Hello everyone,

as I imagine you already know, STL is an old format, obsolete and does not support the addition of information such as the material used, the rotation and position of the object being printed, the number of laser beams used and so Street. I state that I am talking about industrial LDT printers for the production of high-tech components, direct deposition and other techniques.

What do you know, there is a “dynamic” print format? For example, OBJ needs to be paired with MTL to add more properties, so it’s not good. The 3MF format I’ve never used it and I can not figure out if you can add custom properties, any of you can tell me?

In particular, I would need to know if there are formats that support the position and orientation of the piece in generation, the material, the “layer thickness” and additional information on the characteristics of the lasers used that vary from machine to machine and we would like to insert them directly into the file (currently) STL.

Can someone kindly help me?

Take a look at the 3MF format in MS 3D Builder. Might be more what your after.

I cannot understand if it is possible to add some custom parameters to the 3MF file.

A 3MF file should be processed into a slicer before to pass it to a printer? We are assuming to use and advanced and state-of-the-art printer.

Hi, at work I have dealt with difference material file formats and I think what you are looking for is .amf. It is standard, while .3mf is open source it is not defined in ISO/DIN standard.

  • STL, OBJ, STP, X_T,… only define the object(s) and maybe some basic info like name of material. When they are created there is no need for much more. And they still work fine for CAD (when you have to store thousands of files why bother with infos you don’t need). STL files are big because they only support binary datas (points, lines, triangles). The others support vectors and vertexies (surface, curves, circles,…).
  • MTL, RFL,… are material file format (texture, surface, colours, patterns…) and don’t contain the object itself. It is the most fragmented segment as CGI, video game, simulation require smaller material files yet realistic, and faster computation.
  • AMF is an attempt at adding both of them in one file type. It is just using XML to define the material properties with vector-based object data. In theory you can add manufacturer requirements to it and pass on to slicer. 3MF is the same idea with difference XML objects required.

All of them are not manufacturing data, the microcontroller is still far from reading part format and manufacture by itself. Any top-notch printer should have a microprocessor included as well, in order to slice the part.
Microcontrollers are limited so usually only run on g-code (NC, GCODE, G-CODE,…). They are the real info on how nozzle/laser move, temperature,…

In theory you can add them to AMF or 3MF but you need to reprogram the controller to only read data between say . And use to define this g-code can run on this printer.

Why there are so many of them? Because companies don’t talk to each other to “protect their IP”. Even old and well-defined format like g-code there are still custom functions that one CNC controller can read and the others cannot. Some companies (like 3DS) went so far as encrypted their material file format even if you don’t put password on it.

TL;DR: Yes it is possible with AMF and 3MF. However I suspect you will just contribute to the fragmentation by adding one more controller and custom data type/tag.

A 3MF file should be processed into a slicer before to pass it to a printer? We are assuming to use and advanced and state-of-the-art printer.

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