Extensions from 3MF Bring New Efficiency and Manageability to 3D Printing

The 3MF Consortium (3MF) recently released two specification extensions to its 3MF Core Specification 1.1 for general availability.  The 3MF Production Extension and the 3MF Slice Extension provide productivity enhancements that allow high-volume additive manufacturing facilities to better integrate and manage their 3D printing operations than previously possible.  The 3MF Production and 3MF Slice Extensions are free to download immediately.

“The 3MF Production and 3MF Slice Extensions to our core specification are significant enhancements that move the industry closer to a fully integrated, high-volume additive manufacturing end-to-end 3D printing solution,” said Adrian Lannin, executive director, 3MF Consortium. “Release of specifications like these aligns with the 3MF Consortium’s mission to help improve the efficiency and productivity of additive manufacturing solutions with standardized software.”

3MF Production Extension

Designed for high-volume users such as service bureaus, the 3MF Production Extension makes it more efficient for users to organize and manage print jobs with multiple parts by keeping them in separate .xml files within the 3MF package, thus dividing the parsing load for large jobs. The 3MF package manages the file hierarchy and relationships among the files, as well as keeping unique identifiers for each part instance.

3MF Slice Extension

“High-volume additive manufacturing requires practical software that simplifies the 3D design and manufacturing process while fully describing a model, retaining internal information, color, and other characteristics,” said Alexander Oster, chairman, 3MF Technical Working Group and director, additive manufacturing, at Autodesk. “These extensions were developed to solve in a clear, straightforward manner two critical interoperability issues impacting efficiency and manageability in today’s additive manufacturing facilities.”

The additive manufacturing industry grew by over $1 billion for the second consecutive year in 2015, according to Wohlers Associates, an independent consulting firm.

About the 3MF Consortium

Launched in 2015, the 3MF Consortium is a Joint Development Foundation project with the goal to define a 3D printing format that will allow design applications to send full-fidelity 3D models to a mix of other applications, platforms, services and printers. The 3MF (for 3D Manufacturing Format) specification eliminates the widespread issues with currently available file formats.

Founding members of the 3MF Consortium are: 3D Systems; Autodesk, Inc.; Dassault Systèmes, SA.; FIT AG; GE Global Research; HP, Inc.; Materialise; Microsoft Corporation; Shapeways, Inc.; Siemens PLM Software; SLM Solutions Group AG; Stratasys, and Ultimaker. More information about the 3MF Consortium and the 3MF specification is available at http://www.3mf.io.

> Learn more about the 3MF Consortium