3MF file structure



  • At work discussing 3d printing with someone they mentioned the new 3MF file format is starting to take over for STL within the organization. Upon a quick look up online it looks pretty interesting but haven't heard of it before. Anyone have any clue if this format will start to leak into desktop 3D printing as well? I understand some of the advantages for big manufacturing organizations but can it have similar benefits to RepRap and similar users? Is there any discussion for slicers to start to handle these files? Just pure curiosity at this point.



  • Hi,

    I believe that Cura can read/write 3MF files. How well it does that, I do not know but they (Ultimaker) appear to be heavily committed to the format.

    https://ultimaker.com/en/blog/19868-an-introduction-to-the-3mf-file-format



  • My understanding is that it microsoft's clumsy attempt to muscle into the 3D arena. I am sure the format has much to commend it but for the time being its just an annoyance having to use microsoft's 3D object builder to convert these back to .stls.



  • I don't know about "clumsy", but there seems to be quite a bit of work put into making the format capture information that is not contained in existing formats such as STL and even STEP files. The STL is a really old clunky format that is only good to hide details of the design if you don't want someone to replicate without creating a new model from scratch. STEP is a good format for general CAD use, but it lacks the ability to capture multiple 3D texture (or colors) as defined by 3MF.

    Is the 3MF a perfect spec? Probably not. It is sure better than STL in terms of additional capabilities such as multi texturing, digital signatures and relational information all contained in a ZIP archive.

    http://3mf.io/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/3MFcoreSpec_1.0.1.pdf



  • @DjDemonD:

    My understanding is that it microsoft's clumsy attempt to muscle into the 3D arena. I am sure the format has much to commend it but for the time being its just an annoyance having to use microsoft's 3D object builder to convert these back to .stls.

    I believe that's a highly inaccurate and unfair way to describe the situation. It's my understanding that 3MF was developed by a consortium of companies with an interest in evolving the current state of 3D printing file formats. Microsoft chose to include it in Windows 10. They didn't develop it. If you check the membership list of the consortium you'll see there are many big name players involved.

    To answer the OP's initial question, you can find list of places where 3MF has been adopted here.


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