Is it possible to view 3D models with PDF documents?

There are a number of PDFs which contain detailed 3D models such as this example: http://www.carare.eu/eng/content/download/2718/21413/version/1/file/Macellum_at_Pompeii.pdf

The models are viewable in Windows and OSX but I can't find any way to view them in Ubuntu.

I've tried evince but it doesn't work.

  • What happens when you double click the file? Does evince not work? Have you tried opening via terminal?
    – Lucio
    May 24, 2014 at 16:51
  • It opens - but I can't manipulate the 3D Model. May 24, 2014 at 18:22

4 Answers 4



If you can't get it in software center, Check https://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/otherversions/ . Download .deb package.

Adobe dropped Linux support, but still possible to find it here:

Adobe acrobat with 3D view

  • Excellent! Now to try and find how to extract the model :-) May 24, 2014 at 18:25
  • Doesn't have the same functionality than evince?
    – Lucio
    May 24, 2014 at 21:20
  • @Lucio, I have Evince 3.11.92. I does show only a static projection. Here a message I got in terminal, it could be related: ** (evince:31349): WARNING **: Unimplemented annotation: POPPLER_ANNOT_3D. It is a known issue and it might be implemented in the future.. Sure you notice that 3D tools bar (Acroread) in the center of screenshot I used. It is possible to navigate around the 3d model.
    – user.dz
    May 24, 2014 at 21:48
  • Linux is no longer an option on the linked page. They removed the deb.
    – mythsmith
    Apr 20, 2016 at 14:51

You can install PlayOnLinux (sudo apt install playonlinux) and then use the PlayOnLinux GUI to install and run Adobe Acrobat Reader DC:

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Within PlayOnLinux, you can then create a file association to PDF files:

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Then you can can right-click PDFs from your file manager, select to open with PlayOnLinux, and they will open and display:

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This worked for me on Ubuntu 17.10 (64-bit) with PlayOnLinux 4.2.12 and Wine version 1.9.0. There was some little glitch that occurred during the installation process, but eventually everything seems to be working fine.

  • Awesome! It works; thanks! (I'm using Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit) Sep 4, 2018 at 6:34
  • Another Wine-based method for Ubuntu (using Snap): linuxconfig.org/…
    – dinvlad
    Mar 24, 2021 at 7:52

You can snap install acrordrdc and then snap run acrordrdc... It will just run wine, and the snap is not from adobe, so you can just use the playonlinux as jdpipe answered. The 3d support is not working very well in the snap. It starts but I think it's broken. For me it segfaulted on focal after trying for a while but without displaying anything.

  • 1
    So does it work for viewing 3D models? If not, then it's hardly a useful answer. Nov 10, 2022 at 12:49
  • While this answer could've helped, if the software you're recommending does not do what the question asked properly (which is to view a 3D PDF), then it does answer the question. Nov 16, 2022 at 18:17

This pdf file seems working just fine to me : Try using Foxit reader, To install it : sudo apt-get install foxitreader
or visit this wiki article about it : Here

  • Foxit does not support 3d objects: forums.foxitsoftware.com/forum/…
    – mythsmith
    Apr 20, 2016 at 15:03
  • I get this: $ sudo apt install playonlinux Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done Package playonlinux is not available, but is referred to by another package. This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or is only available from another source E: Package 'playonlinux' has no installation candidate Aug 10, 2019 at 16:40
  • @al-lelopath : you can rmadison playonlinux from sudo apt-get install devscripts. If it finds anything, you can match your ubuntu version with the found software source in the 3rd column. For example bionic/multiverse, focal/multiverse... The 3rd column is in the (ubuntu version)/(ubuntu channel) format. If you grep UBUNTU /etc/os-release in terminal you see your version of ubuntu. For example UBUNTU_CODENAME=focal.
    – eased
    Nov 10, 2022 at 12:27
  • If rmadison found anything and you see your ubuntu version in the 3rd column of its findings, then you can enable the corresponding channel in Software&Updates or by editing sources.list. After enabling and doing sudo apt-get update, you can check if anything changed. If now it finds playonlinux with apt search playonlinux then you can install it.
    – eased
    Nov 10, 2022 at 12:27

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