The Next-Generation 3D Printing Data Format FAV, Which Enables an Unprecedented Wide Range of Expression

In July 2016, Fuji Xerox released the specifications of its next-generation 3D printing data format, FAV, which stands for fabricatable voxel. Other 3D data formats, such as the previous de facto standard STL as well as recently proposed mesh-based data formats such as AMF and 3MF, can only express information about the outer surfaces of three-dimensional objects. Because the FAV format defines 3D data in the form of voxels (the three-dimensional equivalent of pixels) arranged in three-dimensional configurations, it can be used to express information about the internal structures of three-dimensional objects as well as about their outer surfaces. In addition, FAV allows attribute information used for fabrication (e.g., color, material, and connection strength) to be defined for each voxel, enabling users to take fuller advantage of the capabilities of 3D printers. The FAV format makes it possible for individual processes that were separate up until now to be linked seamlessly. For example, it is possible for users to perform design (CAD), analysis (CAE), and inspection (CAT) using 3D model data in the FAV format without converting it into other formats. Users can also reflect the analysis results and fabrication equipment (CAM) characteristics back into the design. By enabling the flexible interoperation of these processes, FAV makes the realization of business transformation in the field of engineering possible.


  • Tomonari Takahashi
    Marking Technology Laboratory, Research & Technology Group
  • Masahiko Fujii
    Marking Technology Laboratory, Research & Technology Group