The Printer Working Group (PWG) and 3MF Consortium, an industry consortium to develop a high fidelity standards-based 3D printing file format, have agreed formally to collaborate to simplify 3D printing across devices.
With printer industry members, PWG has developed and promoted the widely implemented Internet Printing Protocol (IPP). A subgroup focused on 3D printing has extended IPP to incorporate the requirements of 3D printing to support data exchange and embedding within common 3D file formats such as 3MF so that user intent is preserved regardless of the transport or workflow use.
The 3MF file format allows design applications to send full-fidelity 3D models with all required information in a single file to a mix of applications, platforms, services and printers. 3MF is extensible, free and natively supported in Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.
The two groups will work together to ensure and enable standards-based approaches to simpler 3D printing to any capable device, without requiring the addition of vendor-specific software or drivers.
“Until the development of IPP Everywhere™, users had to install and continually update software to their computers and other devices to print. Printer makers had to develop, update and distribute a stream of driver updates. With IPP Everywhere, a single universal driver supports all IPP Everywhere certified printers. We are working with the 3MF Consortium to bring that same efficiency and simplicity to 3D printing,” said Smith Kennedy, PWG chairman.
“Our work here at 3MF has focused on making 3D printing easier and more efficient for manufacturers, users and service providers, and the PWG relationship reflects that mission,” noted Adrian Lannin, executive director of the 3MF Consortium. “Supporting widely used existing IPP Everywhere standards will make it easier for users to install and use 3D printers.”
The IEEE ISTO Printer Working Group (PWG) is a Program of the IEEE Industry Standard and Technology Organization (ISTO) with members including printer and multi-function device manufacturers, print server developers, operating system providers, print management application developers, and industry experts. Originally founded in 1991 as the Network Printing Alliance, the PWG is chartered to make printers, multi-function devices, and the applications and operating systems supporting them work together better. The PWG enjoys an open standards development process. More information is available at https://www.pwg.org.
About 3MF Consortium
Launched in 2015, the 3MF Consortium is a Joint Development Foundation project with the goal to define a 3D printing format that will allow design applications to send full-fidelity 3D models to a mix of other applications, platforms, services and printers. Founding members of the 3MF Consortium are: 3D Systems; Autodesk, Inc.; Dassault Systèmes, SA.; FIT AG; GE Global Research; HP, Inc.; Materialise; Microsoft Corporation; Shapeways, Inc.; Siemens PLM Software; SLM Solutions Group AG; Stratasys, and Ultimaker. More information about the 3MF Consortium and the 3MF specification is available at http://www.3mf.io.
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