3D Manufacturing Format

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3D Manufacturing Format
Filename extension
Internet media typeapplication/vnd.ms-package.3dmanufacturing-3dmodel+xml, application/vnd.ms-printing.printticket+xml, model/3mf
Developed by3MF Consortium
Initial release29 April 2015; 8 years ago (2015-04-29)
Latest release
24 August 2021; 2 years ago (2021-08-24)
Container for3D printing data
Contained byOpen Packaging Conventions
Extended fromZIP, XML
Open format?Yes
Website3MF Specification

3D Manufacturing Format or 3MF is an open source file format standard developed and published by the 3MF Consortium.[1][2]

3MF is an XML-based data format designed specifically for additive manufacturing. It includes information about materials, colors, and other information that cannot be represented in the STL format.[3][4] 3MF is part of the Linux open standards project[5] and is not intended to compete in the traditional CAD space which are represented by neutral formats.[6]

Today, CAD software related companies such as Autodesk, Dassault Systèmes, PTC, and Netfabb are part of the 3MF Consortium. Other firms in the 3MF Consortium are Microsoft (for operating system and 3D modeling support), SLM and HP, whilst Shapeways are also included to give insight from a 3D printing background.[7] Other key players in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing business, such as Materialise, 3D Systems, Siemens Digital Industries Software and Stratasys have recently joined the consortium.[8] To facilitate the adoption, 3MF Consortium has brought on new associate members and Executive Director to increase awareness and adoption[9] while also published a C++ implementation of the 3MF file format.[10]


Below are a list of some of the advantages of the 3MF format, supplied by the consortium.[11]

  • Full color and texture support in a single file
  • Support structures attached to part data
  • Full tray support for direct machine preparation
  • Thumbnails, viewing, and printing in Microsoft Windows
  • Multiple material support
  • Beam extension for complex lattice structures[12]
  • Slice extension for machine data
  • Secure end to end encryption[13]
  • Volumetric communication of data at voxel level[14]
  • Designed for industrial manufacturing
  • Native integration in Microsoft Office and Paint 3D

Sample file[edit]

Below is the 3D payload for a simple 3MF file describing a rectangular cuboid, adapted from the 3MF Core specification. The rectangular cuboid has the dimensions of a 1-2-3 block.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<model unit="inch"
	<metadata name="Copyright">
		Copyright (c) 2015 3MF Consortium. All rights reserved.
		<object id="1" type="model">
		          	<vertex x="0" y="0" z="0" />
		          	<vertex x="1" y="0" z="0" />
		          	<vertex x="1" y="2" z="0" />
		          	<vertex x="0" y="2" z="0" />
		     		<vertex x="0" y="0" z="3" />
		          	<vertex x="1" y="0" z="3" />
		          	<vertex x="1" y="2" z="3" />
		          	<vertex x="0" y="2" z="3" />
		          	<triangle v1="3" v2="2" v3="1" />
		          	<triangle v1="1" v2="0" v3="3" />
		          	<triangle v1="4" v2="5" v3="6" />
		          	<triangle v1="6" v2="7" v3="4" />
		          	<triangle v1="0" v2="1" v3="5" />
		          	<triangle v1="5" v2="4" v3="0" />
		          	<triangle v1="1" v2="2" v3="6" />
		          	<triangle v1="6" v2="5" v3="1" />
		          	<triangle v1="2" v2="3" v3="7" />
		          	<triangle v1="7" v2="6" v3="2" />
		          	<triangle v1="3" v2="0" v3="4" />
		          	<triangle v1="4" v2="7" v3="3" />
		<item objectid="1" />

3MF consortium members[edit]

  • Autodesk
  • HP
  • 3D Systems
  • Dassault Systems
  • EOS
  • Hexagon
  • Materialise
  • Microsoft
  • nTopology
  • PTC
  • Siemens
  • SLM
  • Stratasys
  • Ultimaker
  • Viaccess.Orca


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "3MF Website". 3MF. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  2. ^ "3MF Consortium Releases New 3D Printing File Format". 5 May 2015.
  3. ^ "What is 3MF?"
  4. ^ "Microsoft Spearheads 3D Printing File Format: Introducing the 3MF". Forbes.
  5. ^ "3D Printing Effort Becomes Linux Foundation Open Standards Project, Announces New Executive Director - Linux Foundation". www.linuxfoundation.org. Retrieved 2022-10-21.
  6. ^ "3MF About Us". 3MF. Archived from the original on 2019-10-10. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  7. ^ "3MF Consortium Launches to Advance 3D Printing Technology". Business Wire. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  8. ^ ""As of September 2020, 3MF Consortium have signed new members such as 3D Systems, Materialise, Siemens PLM Software, Stratasys among 31 others"". Archived from the original on 2021-09-16. Retrieved 2020-09-23.
  9. ^ Wegner, Andre. "With A New Executive Director, 3MF Strengthens The Digital Thread For Additive Manufacturing". Forbes. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  10. ^ "Lib3mf". GitHub. 13 March 2022.
  11. ^ "3MF Core Specification" (PDF). 3MF Consortium. 2018.
  12. ^ 3MF Beam Lattice Extension, 3MF Consortium, 2022-05-26, retrieved 2022-10-21
  13. ^ 3D Manufacturing Format - Secure Content Extension, 3MF Consortium, 2021-04-15, retrieved 2022-10-21
  14. ^ Manufacturing Format - Volumetric Extension, 3MF Consortium, 2022-09-16, retrieved 2022-10-21
  15. ^ "Members". 3MF Consortium. Retrieved 2022-12-02.