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3MF Consortium Introduces Two New Extensions to 3MF Core Specification

by • August 1, 2016 • No Comments

3mfThe 3D printing industry is getting at any time nearer to the adoption of a standardized 3D printing file format. When Microsoft introduced the 3MF file format last year, it was massive news – an updated, 3D printing-specific format promised to eliminate most of the issues that yet plague STL and other common formats commonly utilized for 3D create and printing. Since the announcement of 3MF, its progress has moved quickly thanks to the numerous companies that manufacture up the 3MF Consortium, that was created for the collaborative development of the file format.

Recently, the Consortium brought ASTM International on board to assist implement standards for 3MF and get it set for widespread use. At that time, the Consortium noted that the core specifications of the format are eager for adoption, and that they had in addition created a few extensions to additional improve 3MF’s performance. Currently, the Consortium released details on two extensions that have been introduced to the 3MF Core Specification 1.1.

The 3MF Production Extension was createed specifically for users who print at high volume, such as service bureaus. Its purpose is organization, mostly – it allows for users to advantageous manage print jobs with multiple parts by storeing them in separate XML files inside the 3MF box. The Production Extension manufactures sizeable print jobs additional efficient by dividing the parsing load, and in addition assists to store them organized by managing the file hierarchy and relationships one of the files while storeing one-of-a-kind identifiers for every part instance.


A typical production 3MF document with multiple version streams

“High-volume additive making requires practical software that simplifies the 3D create and making system while fully describing a version, retaining internal information, color, and other characteristics,” said Alexander Oster, chairman of the 3MF Technical Working Group and Director of Additive Manufacturing at Autodesk. “These extensions were created to solve in a clear, straightforward manner two worthwhile interoperability issues impacting efficiency and manageabilityin today’s additive making facilities.”

The 2nd interoperability issue involves at any timeyone’s favourite part of the 3D printing system: slicing. The lack of standardization for slicing has resulted in a mess of proprietary slicing programs that every define slices differently, major to print problems, workflow snags, and a lot of frustration and wasted time. The 3MF Slice Extension provides a standardized format for defining slices, storeing data consistent and additional simplifying the print system.


Overview of 3MF Slice Extension XML structure

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

Both the 3MF Production and Slice Extensions are free for download along with the Core Specification. The founding participants of the 3MF Consortium may already number at 13, sat any timeal of whom have aleager begun via 3MF and its newly released extensions. They haven’t been disappointed.

“HP needs both the Slice and Production extensions to 3MF to take full advantage of the next Jet Fusion printers’ capabilities, to ensure that 3MF content can scale up for industrial-class machines, and to guarantee traceability of jobs, parts, and assemblies through the fabrication system,” said Russell Castronovo, Head of Product Communications for Consortium member HP Inc. “Further, we believe there can be slice-based operations that can take advantage of the Slice Extension to assist drive consistency and interoperability between applications and machines going forward. HP has fully implemented both extensions in our initially products and we are working with industry partners to ensure adoption of the extensions in their products as well.”