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Adding Clarity to 3D Printing Future

July 21, 2020
Standards group focused on advancing 3D printing announces leadership changes.

The 3MF Consortium, the organization dedicated to advancing a universal specification for 3D printing, today announced it is becoming a Linux Foundation member and that HP’s Luis Baldez is its new executive director. Baldez supersedes Microsoft’s Adrian Lannin, who served in the role since the 3MF Consortium was founded in 2015. Among the original creators of the 3MF Consortium, Lannin will remain a strategic advisor to the group.

The 3MF Consortium is among the original members of the Joint Development Foundation (JDF), which became part of the Linux Foundation in recent years to enable smooth collaboration among open source software projects and open standards. 3MF will take advantage of the combined strengths of the Linux Foundation/JDF alliance to advance 3D printing specifications and formats. With the majority of the world’s largest players in the 3D printing industry, 3MF Consortium represents the core of the industry’s innovation in this area. 

“The 3MF Consortium has done the important work to create an open standard for 3D printing. The time is now to drive the evolution of 3MF from development to implementation,” says Baldez. “We would not be where we are today without Adrian Lannin’s leadership and contributions, and we’re looking forward to his insights as our ongoing advisor.” 

Baldez tells IndustryWeek, the 3MF Consortium represents the world’s most important technology leaders in the 3D printing industry and the 3MF specification today is seeing increasing adoption across more products than ever before.

“The time is now to move from development to implementation, so our three primary goals for the Consortium in the months and years ahead are very clear: adoption, applications and standardization. Like any successful open standard at this stage in its lifecycle, we will work directly with designers and manufacturers to move from specification to adoption,” says Baldez. “This goal will be achieved by expanding coverage of applications across industries and ongoing improvement of implementations based on customer feedback. All of this work allows companies to focus on innovation instead of interoperability concerns. 3MF will become mainstream when users won’t even notice it’s there - it just works reliably for any 3D printing application.”

Baldez is a 3D printing veteran with experience across new research, market and business development. It is this combination of expertise that makes him well-suited for the role at 3MF Consortium, where the focus is maturing from standards development to implementation and adoption. Baldez has also held R&D engineering leadership positions at other multinationals and startups. 

“Luis is a longtime champion of open standards and is an expert in the 3D printing space,” said Alex Oster, chairman of the 3MF technical working group and director of additive manufacturing at Autodesk. “Luis’ leadership and our collaboration with Linux Foundation will accelerate our work on 3D printing and help us build an even more vibrant network of contributions.” 

The 3MF Consortium has grown rapidly since its formation in 2015, garnering new member investments and adoption across the industry’s leaders in 3D printing. It is supported by 3D Systems, Autodesk, GE, HP, Materialise, Microsoft, nTopology and Siemens among nearly 20 other companies and has been implemented in nearly 40 products across 22 companies. The 3MF specification is robust and includes six extensions that range from core and production to slice, material and property (including color), beam lattice and security. The Secure Content specification was recently released and establishes an underlying mechanism for payload encryption of sensitive 3D printed data based on modern web standards.

About the Author

Peter Fretty | Technology Editor

As a highly experienced journalist, Peter Fretty regularly covers advances in manufacturing, information technology, and software. He has written thousands of feature articles, cover stories, and white papers for an assortment of trade journals, business publications, and consumer magazines.

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