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 (:

  • 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
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    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
  • For exporting 3D figures from MATLAB figures to U3D, see fig2u3d. You may be able to use the IDTF intermediate format. The LaTeX code in there uses media9. – Ioannis Filippidis Sep 14 '17 at 6:45

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:


% Include all pages, don't auto scale


% Include the PDF file somewhere



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).

  • 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. – MrD May 13 '13 at 8:16

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.



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
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 :) }



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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