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STL Files

STL stands for Standard Triangle Language and is a standard file format in 3D printing. STL files store information about 3D models by using geometry to represent the surface of the 3D model without any color or texture. Raise3D categorized STL files that are available for download into three separate categories. The first category focuses on 3D printed parts that can be produced by 3D printers from Raise3D. The second category focuses on COVID-19 related STL files. The final category discusses printer calibration.

FAQ Regarding STL Files

STL stands for Standard Triangle Language and is used by CAD programs as a standard file format in 3D printing. STL files use triangles to represent the surface of a 3D model without any color or texture. A high-resolution STL file will use more triangles to create the 3D model. Increasing the number of triangles used to create the 3D model also increases the size of the 3D model.

However, a 3D model with a lower number of triangles risks becoming low-resolution. If a 3D model is low-resolution, there is a risk it will print visible triangle shapes on the surface of the final 3D printed part.

There are a couple of different options for opening an STL file. The first and most straight forward method of opening an STL file is to use 3D printing software. An example of a 3D printing tool that opens STL files is ideaMaker, a 3D slicing software from Raise3D. In ideaMaker pressing the “+” icon imports the STL files.

The second method of opening an STL file is by using CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software. Since CAD software designs and modifies 3D models, CAD can open an STL file.

Making an STL file generally means designing and modifying a 3D model in CAD software. CAD produces a digital design in two or three-dimensional formats that can be used to print a physical object.

A second method of creating an STL file is by using a 3D scanner. A 3D scanner creates models by taking snapshots of physical objects and fusing the snapshots to create a 3D model. With this method, the 3D model is the STL file.

Editing an STL file mainly occurs in CAD software. Some examples of editing an STL file includes changing the resolution and resizing the 3D model. CAD software can edit STL files if the resolution on the 3D model needs to be changed or if the model needs resizing.

Some slicing software, such as ideaMaker, can edit an STL file. ideaMaker can perform simple editing tasks such as rotate, scale, free cut, duplicate, and repair.

Additional Resources

For more tutorials and resources regarding STL files and how to slice the STL files in ideaMaker, please visit Raise3D Academy.