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This paper proposes a novel approach for mono-resolution 3D mesh compression, called TFAN (Triangle Fan-based compression). TFAN treats in a unified manner meshes of arbitrary topologies, i.e. manifold or not, oriented or not, while supporting real-time decoding. The proposed approach has been evaluated on both manifold and non-manifold databases, including more than 7000 3D mesh models. Experiments show that the TFAN approach outperforms existing techniques such as MPEG-4 3DMC or Tourna & Gotsman, with decoding times lower by an order of magnitude at equivalent or even better levels of compression efficiency (+/-10% in bitrate). When applied to non-manifold 3D data, the compression performances are significantly enhanced (6% to 30% gain in bitrate). Due to its high compression performances TFAN has been recently retained for ISO MPEG-4 standardization.