3DPrinting Scanning File Formats

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This page will serve as a summary of file formats used in 3D Printing and Scanning. Information will be included that is useful to understand the capabilities of each format and compare them with current and potential capabilites of the X3D standard applied to 3D printing and scanning. Emphasis is placed on file formats which are standards and which have open and accessible documentation, as opposed to proprietary formats.


AMF is Additive Manufacturing Format, commonly with .amf file extension.



  • An XML format with formal [ http://amf.wikispaces.com/file/view/amf.xsd/402895728/amf.xsd XSD schema].
  • An AMF file contains one or more objects. Each object is a 3D volume defined by a single triangular mesh. A triangular mesh consists of a list of vertices and a list of triangles; each triangles is defined as 3 vertices identified by their index in the list of vertices.
  • Optional Geometric Concepts Elements
    • Edge : A subelement in an object tree, an edge is defined by references to two vertices in an object's vertex list and by the coordinates of tangent vectors defining the direction of the edge at each vertex. These tangent vectors can be used to define [ Curved Triangles]
    • Normal : A subelement of a vertex element, it consists of the coordinates of a 3D vector attached to that vertex, and is also used in the definition of [ Curved Triangle]

Curved Triangles