Dragonfly Help > File Formats > Mesh File Formats

Mesh File Formats

The following alphabetic list describes the mesh file formats supported by Dragonfly.

Mesh file formats



3D Studio Max (*.3ds)1

3DS is one of the file formats used by the Autodesk 3ds Max 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software and has become a de facto industry standard for transferring models between 3D programs, or for storing models for 3D resource catalogs. You should note that a number of limitations are associated with this file format, including:

  • All meshes must be made of triangles.
  • All texture filenames are limited to the 8.3 DOS format.
  • The number of vertices and polygons per mesh is limited to 65536.
  • Accurate vertex normals cannot be stored in the .3ds file. Instead smoothing groups are used so that the receiving program can recreate a representation of the vertex normals.
  • Object, light and camera names are limited to 10 characters. Material names are limited to 16 characters.
  • Directional light sources are not supported.

BREP (*.brep and *.rle)1

The Boundary Representation file format is used to store 3D models that can consist of vertices, edges, wires, faces, shells, solids, compounds, edge triangulations, face triangulations, polylines on triangulations, space location and orientation. Any set of such models may be stored as a single model, which is a compound of the models. ASCII encoding is used to read and write to the BREP format.

CSFDB (*.csfdb and *.csf)1

A file with the CSFDB or CSF file extension is an Open CASCADE 3D Model file.

DirectX (*.x)*

DirectX files define 3D geometries and are imported using the DirectAnimation component of DirectX.

IGES (*.iges and *.igs)1

The Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES) is a file format that defines a vendor neutral data format that allows the digital exchange of information among Computer-aided design (CAD) systems.

MESH (*.mesh)

MESH files are used by Medit, a French program for visualizing scientific models. The program displays computation results of mechanics related to solids, fluids, thermics, electromagnetism, and so on

OBJ (*.obj and *.mtl)

Lightwave, Wavefront 3D object files. The OBJ file contains geometry descriptions, while the associated MTL file format contains material descriptions.

NOTE Dragonfly does not support the import of MTL files, which are written in a proprietary format. Only the mesh geometries, not materials nor textures, can be imported for this mesh format.

OpenInventor (*.iv)

Binary or ASCII fie format used by OpenInventor.

ORS format (*ORSObject)

ORSObject files are proprietary binary formatted files in which data is written sequentially and XML (Extensible Markup Language) is appended after the binary data. Meshes saved in this format will retain their scalar values.

PLY (*.ply)

The PLY format was developed at the Stanford University Computer Graphics Lab for storing points and geometries. When writing to this format, additional information such as the vertex colors or scalar values will be written as well. However, other applications may not be able to interpret this additional data.

STEP (*.step and *.stp)1

STP is a file extension for a 3D graphic file used by CAD software. STP stands for STandard for the Exchange of Product model data. STP files are used to store 3D image data in an ASCII format, following the standards defined in ISO 10303-2.

STL (*.stl)

Stereo Lithography (STL) files are widely used as a standard for rapid prototyping applications. Most computer-aided design (CAD) applications provide an STL output format, which was developed by 3D Systems.

VRML (*.wrl)

Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML) files are ASCII text files with VRML tags. VRML is a subset of the Silicon Graphics OpenInventor file format and is used for storing 3D geometries.

VTK PolyData (*.vtk)

VTK PolyData file or VTK Unstructured Grid file.

VTK PolyData XML (*.vtp)1

VTK PolyData XML file.

1 Supported for import only.


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