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How To Make STL File For 3d Printing? Create STL Files for 3d Printed Model

How To Make Stl File For 3d Printing? 3D printing has changed the way we think about manufacturing. Gone are the days of waiting months or even years for a product to be delivered. With 3D printers, you can print your own products in hours and get them delivered anywhere in the world overnight!

But before you start printing anything, there’s one thing you need: STL files.

This blog post will show you how to create an STL file from any object with just a few easy steps.

We’ll also share some free STL files that are available on Thingiverse for download so you can get started right away!


How to make STL file for 3d printing?

In ZBrush, you can download a plugin called the 3D Print Exporter. It lets you save your model as an STL file that people can print. You need to select “STL” and then “Export.” After this, you’ll want to define the dimensions of your model and make sure it is scaled correctly.

STL is the standard file type that most 3D printer use.

STL is short for STereo. Lithography and is the format most 3D scanners use as well. If you’re new to 3D printing, you may not have come across this file type before.

STL files are made up of two-dimensional triangles that map out a three-dimensional shape.

Each triangle has an X, Y, and Z coordinate that tells the 3D printer where that specific vertex of the triangle is supposed to be in relation to its neighboring triangles. In turn, this information determines how the 3D printer will print out a shape.

STL files are created by slicing an object into many individual horizontal layers.

You can see what it looks like in the example below.

Once you have the sliced data, you send it to your 3D printer and outcomes a physical copy of that design! Pretty cool right?

The STL file type is extremely common when printing with plastic at home or in a small business for this reason.

It enables us to take any 2D image we create and quickly turn it into a 3D model. We’re also able to visualize our 3D designs before we print them which is super helpful so we don’t wind up wasting time and materials.

how to create stl file for 3d printing

How to make STL file in AutoCAD or CAD sofware? How to create stl files, export stl files, open stl files.

There are many different ways to make STL files in AutoCAD. Probably the easiest one takes advantage of Autodesk’s official “Export to 3D Model” feature which is part of the DWG TrueView product line. It can be downloaded via the Internet either as a separate download or as an integral part of certain suites (see below).

Thanks for this functionality go to Dassault Systemes, which owns SolidWorks – one of several CAD programs that natively export *.stl files. However, DWG Trueview is currently only available on the Windows version of AutoCAD/AutoCAD LT and not for other versions nor platforms.

Another way to do it is by using plugin-free open-source software called MeshLab and a set of Python scripts and Batch files using the Hugin stitching library.

It is also possible to export the file as *.stl from within any CAD program that supports this feature. This can be achieved by exporting it as an STL file in some other third-party converter (see below). FlatCAM, for example, provides such an option when working with *.dwg files.

It is worth mentioning here that there are actually two competing standards for STL files: one published by 3D Systems and another one published by ANSI (American National Standards Institute).

The first one (3DS) is used natively only by the company’s own programs and others which were written to their specific requirements; whereas the second standard (ANSI) is supported by virtually all CAD programs, but often requires additional tweaking of the STL file before it can be properly processed.

AutoCAD users are thus advised to avoid getting into unnecessary trouble with SolidWorks exports – if their software does not report any errors during the process, the resulting *.stl files are always ready for immediate use in virtually any third-party program.

However, exporting the mesh as STL from within AutoCAD/AutoCAD LT using DWG TrueView turned out to be the exact opposite – it converts mesh primitives (solids) to meshes instead of solids! This was confirmed by several reports at Autodesk’s official discussion board.

how to edit stl files for 3d printing

List of various 3rd party freeware and commercial programs, which support DWG/STL import/export:

  • If a .stl file is imported into AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT, the program automatically creates a mesh. To enable this option go to the “Customization” menu item. Under “Application Preferences”, select the “Import / Export” category and check the box next to “Export meshes as solid bodies”. In addition, you need to check the option “Create Mesh object in current drawing”. Now when you get back to the main application window, there should be an entry for *.stl format in your Import-Export dropdown list (on the left side of the application window). Once you select this entry, AutoCAD/AutoCAD LT will ask for the *.stl file path name and proceed to import or export it.
  • MeshLab is a portable open-source software that reads several mesh formats. It can be downloaded from the SourceForge website. Open one of many files formats supported by MeshLab (e.g., .PLY) in it. Now you will see two panes – the upper pane displays the original data, while the lower one shows how these data are viewed after being imported into the MeshLab project. You will also notice numerous sliders controlling different aspects of displayed view – moving them up and down makes mesh geometry more or less complex / detailed, which better illustrates the whole import process.

how to make pla look like wood

  • Now press the “Export mesh as…” button on top of the MeshLab window, select STL file format from available options, and save it to your disk drive. You can then import this file into AutoCAD or any other software that supports *.stl files. An important note here – be sure to check the option “Delete source geometry” before saving *.stl, otherwise, data might get lost upon the next export attempt!
  • Another application worth mentioning is Geomagic Studio (formerly known as Accurender). It is an advanced computer-aided design model processing tool for both Windows and Mac OS X. The program can also create STL files from CAD models directly without using third-party converters – simply click the “Export” button in the main toolbar, choose STL file format from the list of available options, and save it to the disk drive. Note that you will need to use the trial version if you wish to create *.stl files – purchase license key for commercial use after the 30-day trial expires.

STL is a simple and robust file format for storing CAD data. However, there are certain limitations that affect its usability.

how do i make stl files for 3d printing

How To Make Stl File For 3d Printing? (cre: markforged)

Free STL files for 3D printing.

All this month (until the end of December, and then we start all over again), I’m going to share with you a free STL file for 3D printing.

If you didn’t know, an STL file is what your 3D printer needs to print in three dimensions..

For this week’s model, I decided on making a flint & steel. It should work as a lighter even if it doesn’t produce sparks (I experimented on mine and it still works like a charm).

The flints can be replaced once they’re worn out. Also, please bear in mind that since the original steel part isn’t polished, it requires polishing before use.

STL file exemplary for a simple ring model? How to create it?

The STL file format is an interesting file format in the sense that it was developed to store 3D meshes in a way so they can be sent over computer networks efficiently and also read back by 3D printers or other rendering software.

As such, the STL format has been the subject of many research papers and implementations and it has been quite successful (to date there are no major issues with using STL files generated from CAD systems).

However, this lack of “feature” also makes the STL format not suitable for storing all kinds of arbitrary 3D models; while we can use e.g.

Blender to convert such a model into an STL file, the resulting file will very likely contain features that make it difficult for a computer to process. Hence, if we want to support advanced features in Platon, we have to come up with our own 3D model format which allows us to represent those features efficiently and without interfering with the STL format.

In this article, I will walk you through how my implementation of such an alternative 3D model format is supposed to work as well as how it performs against various types of models.

As usual, I’ll be using C++ throughout this article which means that if you’re unfamiliar with the language, you might find some parts hard to understand

– Even though I will try not to make any assumptions about your knowledge base apart from knowing the basics of what a programming language is and how it works. You can download all source code and data used.

How To Make STL File For 3d Printing

How To Make Stl File For 3d Printing? (cre: stratasysdirect)

Can you 3d print obj files? Sculpteo Service Review

No, you cannot directly 3d print a .obj file. What you can do is open the .obj in a modeling app and generate paths for your CNC machine or another gcode generating device to cut or etch.

That being said some CAD programs have built-in exporter tools that allow you to export to a .stl which all but the low-end printers will understand how to read.


If you are looking at purchasing a printer with some special abilities take some time and check out all of its capabilities.

If it has a laser cutter, CNC router, and/or rotary tool will then it might be worth considering even if it doesn’t specifically state that it understands 3d printing formats like STL or OBJ.


There are a few different ways to create an STL file for 3D printing. These methods depend on your computer’s operating system and the software you have installed, but most of them involve using a program with which you can export data in this format.

The best way to find out how to do it is by looking up instructions specific to your version of Windows or MacOS/macOS Sierra, whichever applies. You should be able to find tutorials online that demonstrate each process step-by-step if necessary. Once you know what method works best for you, there’s no limit as far as what kind of object you could try making!

Further Reading: 

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