Popular CAD file format for 3D printing
What is STL file format?
The most popular file format used in 3D printing - STL (STereolitographyLanguage or Standard Tessellation Language) created by 3D Systems. this abbreviation comes from the word stereolithography, which is the name of one of the first incremental technology, consisting of curing resin with the help of laser light of a specific wavelength. STL files have the form of textual commands, including looped instructions, that define a polygon mesh. STL was founded in the 1980s and has not changed much so far. It is currently the most popular file format used in 3D printing. It is supported by all 3d printers currently on the market.
What is OBJ file format?
The OBJ format was developed by Wavefront Technologies in a program dedicated to three-dimensional animation. However, due to the very simple representation of the model, it has been used by the 3d graphics environment and is currently one of the universal formats compatible with many programs. You can browse in many free 3D processing programs, e.g. Blender or even Panint 3D. Information about the surface model, i.e. surface geometry, is saved in this format.
What is VRML file format?
VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language, initially known before 1995 as Virtual Reality Markup Language), was created to save 3D graphics. Designed mainly for websites. However, due to the free licenses of the abovementioned format as in the case of OBJ has been adapted for 3d printing. It is a text file saving a list of edges and vertices. In addition, information such as transparency and surface color can be left. However, this is quite an old file format that is rarely used, it was replaced by its successor X3D.
What is AMF file format?
This format was developed in 2011, it is based on XML databases and allows you to save information such as objects, materials, textures, metadata (e.g. name of the author, company, description, volumes, tolerances, etc.) and constellations (relative orientation of objects in space). In addition, AMF triangles can describe curved surfaces more accurately reproducing the shape than with the STL format.
What is 3MF file format?
Competition of the AMF extension, developed by Microsoft to simplify the use of files dedicated to 3D printing for both consumers and producers. It is worth mentioning that the consortium dealing with this file format brought together many companies related to incremental technologies (Stratasys, NetFabb, 3D Systems) and CAD systems (Autodesk, Dassault Systemes). Like AMF, 3MF is a database-based file in XML, but in a more compact and size-friendly format. It allows you to include all necessary and additional information about the three-dimensional model. Time will tell if 3MF will become as popular as it used to be STL
Something is missing? You don't found what you looking for?
Don't worry, send us an e-mail or try to phone. We will try to give you good answer 🙂