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.
Rhinoceros (typically abbreviated Rhino, or Rhino3D) is a commercial 3D computer graphics and computer-aided design (CAD) application software. Rhinoceros geometry is based on the NURBS mathematical model, which focuses on producing mathematically precise representation of curves and freeform surfaces in computer graphics (as opposed to polygon mesh-based applications).
Rhinoceros is used in processes of computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), rapid prototyping, 3D printing and reverse engineering in industries including architecture, industrial design (e.g. automotive design, watercraft design), product design (e.g. jewelry design) as well as for multimedia and graphic design.
The Rhinoceros file format (.3DM) is useful for the exchange of NURBS geometry. The Rhino developers started the openNURBS Initiative to provide computer graphics software developers the tools to accurately transfer 3-D geometry between applications. An open-source toolkit, openNURBS includes the 3DM file format specification, documentation, C++ source code libraries and .NET 2.0 assemblies to read and write the file format, on supported platforms (Windows, Windows x64, Mac, and Linux).
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