3D Approval using 3D PDF technology

MEYER WERFT shipyard and classification society DNV GL have achieved an important milestone using 3D PDF technology and services provided by PROSTEP.

The target of the project “3D Approval by class” is to substitute 2D based drawings with intelligent and already available 3D information in a 3D PDF in order to achieve efficiency gains. For a pilot project, the partners are currently concentrating on steel structure drawings from the steel basic design group at MEYER WERFT. The 3D PDFs are automatically created from Catia V4 and V6 by the designer, and follow the “need to know” principle. Only information required for approval by class is displayed in the 3D PDF.

MEYER WERFT and DNV GL carried out a surveillance test using paper-based drawings and a 3D PDF on a tablet device simultaneously in 2017. The primary aim was to achieve a Proof of Concept, but also to evaluate necessary adjustments and improvements for the 3D PDF. The 3D approval solution will be updated based on the information from the test. PROSTEP not only supports the implementation process, but also operates the PDF Generator 3D software in collaboration with MEYER WERFT’s IT department.

The solution allows for automatically converting CAD Data to a 3D PDF document containing all the information and functions that MEYER WERFT and DNV GL need for class approval (e.g. redlining). Every 3D document is made up of a complete engineering unit with thousands of single parts. Embedding this enormous amount of data in a 3D PDF document in a way that allows for efficient navigation through the model structure was a major challenge to be overcome in the project.

The office inspection approval was successfully tested in an earlier stage. MEYER WERFT sent 3D PDFs for this office approval to DNV GL to ensure the approval of the steel structure during the engineering process. It is only possible to carry out this approval with the 3D PDFs and without 2D drawings.

MEYER WERFT and DNV GL will use the 3D PDF technology for the first time on the new building of the cruise ship SAGA S.714. While exploring the full potential of this new solution, MEYER WERFT will also provide 2D drawings to the class approval process. The long-term goal is to use only 3D information and replace the 2D drawings completely.


Peter Hackmann
Head of Corporate Communications

Tel. +49 4961 814519

Joachim Christ
Head of Marketing

Tel. +49 6151 9287 – 360

Nikos Späth
Head of Media & PR

Tel. +49 4036 36149 4856

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