26 Messages


900 Points

Friday, August 19th, 2022 2:00 PM

What can you do with the 3MF format beyond 3D Printing?

3D printing is a technology that is rapidly growing in popularity, and it is having a profound impact on the way that people create things. It is a flexible technique that is proving to be extremely valuable in a variety of scientific applications, notably in biomedical research. In chemical research however, 3D-printing molecules remain at this stage more of a nice-to-have (like having a trophy of a hard-to-synthesize molecule) than a vital need for chemists. Some common drawbacks of 3D-printing also include:

  • A steep learning curve for Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) 3D software applications.
  • Expensive equipment and consumables or high costs associated with online 3D-printing services.
  • The limitations in size and details for 3D-printed objects.

Luckily the 3MF format can be used in a much more direct and effective manner for chemistry thanks to Microsoft Office. 3MF objects are indeed natively supported in PowerPoint and Word when used as part of an Office 365 subscription. It means that chemists can copy a 3D model of their molecules (as a 3MF object) directly from ChemDraw with the 3D clean-up function and paste an interactive, animatable 3D model inside a PowerPoint presentation.


Tell us more about yourself. Have you used the “copy as 3MF” capability to produce animated 3D slides for presenting your research?


3 Messages


295 Points

3 days ago

I think the ability to export 3D structures to 3MF is fantastic!

We have been exploring how to animate 3D chemical structures in PowerPoint for a while. Here is our latest video from a few months ago, in which we explored how 3MF objects generated in ChemDraw can be manipulated in PowerPoint, particularly objects that have multiple "layers":


For our previous video on this topic, see:


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