Software puts 3D models into digital documents

April 27, 2006
New software can embed 3D data in Word documents.

A bidder has opened a Plantronics headset model in the Word portion of SpinFire for Microsoft Office. Software functions let him examine internal features and take dimensions. He can then more accurately fill out the quoting form in the background.

The software, called SpinFire for Microsoft Office, comes from Actify Inc., San Francisco. Users of the software compress 2D and 3D CAD data into a special format than can also go into Excel and PowerPoint documents, and into Outlook e-mails.

"Vendors and our personnel can then review 3D data using Office software without the model's cumbersome design history," says Brad Yearous, a senior tooling engineer at Plantronics, Santa Cruz, Calif. Plantronics uses the software to communicate with mold-andtooling vendors for its factories in nine countries. Recipients can examine the design data by rotating, panning, zooming, and changing views. A .3D file reader also makes it possible to share compressed files with team members who don't have Office software.

Yearous uses the visualization software to get quotations fast. "We simply insert the compressed file into an Excel sheet, paste a link to the Actify Reader, and send it off," he says. "The vendor selects the link and instantly views my 3D file. This eliminates a lot of questions and shortens the usual quoting time." In addition, attaching a file to an inspection report makes for easy reference and helps in making presentations because it's easy to navigate through large assemblies," he says.

Actify Inc.,

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