We bumped into Lattice Technology, a company that produces 3D modeling software. What's the big deal? Actually, it's a small deal: Lattice uses a unique storage format, XVL, that offers tremendous space savings over conventional 3D storage formats.
According to Bill Barnes, GM of Lattice:
"Our converters use the industry’s best translation technologies and allow massive 3D data to be compressed, very accurately, into files that are 1% or less of the original size. This makes even the biggest assemblies easily manageable and usable."
Using Lattice's converters, your large files from "every major 3D CAD format" are transformed into XVL and then can use Lattice's 3D tools for visualization, verification, etc.
What does this mean for the 3D print space? We suspect that lightweight file formats will eventually become dominant because they will be easier to deal with. Increasingly complex 3D objects will have increasingly large file sizes. Who would want to download a 1GB pencil holder? The 3D space will be a lot simpler in the future should we adopt more lightweight formats.