Present .STL file may be too old now, Microsoft says.

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Apparently, the software megacorp Microsoft intimated that the company will be share information with the world on a “new” 3D printing file formats at the Build Conference in San Francisco, held from April 29th to May 1st, 2015. Back in 2013, Microsoft made Windows 8.1 3D printing friendly. But soon they found out that the .STL file format is totally outdated. As hardware is advancing the chunk files created by CAD software are difficult to be read by .STL file. At the Microsoft’s Build Developer Conference Microsoft will be talking about the latest file format developed to smoothly read and 3D printing activity.

Gavin Gear, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft told, “People are unable to access the full potential of 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing because of basic limitations in core technologies used by 3D printing.” The .STL file was made way back in 1989 and the current 3D printing activities with rich colours and intricate designs are becoming difficult to be described. So, basically the file format is not at par with the latest current hardware and 3D printers.

“To empower people, maximize productivity, and unlock the full capabilities of this technology, a new file format is needed,” stated Gear. “It should align CAD software, 3D printing hardware and software on a more information-rich file format, specifically designed to support the needs of modern 3D printing. The file format must support information interchange throughout the entire 3D printing process, from CAD application to printer. The file format must contain a complete definition of the printed model, in a way that allows unambiguous and accurate processing of the model. Finally, the file format must be practical, simple to understand and easy to implement.”

As of now Microsoft has said a 3D printing consortium has been set, where HP is the declared member, and this consortium is going to work for the development of the advanced file format.

Surely it leaves no doubt where tech-giants like Microsoft, HP are investing for various developments in the 3D printing industry. More information is awaited from the Build Conference. Watch out this space for more information.

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