3D file types such as 3DS, 3MF, GLTF, STL, OBJ, FBX, COLLADA, IGES, STEP, and VRML/X3D are commonly used 3D file formats. These 3D file formats store information about a 3D model. These 3D files are used by several 3D rendering applications such as 3D Studio Max, Blender, Maya and others.
Lets have a look at some of these 3D file formats.
3D File Formats
This article gives a brief description of 3DS, 3MF, and GLFT file formats.
What is a 3DS file?
A file with 3DS extension represents 3D Sudio (DOS) mesh file format used by Autodesk 3D Studio. Autodesk 3D Studio has been in 3D file format market since 1990s and has now evolved to 3D Studio MAX for working with 3D modeling, animation and rendering. A 3DS file contains data for 3D representation of scenes and images and is one of the popular file formats for 3D data import and export. It considers information like camera locations, Mesh data, lighting information, viewport configurations, smoothing group data, bitmap references and attributes to create vertices and polygons for rendering a scene.
What is a 3MF file?
3MF, 3D Manufacturing Format, is used by applications to render 3D object models to a variety of other applications, platforms, services and printers. It was built to avoid the limitations and issues in other 3D file formats, like STL, for working with the latest versions of 3D printers. 3MF is relatively a new file format that has been developed and published by the 3MF consortium. It is rich enough to fully describe a model, retaining internal information, colour, and other characteristics that makes it extensible for supporting new innovations in 3D printing. The format is extensible, able to be broadly adopted and free of issues besetting other widely used file formats.
What is a GLTF file?
glTF (GL Transmission Format) is a 3D file format that stores 3D model information in JSON format. The use of JSON minimizes both the size of 3D assets and the runtime processing needed to unpack and use those assets. It was adopted for the efficient transmission and loading of 3D scenes and models by applications. glTF was developed by the Khronos Group 3D Formats Working Group and is also described as JPEG of 3D by its creators. The format defines an extensible, common publishing format for 3D content tools and services that streamlines authoring workflows and enables interoperable use of content across the industry. The intention behind the creation of glTF file format was to define an extensible, common publishing format for 3D content tools and services that should streamline authoring workflows and enable interoperable use of content across the industry. It minimizes runtime processing by applications using WebGL and other APIs.
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