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Home > Supported File Formats > VRML to 3MF


How to convert VRML (VRML2, VRML97, X3D) to 3MF?


PolyTrans|CAD+DCC performs mathematically precise CAD, DCC/Animation, GIS and BIM 3D file conversions into all key downstream 3D packages and file formats. Okino software is used and trusted throughout the world by many tens of thousands of 3D professionals in mission & production critical environments, backed by respectable personal support directly from our core development team.

     

VRML

VRML2 ("Virtual Reality Markup Language") is one of the very best of non-MCAD file formats, little appreciated and lost (mainly) to the annals of time. Many people (wrongly) believe that FBX is the primary "translation file format" but VRML2 pre-dated it by at least 10+ years and has equally good or better functionality (and in an open, non-proprietary specification). It was supplemented or augmented by the X3D (XML-based) file format in the mid 2000s. The Web3D Consortium supports the evolution of VRML2/X3D and of its acceptance as ISO and IEC standards.

Without getting into specifics, VRML2 can be considered a "rich file format" in terms of its functionality and capabilities, yet few software programs fully utilize all of that functionality. It could have, and should have, become the defacto "universal 3D file format" for data translation and long term storage but it did not have the clout nor marketing dollars that other newer formats had such as from Autodesk (FBX, DWF), Sony (COLLADA), Adobe+Intel (U3D), Dassault Systemes (3DXML) and others.

VRML1 and VRML2 are 3D file formats with a long and complex history. They were originally developed in the mid 1990s to define 'interactive 3D worlds' on the then-new World Wide WEB. However, statistically speaking, VRML2 became more well known as a high quality "data translaton and storage" file format, partly due to Okino pushing it as such a standard in the industry. It was implemented by a good number of 3D software packages and hence became a "reliable back door" to convert 3D assets out of those packages before FBX, DWF, COLLADA, U3D and other similar file formats came along in the mid to late 2000s, or glTF in the late 2010's.

It is also known as VRML2, X3D, Classic VRML, VRML97, VRML1 and Inventor2.

     

3MF

3MF, 3D Manufacturing Format, is a modern replacement for the legacy STL (StereoLithography) file format with an explicit focus on the proper transmission of CAD and non-CAD model data for 3D printing as well as to downstream services and platforms. From Okino's long term perspective, the VRML2 file format was and is "just as good" for such requirements but never had the correct understanding nor traction since its introduction in 1995.

Features of 3MF over the legacy STL format includes: geometry instancing support, layered texture maps, multiple layers of UV texture coordinates, vertex colors and extended material types.

History, features, overviews, implementation partners and more can be read on the 3MF Consortiumís web site.

Note: Microsoft Windows uses the 3D Manufacturing Format (.3mf) for all 3D printing tasks.

Please also refer to the 3MF export converter for more information related to 3MF.