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3MF Importer Header

Arrow Overview

Okino's 3MF importer reads in 3D scene data from the industry standard 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF). Normally these files are used to export into 3D printing hardware devices but this importer was written as a means to read in and convert such 3MF files to other 3D software programs.

The 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) is a 3D printing file format spearheaded by Microsoft that allows design applications to send full-fidelity 3D models to other 3D applications, platforms, services and 3D printers. As explained by Microsoft, "3MF files describe the appearance and structure of 3D models for the purpose of manufacturing (3D printing)." It was primarily designed to replace the simplistic and aging 1987-era STL file format for 3D printing (as well as OBJ and VRML2). It is human readable and saved in a XML encoding.

Please also refer to the corresponding 3MF export converter.

Arrow General Notes

  • 3MF is not a 3D data inter-change file format whatsoever. Hence, please do not choose the 3MF file format to convert from one 3D application to another. It is primarily made as a one-way file format into 3D printing devices and related software applications.

  • 3MF does not support explicit vertex normals which is otherwise a staple of most 3D file formats.

  • There is no support for camera, lights, skinning/skeletons, animation data, etc. In simple terms, 3MF is the newer cousin of the STL file format. STL itself is the world’s simplest of simplest 3D file formats and not some complex CAD file format as many 3D users have come to wrongly believe.

Arrow Features of the Okino 3MF Importer

  • Reading of 3MF supported polygonal geometry, part names, part hierarchy, basic material properties, layered texture maps and the extraction of JPEG+PNG bitmap images. Geometric and vertex normals will be computed for geometry without such information.

  • Respect for, and the import of, geometry instancing, including 3 Okino scene and hierarchy optimizers.

  • Layered texture map ("multi-property material") support with automatic extraction of JPEG and PNG bitmap images.

  • Import of vertex colors.

  • Intelligent overrides for the material colors and coefficients, to create "load and render" files.

  • Support for the 3MF Core Specification and the 3MF Materials and Properties Extension.

  • CAD-like units matching.