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.
Approximately 23% of CAD professionals globally use SolidWorks on daily basis. Together they generate tremendous volume of 3D files in native format, which are troublesome to feed into 3rd party major and minor CAD systems due to format specifics. SolidWorks files (previous to version 2015) use the Microsoft Structured Storage file format. This means that there are various files embedded within each SLDDRW (drawing files), SLDPRT (part files), SLDASM (assembly files) file, including preview bitmaps and metadata sub-files. CAD Exchanger seamlessly reads SolidWorks data and converts to the file format of your choice.
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