3MF unveils 3MF Production and the 3MF Slice Extensions.
The 3MF Consortium has today released two specification extensions to its 3MF Core Specification 1.1, the 3MF Production Extension and the 3MF Slice Extension.
These new extensions, available to download now for free, are designed to enhance productivity and enable high-volume additive manufacturing facilities to better integrate and manage their 3D printing operations.
“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.”
The 3MF Production Extension is designed to enable high-volume users such as service bureaus to organise and manage print jobs with multiple parts by keeping them in separate .xml files within the 3MF package, therefore 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.
The 3MF Slice Extension simplifies the 3D design whilst retaining all vital information such as part colour to ensure the model is correctly described and prints successfully.
Alexander Oster, chairman, 3MF Technical Working Group and director, additive manufacturing, at Autodesk, explained: “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 3MF Consortium was formed in 2015 in a bid to create a full-fidelity 3D printing format that would carry all the internal information of a part to eliminate common 3D printing issues. Many industry heavyweights have joined the consortium at founding level including; 3D Systems, Autodesk, Dassault Systèmes, HP, Materialise, Stratasys, and many more.
“HP needs both the Slice and Production extensions to 3MF to take full advantage of the upcoming 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 process,” Russell Castronovo, Head of Product Communications, HP Inc, commented on the new extensions. “Further, we believe there will be slice-based operations that can take advantage of the Slice Extension to help drive consistency and interoperability between applications and machines going forward. HP has fully implemented both extensions in our first products and we are working with industry partners to ensure adoption of the extensions in their products as well.”