This is a very thought provoking article about the future of technical documentation--not only using 3D but using Augmented Reality. It was written in the context of maintenance, but it could be for any stage of the product development lifecycle.
Digital Manufacturing and Beyond
The most competive manufacturing companies are thinking about digital manufacturing. Digital manufacturing is about leveraging the 3D created in the design phase and extracting value from it though manufacturing. Often times this will require working with 3D CAD geometry from different vendors (such as SolidWorks, ProEngineer,etc.) and include non-product geometry like tools, fixtures and even human interaction.
Beyond manufacturing is maintenance and service, graphical parts ordering, customer documentation and more.
Read the article: 2D/3D Technical Documentation Navigation using Natural Interaction and Augmented Reality for Maintenance by Rafael Radkowski - Heinz Nixdorf Institute - University of Paderborn.
Below is a slide from the Radkowski's paper.