STL

STL (STereoLithography) is a file format native to the stereolithography CAD software. This file format is supported by many other software packages; it is widely used for rapid prototyping, 3D printing and computer-aided manufacturing. STL files describe only the surface geometry of a three-dimensional object without any representation of color, texture or other common CAD model attributes. The STL format specifies both ASCII and binary representations. Binary files are more common, since they are more compact.

Definition scope

  • Polygonal representations

STL import (read)

Both text and binary formats are supported.

The STL format describes a model with the help of individual triangles. Thus, it does not allow to transfer any precise geometry, product structure, meta-data and even connectivity information.

STL export (write)

STL SDK

Software vendors can use CAD Exchanger SDK to extend their C++, C# and Java applications to read, write, convert, visualize, analyze, triangulate or otherwise process STL files. For details about STL support by CAD Exchanger SDK please refer to the User’s Guide. For free evaluation of SDK please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..