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Enabling the Full Potential of Additive Manufacturing

Since 2015

3MF Mission

We’re on a mission to solve the data interoperability challenges of the 3D printing industry by ensuring that all 3D printing product/service providers and end users fully adopt the 3MF data formats to obtain data exchange that is reliable and transparent.

See what 3MF users are saying

“The 3MF file format has the potential to do for 3D what PDF did for the 2D printing industry. It easily allows file creators to specify size, shape, colors, materials, and more. “

— John Hauer, Technology Journalist

“Today, with many industry players rallying around 3MF, we see the format to lift up the entire industry and drive innovation.”

— Paolo Guglielmini, President, Manufacturing Intelligence Division at Hexagon

“We’ve had many requests from customers and potential customers to read 3MF directly into Polygonica . . . the customer is committed to 3MF as part of the backbone of their system. “

— Richard Baxter, Head of Sales at MachineWorks


Microsoft had been working on its 3D formats since the early 2010s. Around the same time, HP, Netfabb (later acquired by Autodesk), and Dassault Solidworks had been working on representations of 3D data more optimized for 3D printing. After several meetings, this core team agreed to create a consortium to manage a new standardized format based on the initial 3MF definition. The first 3MF core specification was released in 2015, with the announcement of the formation of the 3MF Consortium. Just before the announcement, Autodesk, Shapeways, and SLM Industries joined the consortium and became the founding members. Shortly after that, Materialise, GE, and Siemens joined. Today the 3MF is comprised of 16 Steering Members and over 20 Associate members that represent the core of the additive manufacturing, design and 3D software industry.

The 3MF Consortium was established in 2015 to deliver the additive manufacturing industry a file format that is:


Containing all necessary model, material, and property information in a single archive

Human Readable

Using common structures such as OPC, ZIP, and XML to ease development


A concise, clear specification, making development easy and validation quick


Leveraging XML namespaces allow for both public and private extensions while maintaining compatibility


Clear language and conformance tests ensure a file is always consistent from digital to physical


Access to and implementation of the 3MF specification is and will always be free of royalties, patents, and licensing

The 3MF Consortium is a Joint Development Foundation Projects, LLC series. The Joint Development Foundation is a non-profit organization and affiliate of the Linux Foundation that provides the corporate and legal infrastructure to enable groups to establish and operate standards and source code development collaborations.