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.
PLY is a computer file format known as the Polygon File Format or the Stanford Triangle Format. It was designed to store three-dimensional data from 3D scanners. The data storage format supports a relatively simple description of a single object as a list of nominally flat polygons.
A CAD file is an output of a CAD software, containing key information about the designed object: its geometry and topology representation, 3D model hierarchy, metadata, and visual attributes depending on the format of the file.Read more
In the sixth part of the series, we cover the ubiquitous mesh format tying 3D and reality through 3D printing applicationsRead more
CAD Exchanger imports and tesselates FBX, glTF, OBJ, PLY, and STL files, making them ready for further optimization by RapidCompact.Read more