Data Exchange > Interface > Working with Data Exchange Formats > 3D Manufacturing Format > About the 3D Manufacturing Format — 3MF
About the 3D Manufacturing Format — 3MF
The 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) is the standard and standalone XML-based file format that contains the essential data required by the additive manufacturing processes such as 3D printing. The 3MF files represent 3D models and their representation in a markup format. They include data that constitute the complete model information to fully describe 3D models. The 3MF files include all the necessary model, material, and property information. They contain data related to 3D manufacturing that define the shape and composition of 3D objects that can be fabricated on 3D printers.
The 3MF file format is defined as a 3D payload as this file format is a complete collection of interdependent parts and relationships. It contains 3D object definitions, the supporting files, and the full set of parts required for processing the 3D model part. The 3MF file format is readable because of its common, simple, and extensible data structure.
You can import 3MF files containing part and assembly models to Creo and export Creo part and assembly models to the 3MF files. The following data is exchanged between Creo and the 3MF file format when you import 3MF files to Creo and export Creo models to the 3MF file format:
Material properties such as the colors of faces and parts
Beam lattices with circular cross-sections and their simplified representations
Part-level colors
Top-assembly parameters
Facet geometry
Hidden entities
Designated parameters
The export of Creo geometry as 3MF files is extended to include material properties and beam-based lattice structures with circular cross-sections. Before you export lattices, you must convert lattice structures to the simplified representations. The simplified representations of the beam lattices are exported to the 3MF file format as beam lattice extensions that are not tessellated. Lattices are internal framework structures that optimize part properties. You can add lattice structures to parts as features. Beam-based lattices consist of 3D cells that are arranged in a pattern and contain beams arranged as structures. Other lattice types are exported as facets to the 3MF file format.
Material properties such as the colors of faces and parts are exported to 3MF with the tessellated geometry. Assembly color overrides are not supported. While tessellating the model surfaces, you can include colors at the level of triangles of the tessellated surfaces and facets. Groups of triangles with colors form the surface geometry. The colors that are applied to the triangles of the surfaces are exported as RGB colors to the 3MF file format. While you can export solids, you cannot export quilts to the 3MF file format.