The National Institutes of Health joins Web3D Consortium

Web3D Consortium welcomes National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a new Organizational Member. NIH's work in the 3D Print Exchange provides online scientific 3D-printable models to researchers and the public.

NIH 3D Print Exchange logoMountain View, California - The Web3D Consortium announces that The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has joined the Web3D Consortium as an Organizational Member to assist in developing and evolving the ISO X3D specifications. The NIH 3D Print Exchange is a collaborative effort led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in collaboration with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development and the National Library of Medicine.  

Very few scientific 3D-printable models are available online, and the expertise required to generate and validate such models remains a barrier. The NIH 3D Print Exchange eliminates this gap with an open and interactive website for searching, browsing, downloading, and sharing models for 3D printing.  The service simplifies a number of workflows for molecule, medical image as well as lab ware models, providing several interchange and validation steps using the X3D standard. The website is comprehensive, with interactive 3D previews native in the webpage (delivered via X3DOM) as well as modeling tutorials and educational material.

By joining Web3D as a Member, NIH 3D Print Exchange intends to take an active role in evolving X3D and its ecology of tools and applications.  X3D (and its predecessor VRML) makes it easier to create and share government-sponsored resources because the ISO standard provides both archival durability as well as the interoperability required to work across real-time Web3D graphics, 3D modeling and 3D printing tools.  The NIH team has been working closely with Virginia Tech on the current proof-of-capability X3D standards for model archive and 3D printing and NIH has already made key contributions to the evolution of the X3D specification.  

President of the Web3D Consortium, Nicholas Polys from Virginia Tech observed “The X3D Medical and CAD Working Groups are thrilled that NIH is taking a leadership role in supporting the durability, interoperability and portability of 3D data on the web.  Their contributions are pushing the envelope, making new scientific and educational breakthroughs possible; it is only through data sharing that we can increase our rate of discovery and improvement of care.”  

Anita Havele, executive director of the Web3D Consortium stated, “The Consortium warmly welcomes NIH and is looking forward to working closely with them to further improve X3D's functionality and interoperability in the areas of 3D modeling and printing.”

About the Web3D Consortium
The Web3D Consortium is an international nonprofit trade association with members from government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating by consensus to develop the publicly available X3D standard. X3D is the leading royalty-free, open 3D file format standard and run-time architecture to communicate 3D scenes on the Web. X3D supports interoperable 3D visualization across multiple hardware platforms in all market segments. More information on the Consortium and Consortium membership is available at


Press Release: 
Release Date: 
Wed, 2014-11-26