New 3MF file format

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New 3MF file format

clothbot
Hey Everyone,

I've created Issue #1331 (see https://github.com/openscad/openscad/issues/1331) to gather info and interest around this new file format being developed by Microsoft and others:

http://3dprintingindustry.com/2015/04/30/microsoft-announces-3mf-consortium-for-3d-printing-file-format/


Open Source examples (licenses tbd) will apparently be appearing via GitHub:

http://www.3mf.io/what-is-3mf/

--snip--

The code to read or write 3MF is available as open source: Microsoft’s donated code reads STL/OBJ/3MF, writes 3MF, and can use Web Services for model repair. The source code will be on Github and cross-platform code is in development.

--end-snip--


...and apparently it'll be an open standard and will be relatively patent unencumbered:

http://www.3mf.io/what-is-3mf/3mf-specification/

--snip--

3MF members have agreed to make their necessary patent claims available for implementations of the 3MF Core Specification and 3MF Materials Specification on a royalty-free basis.  For details, please review the Joint Development Foundation Working Group Charter Appendix A, Patent Policy Option 2, available at http://bit.ly/1KqwpFU.

--end-snip--


Thoughts?

Andrew.
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Re: New 3MF file format

ednisley
> Thoughts?

Proprietary lock-in.

This phrase from Appendix A tells you all you need to know about the
patent licensing: "on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms".
If the FRAND patent model worked, the mobile phone and tablet industry
would be a happy garden of mutual innovation, rather than a dismal swamp
of litigation.

The broad exceptions in Item 3 of Option 2 tells you that anything you
create *will* be deemed infringing, because you'll be innovating in a
related field that's not covered by the FRAND license. The only question
will be whether you have enough money to make you a worthwhile target.

I. Am. Not. A. Lawyer.

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Re: New 3MF file format

doug.moen
I haven't read the 3MF format spec, but it sounds superficially a lot like AMF, with maybe a few additional features. AMF is also an XML based format, which means it is easily extensible. Microsoft could have used or extended AMF, but my experience with Microsoft and standards committees is that they don't like to play in other people's sandboxes. They generally want to own the sandbox.

We have a lot of Windows users, so it's possible that at some point, there could be user demand for the ability to import/export 3MF. Microsoft will want us to support this feature, in terms of their overall goals for 3MF, so it's unlikely that they would sue us for implementing 3MF import/export. Yes, I know it doesn't work that way for open source projects implementing audio/video codecs, but I think this is different. Microsoft wants to use 3D printer support as a new way to drive people to use Windows, and they won't succeed if they demand licensing fees from every open source project that tries to support their 3D printer interface. And I think they understand that.

I am also not a lawyer.

On 1 May 2015 at 10:50, Ed Nisley <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thoughts?

Proprietary lock-in.

This phrase from Appendix A tells you all you need to know about the patent licensing: "on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms". If the FRAND patent model worked, the mobile phone and tablet industry would be a happy garden of mutual innovation, rather than a dismal swamp of litigation.

The broad exceptions in Item 3 of Option 2 tells you that anything you create *will* be deemed infringing, because you'll be innovating in a related field that's not covered by the FRAND license. The only question will be whether you have enough money to make you a worthwhile target.

I. Am. Not. A. Lawyer.

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Re: New 3MF file format

kintel
Administrator
I didn’t read the spec either, but my earlier information on the topic tells me that Microsoft did indeed build their own sandbox, using an XML-based packaging format which includes support for DRM, to ensure that people having access to 3MF files cannot access the content if they don’t have the correct license.
Microsoft released the format spec under an NDA ca. 2 years ago, but I didn’t sign or look at it for obvious reasons.

Let’s see when the reference implementation arrives, and we get to know what Microsoft’s definition of “cross-platform code” is :)

 -Marius


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Re: New 3MF file format

Ethan Dicks
In reply to this post by doug.moen
On Fri, May 1, 2015 at 11:28 AM, doug moen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I haven't read the 3MF format spec, but it sounds superficially a lot like
> AMF, with maybe a few additional features. AMF is also an XML based format,
> which means it is easily extensible. Microsoft could have used or extended
> AMF, but my experience with Microsoft and standards committees is that they
> don't like to play in other people's sandboxes. They generally want to own
> the sandbox.

I have zero interest in supporting a vendor-extended "standard".

If Microsoft wants to lead the pack, they have to open this up.  Period.

>> The broad exceptions in Item 3 of Option 2 tells you that anything you
>> create *will* be deemed infringing, because you'll be innovating in a
>> related field that's not covered by the FRAND license. The only question
>> will be whether you have enough money to make you a worthwhile target.

Exactly.

>> I. Am. Not. A. Lawyer.

Ditto.

-ethan

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Re: New 3MF file format

Alan Cox
In reply to this post by doug.moen
> We have a lot of Windows users, so it's possible that at some point, there
> could be user demand for the ability to import/export 3MF. Microsoft will
> want us to support this feature, in terms of their overall goals for 3MF,
> so it's unlikely that they would sue us for implementing 3MF import/export.

Microsoft will sue or threaten to sue whoever they like for whatever
reasons they like if they calculate it benefits their "shareholder
value". It's not even to condemn them for it. They are US a corporation.
It is their duty to their shareholders to do so.

> Yes, I know it doesn't work that way for open source projects implementing
> audio/video codecs, but I think this is different. Microsoft wants to use
> 3D printer support as a new way to drive people to use Windows, and they
> won't succeed if they demand licensing fees from every open source project
> that tries to support their 3D printer interface. And I think they
> understand that.

Big US corporations also understand that if they get around to having some
proxy company sue people once the standard is well established they win.

> I am also not a lawyer.

I'm just a cynic but I would get close to a Microsoft "standard",
especially a FRAND one approximately the way you'd get close to someone
with ebola.

Alan

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Re: New 3MF file format

doug.moen
In reply to this post by ednisley
It's not FRAND. Option 2 is "RAND-RF (Royalty-Free)", which is different.

In the parent document it says "3MF members have agreed to make their necessary patent claims available for implementations of the 3MF Core Specification and 3MF Materials Specification on a royalty-free basis."

The wording you object to means basically something like this: "if your software already violated our patents, independent of 3MF, then adding 3MF support to your software doesn't eliminate the prior patent infringement".

I don't advocate living in fear of uknown patents. Refusing to implement 3MF because we don't like Microsoft is one thing, and could be a legitimate community decision. But I don't see that 3MF support would create any legal risk for us. The point of the royalty-free patent grant is to eliminate that risk, after all.

On 1 May 2015 at 10:50, Ed Nisley <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thoughts?

Proprietary lock-in.

This phrase from Appendix A tells you all you need to know about the patent licensing: "on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms". If the FRAND patent model worked, the mobile phone and tablet industry would be a happy garden of mutual innovation, rather than a dismal swamp of litigation.

The broad exceptions in Item 3 of Option 2 tells you that anything you create *will* be deemed infringing, because you'll be innovating in a related field that's not covered by the FRAND license. The only question will be whether you have enough money to make you a worthwhile target.

I. Am. Not. A. Lawyer.

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Re: New 3MF file format

ednisley
On 05/01/2015 04:16 PM, doug moen wrote:
> It's not FRAND. Option 2 is "RAND-RF (Royalty-Free)", which is different.

*Fair*, Reasonable, And Non-Discriminatory.

They can omit "Fair" from the acronym if they like, I suppose, but ...

Some background on why FRAND remains a minefield:

http://patentlyo.com/patent/2015/02/amends-patent-policy.html



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Re: New 3MF file format

doug.moen
FRAND, as you describe it, is option 1 of Appendix A. The option used by 3MF is option 2, which is royalty free.

FRAND is a minefield because you have to pay license fees for implementing the standard, and the negotiations over that have led to law suits, as described by your link. But 3MF uses a royalty-free model in which you don't pay license fees for implementing the standard.

On 1 May 2015 at 16:55, Ed Nisley <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 05/01/2015 04:16 PM, doug moen wrote:
It's not FRAND. Option 2 is "RAND-RF (Royalty-Free)", which is different.

*Fair*, Reasonable, And Non-Discriminatory.

They can omit "Fair" from the acronym if they like, I suppose, but ...

Some background on why FRAND remains a minefield:

http://patentlyo.com/patent/2015/02/amends-patent-policy.html




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Re: New 3MF file format

MichaelAtOz
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My 2c worth is that we will need something to support multiple materials/colours real soon, colour printing is already a reality on Shapeways etc, and with things like the Diamond head, let alone multi-head printers now, will have demand for multi-stuff now.

Given AMF export is implemented in OpenSCAD and in slicers, should the focus be on implementing multi-stuff-ability in OpenSCAD using AMF, rather than expanding to other formats and still not be able to make multi-stuff?
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Re: New 3MF file format

clothbot
Thanks for summarizing what I’ve been mulling over in my head.

I’m going to comment+close the Issue with something to this effect.

Andrew.

> On May 1, 2015, at 11:29 PM, MichaelAtOz <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> My 2c worth is that we will need something to support multiple
> materials/colours real soon, colour printing is already a reality on
> Shapeways etc, and with things like the Diamond head, let alone multi-head
> printers now, will have demand for multi-stuff now.
>
> Given AMF export is implemented in OpenSCAD and in slicers, should the focus
> be on implementing multi-stuff-ability in OpenSCAD using AMF, rather than
> expanding to other formats and still not be able to make multi-stuff?
>
>
>
> -----
> Unless specifically shown otherwise above, my contribution is in the Public Domain; To the extent possible under law, I have waived all copyright and related or neighbouring rights to this work. This work is published globally via the internet. :) Inclusion of works of previous authors is not included in the above.
>
> The TPP is no simple “trade agreement.”   Fight it! http://www.ourfairdeal.org/
> --
> View this message in context: http://forum.openscad.org/New-3MF-file-format-tp12525p12543.html
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Re: New 3MF file format

tp3
In reply to this post by MichaelAtOz
On 05/02/2015 05:29 AM, MichaelAtOz wrote:
> Given AMF export is implemented in OpenSCAD and in slicers, should the focus
> be on implementing multi-stuff-ability in OpenSCAD using AMF, rather than
> expanding to other formats and still not be able to make multi-stuff?
>
Right, I agree the functionality would be much more useful than just
another import/export format. But then I think the effort spent on a
simple exporter would be not too big, I guess the biggest thing is to
find a nice cross platform solution to read/write the ZIP file (which
would come in useful for AMF handling too).

Still, I guess the best strategy for now is to sit back, fetch some
popcorn and watch what happens :-).

ciao,
   Torsten.



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Re: New 3MF file format

frankv
In reply to this post by doug.moen
A skim through http://bit.ly/1KqwpFU suggests that the "royalty-free patent license" requires a "conformant application" to be produced, and I have no doubt that "conformant" will require DRM, so that a 3MF derivative without DRM would be subject to lawsuits and monetization.
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Re: New 3MF file format

bobc
The DRM relevant features of the spec are all optional, the only required part is the 3D model. So I think a conformant implementation need not process any DRM.

I understand there is great suspicion of Microsoft, but in my reading 3MF is a genuinely open spec, there are no strings attached. It actually makes clear it is royalty free, unlike AMF. It also can be freely downloaded, unlike AMF which costs $49 and you have to agree to inspection of your premises and computer systems by a third party to ensure you are complying with the copyright (i.e. not made ANY copies), otherwise the agreement is cancelled and you must destroy all copies.

Personally I find it a lot easier to implement 3MF than AMF.

On 27 May 2015 at 08:02, frankv <[hidden email]> wrote:
A skim through http://bit.ly/1KqwpFU suggests that the "royalty-free patent
license" requires a "conformant application" to be produced, and I have no
doubt that "conformant" will require DRM, so that a 3MF derivative without
DRM would be subject to lawsuits and monetization.



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Re: New 3MF file format

doug.moen
The only version of the AMF spec that I've studied is the 0.47 draft from this URL:


If there are substantive differences in the $49 version, I have no way of finding about them. The legal risks involved in obtaining the actual standard sound too high. If I create a context diff comparing 0.47 with 1.0, I'm breaking the law. On the other hand, most of the other people implementing AMF are probably also basing their implementation on V0.47, so whatever text happens to be in the pay version of the AMF standard probably doesn't matter all that much.

I agree that Microsoft has done a better job, in making their standard freely available and explicitly royalty free.

On 27 May 2015 at 05:28, Bob Cousins <[hidden email]> wrote:
The DRM relevant features of the spec are all optional, the only required part is the 3D model. So I think a conformant implementation need not process any DRM.

I understand there is great suspicion of Microsoft, but in my reading 3MF is a genuinely open spec, there are no strings attached. It actually makes clear it is royalty free, unlike AMF. It also can be freely downloaded, unlike AMF which costs $49 and you have to agree to inspection of your premises and computer systems by a third party to ensure you are complying with the copyright (i.e. not made ANY copies), otherwise the agreement is cancelled and you must destroy all copies.

Personally I find it a lot easier to implement 3MF than AMF.

On 27 May 2015 at 08:02, frankv <[hidden email]> wrote:
A skim through http://bit.ly/1KqwpFU suggests that the "royalty-free patent
license" requires a "conformant application" to be produced, and I have no
doubt that "conformant" will require DRM, so that a 3MF derivative without
DRM would be subject to lawsuits and monetization.



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Re: New 3MF file format

tp3
Von: "doug moen" <[hidden email]>
> On the other hand, most of the other people implementing AMF are probably
> also basing their implementation on V0.47, so whatever text happens to be
> in the pay version of the AMF standard probably doesn't matter all that much.
>
Actually there are some details that are fairly important for interoperability
across different programs. In general the file structure is pretty well
explained in Wikipedia and most information (especially the XML schema is
freely available).
Also Hod Lipson, technical contact and ASTM F42 Task group chair is pretty
helpful and also answers specific questions in the google group. Unfortunately
he failed to convince others to make the specification freely available.
This is likey an ASTM/ISO issue and not related to the actual specification,
but still it's hugely annoying.

From what I know, both cura and slic3r implementations are not based on the
released spec version. Last time I looked, the netfabb implementation did
not follow the specification regarding the actual file storage when using
ZIPed format.

> On 27 May 2015 at 05:28, Bob Cousins <[hidden email][[hidden email]]> wrote:
> > Personally I find it a lot easier to implement 3MF than AMF.
> >
I can't see much difference there and AMF is pretty trivial when ignoring
the curved triangles (where I'm still not convinced that's extremely useful,
especially due to the fixed 5 level recursion, but I might be wrong here
as I did not dig into the details).

And basic AMF support is already implemented, the export is included in
the release version. The restrictions are mainly coming from limitations
present in current OpenSCAD and are not related to AMF.

ciao,
  Torsten.

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Re: New 3MF file format

tp3
Digging out this thread as there is some good and some bad news :-)

The github project https://github.com/3MFConsortium/lib3mf looks promising
as it's providing the library with a 2-clause BSD license and it does
support compiling with GCC.

(Interesting note... the code is copyright by Netfabb / Microsoft)

That's the good news.

The bad news is, that the GCC part is missing some essential parts,
mainly the Reader and Writer classes. So currently it's basically just
the data model which would be usable (as far as I can tell after digging
a bit yesterday).

Still, that's a good start and hopefully the missing parts will
appear eventually.

ciao,
   Torsten.


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Re: New 3MF file format

Joseph Lenox
Well, an XML reader/writer is cake to drop in if you wanted to; I suspect the non-gcc part made liberal use of Windows-only stuff. 

--Joseph Lenox

On Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 12:26 PM, Torsten Paul <[hidden email]> wrote:
Digging out this thread as there is some good and some bad news :-)

The github project https://github.com/3MFConsortium/lib3mf looks promising
as it's providing the library with a 2-clause BSD license and it does
support compiling with GCC.

(Interesting note... the code is copyright by Netfabb / Microsoft)

That's the good news.

The bad news is, that the GCC part is missing some essential parts,
mainly the Reader and Writer classes. So currently it's basically just
the data model which would be usable (as far as I can tell after digging
a bit yesterday).

Still, that's a good start and hopefully the missing parts will
appear eventually.

ciao,
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Re: New 3MF file format

tp3
On 07/23/2015 07:38 PM, Joseph Lenox wrote:
> Well, an XML reader/writer is cake to drop in if you wanted to; I suspect
> the non-gcc part made liberal use of Windows-only stuff.
>
Sort-of, yes. It uses the OPC stuff which 3MF is based on, so it gets
most of the XML / ZIP / Packaging infrastructure for free.
(https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd371025%28v=vs.85%29.aspx)

They did model the C++ interface after COM but according to the docs
it's only "A COM-like DLL Interface" which would work without the COM
magic.

ciao,
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Re: New 3MF file format

tp3
And another update regarding 3MF support...

The official library now has support for GCC compilation and it
actually does read and write 3MF files :-).

So basic support is possible (mainly limited by what OpenSCAD
can handle / produce right now). There seem to be some issues
with some of the example files, I guess it will be interesting
to see if there's any feedback for the bug report.
( https://github.com/3MFConsortium/lib3mf/issues/7 )

Interesting note: Ultimaker joined the 3MF Consortium last
December.

https://ultimaker.com/press/22-ultimaker-announces-joining-3mf-consortium-as-founding-member

ciao,
  Torsten.


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