3D Printing in 42 File Formats: i.materialise Enlarges Armada of Accepted File Formats
by Fabian | November 9, 2015
Every designer uses a different design software, and each design software comes with its own file formats. To make your life easier, i.materialise keeps widening its spectrum of uploadable and printable 3D file types. You can now 3D print in 42 formats!
3D modelers often wonder if our printing service can read their native files or if they need to export or convert their designs first. That’s why we provide you with our latest overview of accepted file formats and want to keep you informed about our newest additions.
Which 3D File Formats Are Supported?
First of all, i.materialise supports a large number of file formats – 42 in total. And this list is constantly growing as demands change and technologies evolve. As soon as we notice that a file type is technically suitable for being used on our online printing service and that there is a certain demand for this file type, chances are good that you will see it on our list soon.
- Accepted file types for online prices: .3ds .stl .igs .model .mxp .obj .wrl .3dm .fbx .matpart .zip .rar .7s .skp .dae .ply .magics .mgx .x3d .x3dv .3MF
- Accepted file types for offline prices: .matAMX .amf .ndo .asc .cli .slc .mtt .mdck .cls .f&s .ssl .sli .jt .prj .sat .CATPart .CATProduct .dxf .zcp .prt .asm
What Are Online or Offline Prices?
For some of these 42 formats we can provide you with an ‘online price’, for others, we can offer you an ‘offline price request’. So what’s the difference between those two? File types that are suitable for ‘online prices’ can be uploaded to our website and will instantly be provided a quote of how much a 3D print of this file will cost in over 100 materials and finishes. Some other file formats need to be sent to our support engineers who will handle your request.
If time is of the essence, we suggest that you select a file type for which we can generate an online price. If you decide to use an offline format, your files can be sent to us as .zip or .rar files via our upload link, or alternately, you can email them to us. If we have any problems opening your files, we’ll contact you.
What is the newest accepted file format?
The 3D Manufacturing Format, or 3MF for short, is the newest 3D modeling file format that we accept on our site. Our parent company, Materialise, is actively supporting the further development of this file format in the 3MF consortium. In this foundation, companies like Microsoft, Materialise, HP, Siemens, Autodesk, 3DSystems, SLM Solutions, Stratasys, Netfabb, Shapeways, and Dassault Systemes are working on a 3D file format specially designed for 3D printing needs.
How Do I Prepare My File for 3D Printing?
No matter which file format you choose, there are always some tips and tricks for how you can prep your 3D model for 3D printing. These do not depend upon the format of your file, but rather on the design of your model. We compiled a short list of handy blog posts that will help you to get the result you are looking for:
- Get started by reading our ‘5 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing a 3D Model for 3D Printing’ article.
- Take a look at our guide on ‘How to Choose the Perfect File Resolution’ for your 3D model.
- Learn how to set wall thicknesses with our ‘Wall Thickness’ blog post.
- Last but not least make sure not to miss our ‘#1 Hack to Make Your 3D Print Cheaper’ post.
- Don’t forget to upload your 3D file here to get an instant quote for your 3D print!