3D Model-Based Engineering (MBE) is an approach to product design, manufacturing, and support where a digital three-dimensional representation of the product serves as the normative source for information communicated throughout the products lifecycle and supply chain. MBE simplifies data management and provides a more powerful communication medium than 2D-based environments. Lightweight formats, offering a low-cost way for humans to view and potentially for applications to consume geometry and Product Manufacturing Information (PMI), are a critical component of MBE and enable collaboration without requiring that business partners buy expensive Computer-aided Design (CAD) systems. These formats are becoming increasingly popular and increasingly complex as their representational capabilities grow. Their value to industry is driving a push for standardization. We discuss the advent of MBE, the standards and technologies that make it possible, and the importance and challenges of product data validation.