We’ve been following news of the 3MF Consortium since it was first teased back in April, and fully announced at the end of that month, with the .3MF file format marking a huge move in the 3D printing and design space. Today, the Consortium has launched a new level of membership, with the Associate level here to “enable additional and early sharing of information with companies that are implementing the 3MF format for 3D printing.”
Associate level membership carries with it $1,000 annual dues, for which members receive more in-depth benefits in the 3MF universe.
“While anyone can use the 3MF specification without having to join the consortium, we want to provide greater support to those companies that would like to publicly declare their alignment with 3MF goals,” said Adrian Lannin, executive director, 3MF Consortium. “By providing them with early access and foreknowledge of spec updates, we enable them to better plan their product implementations. The 3MF Consortium invites all interested organizations to consider Associate membership.”
The membership includes, according to the Consortium:
- Early access to specification changes
- Online forum for Consortium members and participants
- 3MF document access with password protection
- Use of the 3MF logo on products that meet given requirements
- Listing on the 3MF website
The 3MF specification remains available to anyone for download, allowing for cross-platform use of design files throughout applications, services, and printers, intended to cut back on issues related to operability and function–so designers can focus on design.
The .3MF file format will likely not usurp the popular .STL completely anytime soon, but the newer format was introduced with some key goals in mind that would benefit all users of 3D technologies. The .3MF is intended to provide full model information, including color and internal structure, be open to the latest innovations in the field, remain open and interoperable, and provide ease of use in regular function for all devices, including those that are lower-end.
Associate members of the 3MF Consortium will receive the benefits of their new membership upon receipt of dues and a completed application (the latter of which is expected to go live on the site shortly). The Consortium may offer additional benefits to Associate level membership in the future, expanding the range of offerings available.
3MF Consortium is a project of the Joint Development Foundation. Members of the Consortium currently include 3D Systems; Autodesk; Dassault Systèmes; FIT/netfabb; HP; Materialise; Microsoft; Shapeways; Siemens PLM Software; SLM Solutions Group; and Stratasys.
Are you considering becoming an Associate member of the consortium? Let us know in the 3MF Forum thread on 3DPB.com.