Fierce competition in the global market has manufacturing enterprises scrambling to get an edge. These organisations are constantly on the lookout for tools to help them deliver better products faster. Help, by way of Silicon Valley, arrived in January, when Adobe Systems released its eponymous Acrobat 3D software. Users of the new desktop system can harness the ubiquity of the Adobe Reader program to quickly, securely and cost-effectively extend document-based, three-dimensional design collaboration to virtually any location worldwide. They can now convert 3D models from a wide variety of major computer-aided design (CAD) format and embed these in a dramatically reduced size into Adobe PDF files - regardless of whether or not they have expensive CAD reader software. That simplified process is a boon to design engineering, technical publishing and creative professionals in manufacturing industries, such as automotive, aerospace and industrial machinery. It also benefits the architecture, engineering and construction market. But the capabilities of Acrobat 3D go much further. It allows users to enhance the interactivity of 3D objects in PDF documents by editing lighting, adding textures and materials, and creating animation. Various 3D models can be easily inserted into Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. That way, Acrobat 3D users can enable their suppliers, partners or customers - all using Adobe Reader - to participate in a more efficient document review process. This helps reduce the costs of slower and often error-prone methods of communication, including paper-based correspondence and viewing screen shots. Users can interact with 3D models in many ways: they can rotate them, slice them in half and look inside, hide or isolate parts, or make these transparent. Comments can be added directly to the 3D models. One of the advantages of documents embedded with 3D models converted in PDF format is that they preserve the look, original content, fonts and images. PDF documents can also be printed, distributed via e-mail, shared on the Web and viewed on Windows, Macintosh and Unix computer platforms with the free Adobe Reader 7.0. Tools introduced in Acrobat 7.0 Professional for navigating 3D content have been expanded in Acrobat 3D. These include multiple display modes, the ability to create dynamic cross sections and a Model Tree option, which allows the display of different parts of the model to be manipulated as needed. Adobe Acrobat 3D Specifications Price: $8,300 for the full package. Updates for Acrobat 7.0 Professional and Acrobat 6.0 Professional cost $4,550 and $5,800, respectively. Pros: Capture and convert 3D files displayed in Open Graphics Library mode to Adobe PDF. Cons: What's not to like?