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What do you understand by STL file format?

Basically STL file Describes the layout of a three- dimensional object (3D). STL files are usually generated by a computer aided design (CAD) program. This file format has been adopted by many other CAD software packages. STL stands for “STereoLithography” & it standard include two data formats- ASCII and Binary. STL information can be stored in plain text or binary form.


  • STL file supported by multiple 3D modelling software packages and 3D printers.
  • It is compact & simple file format.


  • STL file is no representation of color, texture, substructure, material or other attributes typically found in other CAD file formats.
  • STL files are limited to describing only the surface geometry of a three dimensional object.
  • STL files have no file security and inability to detect or fix errors in the surface mesh.

How to Open STL file

  • STEP1: Select STL file on your PC
  • STEP2: Double click on STL file
  • STEP3: Go to “option with” option and select compatible application that open STL file.
  • Note: (If compatible application not installed in your PC, so you download a STL viewer tool that open a IGS file).

List of File types using the STL file

  • ROSE Online file
  • Win2020 screen subtitle
  • Adobe fireworks style library file
  • EBU standard open and teletext file
  • ClarisWorks data file
  • C++ standard template library


STL is an ASCII STL format as well as a binary STL format. This File provides only a description of the surface geometry of an object, without any indication of other attributes including color and texture. An STL file provides a complete listing of the X,Y and Z coordinates of these corners & perpendiculars.