3D Printing

An Update on AMF — Additive Manufacturing File Format

While news around the AMF has been pretty quiet recently, it transpires that plenty of work has been going on to improve the new standard for converting 3D models into digital files for 3D printing and additive manufacturing. What the developers don’t seem to have enough time to do is promote what they have done. So we’re going to try and pick up on this:

Jonathan Hiller is the original author and (up until this point) only contributor to the AMF viewer development and in answer to a question from Reinoud Zandijk about the rendering of curved triangle on the [email protected] forum, Jonathan reports:

“Curved triangles have been supported in my local build for some time (remarkably quick to implement the subdivision and display, I might add). As a reminder of some exchanges earlier this year; there is a limit to how much change in curvature within a given curved triangle yields good subdivision (i.e. curved triangles with strong inflection points tend to not subdivide cleanly). This should be easy to check in the generation step though. Along with Hod [Lipson] I’m willing to help/answer any questions.

“As a follow-up, I’ve committed and uploaded the most recent version of the open AMF tool including curved triangle viewing (make sure Mesh->Subdivide is on) (http://amf.wikispaces.com/AMF+Editor). I have also uploaded another sample file with edge tangents. This should make creating and debugging AMF’s with curved triangles easier.”

“There are actually many other improvements to the user interface. Fewer dialogs to sift through, more direct click and access. There is a drag and drop rearrangement mode (Edit->arrange) and auto-place functionality, plus quite a bit more. This program should now be suitable for most people’s needs to bring STL files into this century as AMF files.”

This is an ongoing project — dependent in many ways on feedback and interaction from users — by people that are committed to making 3DP/AM better and easier, in their own time. It is all done on a volunteer basis and therefore time can sometimes be an issue, however, as Jonathan points out “… zero feedback/requests = less incentive. Anyone else is invited to submit other requests or feedback.

Source: STL2 Google Group Email.