Having tech illustrators manually drawing isometric views for user manuals and other documentation is so yesterday. If you company still does this, you could score big points by introducing products like Anark's. Anark Core takes CAD data -- as well as ERP, MES, even SQL database and creates a PDF file which can be distributed electronically or printed. No artist required. Not only are links to the data maintained so if something changes in the design (I know that doesn't happen in your company), the PDF is updated automatically. And what is really cool is that in the 3D PDF you can move the image around and zoom in and out. Try to do that on paper!
Though CAD has certainly displaced manual drafting -- at least in this country -- I get the feeling that catalog publishing, creation of user manuals and other documentation is still slogging along manually. There is a raft of tools available to rectify the situation (see TenLinks list 3D and Web Publishing for CAD). And what does Anark bring of unique value compared to its competition, I ask.
"We work with data further upstream," says Scott Collins, Senior Vice President of Product Development at Anark, who is giving me a web demo. "Plus, we are recipe based." Recipes are what Anark calls the recording of a procedure. I imagine these are like macros: the software remembers what you have done so it can be repeated. Recipes are saved as XML files.
Anark can read just about all major CAD format, staying current to within months of CAD file format changes. You can mark up and annotate. The result is saved as a "pure" PDF, requiring no downloads or plug-ins when using Acrobat's universally accepted readers -- unlike the competitors, says Scott. Anark is is an Adobe Solution Provider. A copy of Acrobat Pro Extended is included with Anark products. Anark 3.0 was first mentioned in an Adobe webinar back in August.
Anark Core 3.0 products are to be released as early as next week. Anark Core Workstation sells for $4,400 to $10K, the server edition sells for $5,400 to $10k per user.
Find out more about Anark at http://www.anark.com/.