Free Converter Tool Launched for Enhanced 3D Printing File Format « Fabbaloo

3D assembly defined by AMF (Source: Avante Technologies)

There’s been a development regarding the official AMF file format.

Wait a moment, you say, don’t you mean “3MF”? Nope, I mean “AMF”.

AMF is a certified file format for additive manufacturing that is actively supported by ISO/ASTM TC261 joint technical working group J64. The standard was first announced in 2014, and has received enhancements since that time.

Back in 2014 the intent was to supplant STL as the file format used in 3D printing. STL is a pretty terrible format, as it literally allows invalid models, as well as not including key information, such as measurement unit, color and much more. Many at the time were clamoring for some kind of solution, and AMF was one the leading candidate at the time.

According to Avante Technologies, AMF provides a wide range of capabilities:

“This includes support for multiple materials, composite materials, multiple colors, blended colors, multi-part assemblies, lattice structures, compressed AMF files with attached non-AMF files,
and integration of a wide range of meta-data. Specified meta-data fields include: unique file ID number, unit of measure, name, description, version number, author, company, .url, material,
color, tolerance, and customer specified fields. The AMF format also provides options for protecting file IP. Users can add copyright and patent information, licensing and security related data to the user defined meta-data field located in the file. The .url meta-data field provides a means to reference the owner’s copyright information that cannot be altered by third parties.”

Unfortunately, AMF didn’t catch on widely in the industry for a variety of reasons. Subsequently, 3MF appeared and was supported by a number of large players, most notably Microsoft. Since then most of the attention has been directed towards 3MF.

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3D assembly defined by AMF (Source: Avante Technologies)

However, AMF is still around, and is still an ISO standard format.

The news is that there is now a free source code for an AMF file converter released to the public, AMFSample. The software was developed jointly by Avante Technology and Mind in a Box. It provides an ability to convert STL files into ISO-compliant AMF format.

Avante Technologies explains:

“The AMFsample application inputs conventional STL format files, automatically converts to AMF format and validates to the ISO 52915:20 standard additive manufacturing format. The mesh file is displayed in 3D, can be rotated to view at any angle and zoomed in for closeup viewing of the file mesh. Files can be saved as AMF for converted back to STL.”

The source code is ideal for integration with CAD tools to provide AMF functionality. Whether CAD tool companies will adopt AMF from this development is another question, as many have committed to 3MF. However, the ability to work with more formats is always a positive.

The new AMFTools site will be where the software is to be distributed, and the site already has a wiki and other information about the AMF file format.

Via AMFTools, Avante Technologies and Mind in a Box


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