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Types of 3D model files

Most popular (common) 3-D model software file formats and extensions.
3D computer graphics are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering of 2D images.

Despite these differences, 3D computer graphics rely on many of the same algorithms as 2D computer vector and raster graphics in the final rendered display. In computer graphics software, the distinction between 2D and 3D is blurred; 2D applications may use 3D techniques to achieve effects such as lighting, and primarily 3D may use 2D rendering techniques.

3D computer graphics are often referred to as 3D models. Apart from the rendered graphic, the model is contained within the graphical data file. However, there are differences. A 3D model is the mathematical depiction of any three-dimensional object. A model is not in principle a graphic until it is displayed visually. Due to 3D printing, 3D models are not confined to virtual space. A model can be displayed as a two-dimensional image through a process of 3D rendering, or used in non-graphical computer simulations and calculations.

3D graphics list alphabetic listing
3D graphics are 3D models list that allow you to build models in real-time or non real-time 3D rendering.

  • 3DMF — QuickDraw 3D Metafile (.3dmf)
    3DS, MAX — 3D Studio Max Model (.max, .3ds)
    3DT — 3D Topicscape The database in which the meta-data of a 3D Topicscape is held. A 3D Topicscape is a form of 3D concept map (like a 3D mind-map) used to organize ideas, information and computer files.
    ATY — 3D Topicscape file, produced when an association type is exported by 3D Topicscape. Used to permit round-trip (export Topicscape, change files and folders as desired, re-import them to 3D Topicscape).
    AC — AC3D Model (.ac)
    AN8 — Anim8or Model (.an8)
    AOI — Art of Illusion Model (.aoi)
    B3D — Blitz3D Model (.b3d)
    BLEND — Blender (.blend)
    C4D — Cinema 4D (.c4d)
    Cal3D — Cal3D (.cal3d)
    CAG - Linear Reference System.
    CFL — Compressed File Library (.cfl)
    COB — Caligari Object (.cob)
    CTM — OpenCTM (.ctm)
    DAE — COLLADA (.dae)
    DTS — Torque Game Engine (.dts)
    EGG — Panda3D Engine
    FACT — Electric Image (.fac)
    FBX — Autodesk FBX (.fbx)
    FES — 3D Topicscape file, produced when a fileless occurrence in 3D Topicscape is exported to Windows. Used to permit round-trip (export Topicscape, change files and folders as desired, re-import them to 3D Topicscape).
    G — BRL-CAD geometry (.g)
    GLM — Ghoul Mesh (.glm)
    LWO — Lightwave Object (.lwo)
    LWS — Lightwave Scene (.lws)
    LXO — Luxology Modo (software) file (.lxo)
    MA — Autodesk Maya ASCII File (.ma)
    MB — Autodesk Maya Binary File (.mb)
  • MD2 — Quake 2 model format (.md2)
    MD3 — Quake 3 model format (.md3)
    MDX — Blizzard Entertainment's own model format (.mdx)
    MESH — New York University(.m)
    MESH — Meshwork Model (.mesh)
    MM3D — Misfit Model 3d (.mm3d)
    MM — FreeMind mind map file (XML).
    MMP — Mind Manager mind map file.
    TPC — 3D Topicscape file, produced when an inter-Topicscape topic link file is exported to Windows. Used to permit round-trip (export Topicscape, change files and folders as desired, re-import them to 3D Topicscape).
    NIF — Gamebryo NetImmerse File (.nif)
    OBJ — OBJ (.obj)
    OFF — OFF Object file format (.off)
    PRC — Adobe PRC (embedded in PDF files)
    POV — POV-Ray Document (.pov)
    RWX — RenderWare Object (.rwx)
    SIA — Nevercenter Silo Object (.sia)
    SIB — Nevercenter Silo Object (.sib)
    ANEE — 3D Flash Gallery Model[1] (.u3d)
    SKP — Google Sketchup file (.skp)
    SLDASM — SolidWorks Assembly Document (.sldasm)
    SLDPRT — SolidWorks Part Document (.sldprt)
    SMD — Valve's format. (.smd)
    U3D — Universal 3D file format (.u3d)
    WINGS — Wings3D (.wings)
    X — DirectX 3D Model (.x)
    X3D — Extensible 3D (.x3d)
    Z3D — Zmodeler (.z3d)
Computer-aided design list (CAD) alphabetic listing
Computer-aided design (CAD) software assists engineers, architects and other design professionals in project design.

  • 3dmlw - 3DMLW (3D Markup Language for Web) files
    3dxml - Dassault Systemes graphic representation
    ACP — VA Software VA - Virtual Architecture CAD file
    AR — Ashlar-Vellum Argon - 3D Modeling
    ART — ArtCAM model
    ASC — BRL-CAD Geometry File (old ascii format)
    ASM — Solidedge Assembly, Pro/ENGINEER Assembly
    BIN, BIM — Data Design System DDS-CAD
    CCC — CopyCAD Curves
    CCM — CopyCAD Model
    CCS — CopyCAD Session
    CAD — CadStd
    CATDrawing - CATIA V5 Drawing document
    CATPart - CATIA V5 Part document
    CATProduct - CATIA V5 Assembly document
    CATProcess - CATIA V5 Manufacturing document
    cgr - CATIA V5 graphic representation file
    CO — Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt - parametric drafting and 3D modeling
    DRW - Caddie Early version of Caddie drawing - Prior to Caddie changing to DWG
    DWG — AutoCAD and Open Design Alliance applications
    DFT — Solidedge Draft
    DGN — MicroStation design file
    DGK — Delcam Geometry
    DMT — Delcam Machining Triangles
    DXF — ASCII Drawing Interchange file format - AutoCAD
    DWB — VariCAD drawing file
    DWF — AutoDesk's Web Design Format; AutoCAD & Revit can publish to this format; similar in concept to PDF files; AutoDesk Design Review is the reader
    EMB - Wilcom - Wilcom ES Designer Embroidery CAD file
    ESW - Agtek format
    EXCELLON, or Excellon file
    FM — FeatureCAM Part File
    FMZ — FormZ Project file
    G — BRL-CAD Geometry File
    GERBER, or Gerber file
    GRB — T-FLEX CAD File
    GTC - GRAITEC Advance file format
  • IAM — Autodesk Inventor Assembly file
    ICD — IronCAD 2D CAD file
    IDW — Autodesk Inventor Drawing file
    IFC - buildingSMART for sharing AEC and FM data
    IGES— Initial Graphics Exchange Specification
    Intergraph's Intergraph Standard File Formats
    IPN — Autodesk Inventor Presentation file
    IPT — Autodesk Inventor Part file model - CATIA V4 part document
    PAR — Solidedge Part
    PRT — NX (recently known as Unigraphics), Pro/ENGINEER Part, CADKEY Part
    PLN — ArchiCad project
    PSM — Solidedge Sheet
    PSMODEL — PowerSHAPE Model
    PWI — PowerINSPECT File
    PYT — Pythagoras File
    SKP- SketchUp Model
    RLF — ArtCAM Relief
    RVT — AutoDesk Revit project files
    RFA — AutoDesk Revit family files
    SLDASM — SolidWorks Assembly drawing
    SLDDRW — SolidWorks 2D drawing
    SLDPRT — SolidWorks 3D part model
    Softimage's dotXSI
    STEP — Standard for the Exchange of Product model data
    STL Stereo Lithographic data format (see STL (file format)) used by various CAD systems and stereo lithographic printing machines.
    TCT - TurboCAD drawing template
    TCW - TurboCAD for Windows 2D and 3D drawing
    VC6 — Ashlar-Vellum Graphite - 2D and 3D drafting
    VLM — Ashlar-Vellum Vellum, Vellum 2D, Vellum Draft, Vellum 3D, DrawingBoard
    VS — Ashlar-Vellum Vellum Solids
    WRL Similar to STL, but includes color. Used by various CAD systems and 3D printing rapid prototyping machines. Also used for VRML models on the web.
    XE — Ashlar-Vellum Xenon - for Associative 3D Modeling

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