intro if you wish to familiarize yourself with our format. –  Claudio Fiandrino May 13 '13 at 7:57
2  
Some CAD software can export to u3d and prc formats. These can be embedded into PDF using the media9 LaTeX package, and allow for user interaction in Adobe Reader. –  AlexG May 13 '13 at 8:06

2 Answers 2

I doubt that there is a special solution for your CAD-files. I include technical drawing in my documents rather often and use \includepdf[options]{file} together with PDF-files. They will give you vectorized drawings. You will need the pdfpages-package.

Here is a short example for this:

\documentclass[10pt]{article}
\usepackage{pdfpages}
\usepackage{graphicx}

\begin{document}
% Include all pages, don't auto scale
\includepdfset{pages=-,noautoscale}

....

% Include the PDF file somewhere
\includepdf{MY_CAD_FILE.pdf}

....


\end{document}

Please note that this will only work using pdflatex. If you insist on using latex you will have to convert the PDFs to EPS-files and include them via \includegraphics[...]{...}. Nevertheless this will give you vectorized graphics as well.

You could also use media9-package, but this will force the reader to use Adobe. This might not be intended (thanks AlexG for the suggestion).

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thanks for the answer. Sadly, the export of the inventor seems to create a bitmap first and then converts it to a pdf. I will give the media9 package a try. –  Faultier May 13 '13 at 8:11
    
There are many online-conversation sites to get proper PDF-files out of CAD-files. I think you should get the right export-format for them to to what you want. –  DL6ER May 13 '13 at 8:16
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Ok, the media9 package, that @AlexG suggested, is really awesome, I really encourage everyone to use it for this purpose (I spent half afternoon turning my 3D object (: ). I included an image as an alternative to be shown if the page cannot be interactive (e.g. for printing purposes). This could, of cause, also be a .pdf file explicitly, like @DL6ER suggested.

The \includemedia can even exist in a floating object. I added the minimal example below for reference on how to possibly use it.

\documentclass[10pt,a4paper]{article}
\usepackage[ansinew]{inputenc}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{amsfonts}
\usepackage{amssymb}
\usepackage{media9} 
\usepackage{graphicx}
\begin{document}

...

\begin{figure}
\includemedia[
activate=onclick,
3Dcoo=0.0 -2.2e-7 8,     %generate the coordinates by right klick --> get current view
3Dc2c=-0.38 -0.78 0.49,  %see documentation of media9 for details
3Droo=85,                %http://www.ctan.org/pkg/media9
3Droll=-10.1,            %this aswell
3Dlights=Day,
3Drender=SolidOutline,
3Dmenu, 3Dtoolbar
]
{\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{testimage.pdf}    %shown if not interactive
} 
{test.u3d}                                            %shown if interactive
\caption{A figure caption. Klick the image for interactivity :) }
\end{figure}

...

\end{document}

Acknowledgement: I want to thank Robert Lansdale from http://www.okino.com to kindly convert my .max to a .u3d, which allowed for smooth testing and actual application in my document.

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