Model #: axf001

Appearance Exchange Format (AxF™)

AxF is a vendor-neutral file format that  digitally stores and shares a material’s appearance properties across PLM, CAD and rendering applications for unmatched realism and efficiency in all steps of the design-to-production workflow. 

Vendor Neutral File Format for Communicating Appearance in Virtual Design

Integration of real world materials has traditionally provided challenges in virtual product design. Traditionally, design teams have approximated the physical (optical) behavior of materials in digital tools through tedious and time-consuming, manual re-creation and editing. These ‘hand-made’ virtual representations are neither accurate nor able to be shared across the numerous design and rendering tools used at various stages of the workflow, creating significant challenges for designers. 

X-Rite’s Appearance Exchange Format (AxF) helps to address these challenges by providing a vendor-neutral file format that allows the full communication of visual appearance in a single, editable file in order to improve the virtualization process. AxF provides a standard way to store and share all relevant appearance data – color, texture, gloss, refraction, translucency, special effects (sparkles) and reflection properties – across Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Computer-Aided Design (CAD), and state-of-the art rendering applications. AxF is a foundational component of the Total Appearance Capture Ecosystem and enables an entirely new level of consistency and accuracy in the digital representation of physical materials across these tools, streamlining the design process and accelerating time to market.


  • Creates standardized appearance representations that ompress raw data from terabytes to megabytes, providing third-party software applications with efficient access to a full set of material appearance characteristics without compromising performance. 
  • Enables the creation of full-scale digital mock-ups featuring even sophisticated materials such as special-effects paints, leather, plastics, fabrics, wood, and brushed metals.
  • Accelerates time to market by reducing design time and approval cycles. 
  • Resolves interoperability issues across PLM, CAD, and rendering software applications and ensures that design and marketing teams achieve a consistent look and feel from digital prototyping to showroom and point-of-sale environments.
  • Enables flexibility by not restricting specific devices or measurement geometry, spanning single spectrum to full BSSRDF.
  • Highly portable, with SDKs available for Windows and Linux operating systems
  • Compatible with SVBRDF-based workflows

AxF Sample File Library 

Experience working with AxF digital material files today. Choose from ready-to-use materials in BTF, SVBDRF and CarPaint formats. To download and work with the files you will need compatible 3D rendering software, such as Autodesk VRED™ Professional 2017, Lumiscaphe Patchwork 3D, Luxion KeyShot® and the NVIDIA Iray®.

Experience AxF

Compatible Applications

Find out more about our Appearance Exchange File Format (AxF) and how you can digitally capture appearance data to enhance your Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and state-of-the-art rendering applications. Contact us today for more details on our AxF integration partner program.

Compatible Applications for AxF

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