Since August 2015, we fully implemented the new 3D file format 3MF into the trinckle 3D and MeltWerk 3D printing service.
Here is a short (by no means complete) Q&A to 3MF for those of you not yet familiar with the format.
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You can find the full list of members here.
“There is a pressing need for a standardized data format for large additive manufacturing organizations […]” Carl Fruth, CEO, FIT AG
“A new format will enable anyone to fully use 3D printing to its current potential, and, most importantly, will be adaptable for future technological advances.” Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO, SOLIDWORKS, Dassault Systèmes
“With the rapid adoption of 3D printing capabilities and increased usage across industries, the need for a file format that can accurately and completely transfer data from a CAD system to a 3D printer became instantly obvious.”
Carl Fruth, CEO, FIT AG
The 3D model sits at the core, and is composed of different meshes, each of which can be assigned with different 3D texture i.e. material or color. Metadata can be encapsulated in the file as well.
3MF files follow XML and are therefore human readable.
For more information read the 3MF Core Specifications.
So no more interoperability issues between different softwares or steps in the design cycle, provided the format is accepted as new standard.
This is where the consortium itself is an advantage, since it can facilitate the broad adoption of 3MF as a new standard 3D file format.
3MF on the other hand can contain several 3D objects and encode for color, material and other information.
It also provides a clear definition of manifoldness, a major source of error in STL files.