STL Viewer – ABViewer 15
STL Viewer — программа для просмотра, измерения и конвертации STL файлов. STL Viewer позволяет конвертировать STL в DWG, STL в DXF и другие форматы.
Формат файла STL используется для хранения трехмерных моделей объектов для использования в технологиях быстрого прототипирования. Для представления формы 3D-модели в STL используется последовательность треугольников без описания цвета, текстуры или других атрибутов.
Top 8 Best Free STL Viewers
The STL file format is one of the fundamental foundations of the modern 3D printing community. STL files have a small file size, are easy to share, and generally maintain the integrity of the original 3D model.
Another huge advantage of STL files is how easily they can be viewed or opened, even if you don’t have a fancy CAD software platform. This makes it easy to check STL files before you load them onto a 3D printer. In this article, we will be going through all the best options for opening or viewing your STL files. All of these are free to either use or download.
Top 4 best free online STL viewers
If you have a stable Internet connection, you don’t even need to download software to view STL files. These platforms can be accessed online using your browser and provide all the essential tools to viewing (or even editing) your STL files.
TinkerCAD has been an all-time favorite not just in the field of 3D printing, but for general 3D modeling. This beginner-friendly web-based platform by Autodesk is so easy to use that the developers claim that someone with no experience can come up with a 3D model within the first five minutes.
3D files in either OBJ or STL formats can be imported into TinkerCAD. 2D SVG (vector) files are also accepted. You can use the web interface to explore your 3D models or make a few edits using the basic tools that TInkerCAD offers.
Take note that the editing options of TinkerCAD aren’t as sophisticated as professional CAD software platforms. At best, you can make add or subtract shapes from an STL file or split a single file into different objects. As an STL viewer, TinkerCAD is one of the best and most convenient options.
ViewSTL is a no-fuss web-based STL viewer. It does not require a user to sign up to an account, nor does it upload 3D files to any server. According to the site, all 3D models are stored and processed on your computer, so you don’t have to worry about anyone else gaining access to it.
Despite the name, ViewSTL also supports 3D files in OBJ or 3MF file formats. From the moment you open the website, you can go straight ahead to importing your files into the platform. ViewSTL also offers options to view your 3D objects in different colors and different shading styles.
If you’re thinking of sprucing up your WordPress website with a custom 3D model, then you can also use ViewSTL’s plug-in called “WP ViewSTL.” The plug-in bonus is certainly nice, but the streamlined workflow that ViewSTL provides is probably its best quality.
ShareCAD is another free online platform for viewing 3D models. Its main benefit is that it offers compatibility with a wide range of 3D file formats. Aside from STL files, you can open more than 20 other different file types in ShareCAD including vector and raster images, 3D models, CAD models, and file archives.
Despite the rich functions of the web platform, you can use ShareCAD right away upon visiting the website without having to sign up for an account. ShareCAD limits file sizes to only 50 MB.
If you like the performance of ShareCAD, you can support the developers directly by downloading the ABViewer desktop application viewing and editing CAD files. The application can be downloaded as a trial version that can be upgraded to a perpetual license with a one-time fee.
4. Autodesk Viewer
If you’re looking for an online platform for viewing STL files that offers so much more functionalities, then it’s tough to beat this online viewer from 3D modeling specialists Autodesk. Out of all the online viewers we have highlighted here, Autodesk Viewer is the most appropriate for professional use.
As you would expect, Autodesk Viewer is compatible with a large array of 2D and 3D file formats. Aside from STL, this web viewer can also be used to open more than 50 other file types including OBJ, 3DM, GLB, and GLTF. Aside from a comprehensive selection of viewing options, Autodesk Viewer also allows you to inspect 3D models using cutting planes and several measurement tools.
Autodesk Viewer is excellent for collaborating on projects. Files can be shared via a link and viewed using any device. These are great for professionals who need to send 3D models to clients and partners.
Perhaps the only downside of using Autodesk Viewer is that you and your collaborators will need to sign up for Autodesk accounts. Most of the essential tools are available in the free version of the platform, but there is also a paid version to access the more advanced tools and sharing options.
Top 4 best free offline STL viewers
If you’re constantly on the go and have no assurance of having a stable Internet connection, then you’re probably better off downloading an STL viewer application.
FreeCAD is one of the most popular open-source CAD editing platforms today. It is fairly high-level design software that is more suitable for experienced users. The open-source nature of the program has made it very useful for designers with special requirements and has helped the platform evolve over the years.
If you’re just looking for software that can open STL files, then FreeCAD is perfectly capable and certainly over-qualified. The parametric environment of FreeCAD means that every single object can be interpreted based on its properties or numerical values. This provides a different perspective to viewing an STL model and can be a good basis for learning how to modify or create 3D models.
While FreeCAD isn’t exactly beginner-friendly, one cannot argue its value for being a completely free software for sophisticated CAD design. If you have the patience, FreeCAD provides a good environment for learning about advanced 3D modeling.
STLView by ModuleWorks is as simple as it gets. It is a downloadable viewer that works exclusively for STL files. The viewing options are quite rudimentary but useful. The software allows you to change the colors of the 3D model and its background. It is a lightweight, no-frills platform for reviewing your STL files before 3D printing.
Perhaps one advantage of STLView is that it has versions for both Windows and Android platforms. This means that you can download it not just for your computer, but also for your mobile devices. Being able to view STL files on a phone or tablet is massively convenient, especially if you have to collaborate with other people.
3. Microsoft 3D Viewer
If you have a Windows computer, then it makes sense to go with the most obvious option. This free 3D Viewer from Microsoft is compatible with a respectable range of 3D file types including STL, OBJ, 3MF, PLY, GLB, and GTLF.
Microsoft 3D Viewer offers an impressive selection of viewing and inspection tools. 3D models can be modified with different colors, backgrounds, shading, and can even be viewed under different lighting conditions. The models can also be swapped between render and wireframe modes.
Devices with cameras can run the Microsoft 3D Viewer app in mixed reality mode. In this mode, 3D models can be superimposed on the device’s camera view. This can be used to create interesting photos and videos with practically any 3D model of your choice. This could be useful for commercial uses such as architecture or interior design, but let’s be honest – this feature is best for just messing around and having fun.
4. Fast STL Viewer
As the name implies, Fast STL Viewer is all about speed. This purely mobile application is available to download for Android users. It is a lightweight platform for viewing 3D models on your phone, so it may not be as feature-rich as the other 3D viewers in this list.
Despite the limitations, Fast STL Viewer is quite impressive for a mobile app. It can load large STL files with millions of triangles, has different viewing options, and can identify mesh boundaries. The app can open multiple models at once and can open files directly from e-mail attachments or other file management apps like Google Drive and Dropbox.
The features described above are available in the free version of Fast STL Viewer. You can also choose to buy additional features such as more viewing options (such as changing the color or background and viewing in wireframe mode) and a volume calculation mode. The paid version of the app also removes any banner ads.
Why are STL files so small?
The STL (Stereolithography) file format is one of the most compact file types for 3D models. Because of this, the STL file format has been the standard for sharing models for 3D printing. If you have downloaded any 3D models from sites like Thingiverse or Cults3D, then they were very likely in the STL format.
The concept of tessellation is a central element to the creation of an STL file. When a 3D model is converted to an STL file, its curved surfaces are represented as a series of tessellated triangles. At best, this is just an approximation of the curved surface. However, this severely reduces the size of an STL file compared to the original 3D model with actual curved surfaces.
Another unique characteristic of STL files is that they contain no surface data. This means that an STL file has no information on the color or surface of a 3D model. Again, this is a measure that helps reduce the file size of an STL model but also makes the file less detailed.
Not all STL files that you encounter may be small. In some cases, highly detailed models are rendered with millions of triangles. This preserves accurate details and better represents curved features. However, the problem with such large files is that you may not be able to open them, especially if you are using a free STL viewer. Most of the free STL viewers we have showcased in this list have a file size limit of only 50 MB. Larger STL files are also more difficult to slice should you plan to use them for 3D printing.
If you’re using an STL file for 3D printing, it is usually a good idea to check the quality of the model using a simple STL viewer. You don’t need fancy CAD software for this – you wouldn’t even need to spend a single cent. These free STL viewers allow you to review an STL file or view it under different conditions.
As these free STL viewers demonstrate, 3D modeling and 3D printing do not need to be very expensive. You can even create your very own 3D models using free platforms like FreeCAD and TinkerCAD. There are always limitations in a free platform, but a bit of creativity can go a long way towards bridging those limitations.
Файл формата stl: чем открыть, описания, особенности
Расширение встречается при работе с 3D-моделями. Собственно, этот формат разрабатывался для трехмерн.
- Распространенные файлы, содержащие субтитры к фильмам. Иногда встречаются с расширением .ebu. Открыть такие файлы могут текстовые редакторы, либо некоторые редакторы видеофайлов, например Final cut, Micrografx Designer, EZTitles, Avid Media Composer;
- Служебный файл двухмерной игры SuperTux, который содержит в себе информацию об игровом процессе, саундтреке, фоновом изображении и игровых объектах;
- Служебный файл программы Adobe Fireworks, в котором хранится библиотека стилей;
- Рабочий файл Microsoft, предназначенный для использования в Интернете. Хранит данные о сертификатах доверия к веб-ресурсам, которые не требуют режима безопасного соединения;
- Служебный файл игры ROSE Online от южнокорейского разработчика. Включает в себя информацию об игре. Редактируется специализированным ПО для работы над играми, например программой Geobot’s STL editor.
Как и чем открыть файл stl
- 3D Studio Max;
- Dassault Systemes SolidWorks;
- ideaMK STL Viewer;
Best STL Viewers 2020
Everyone who works with 3D files, from engineers and architects to graphic designers and artists, tries to find a perfect viewer that combines affordability and efficiency. Today, there are plenty of STL file viewers which are available free of charge, yet provide an extensive set of viewing tools.
A reliable free STL viewer is an indispensable tool for 3D model inspection which doesn’t take up a lot of memory on your hard drive. Online browser-based viewers will come in handy in a pinch when you need to quickly review a 3D file, but don’t want to install new software to your computer. In addition to that, it is possible to view STL files on virtually any device, since there is definitely an app developed specifically for your gadget.
Some of the STL viewers can also help to prepare your 3D models for printing. Since STL file format defines the surface geometry of 3D objects, an advanced STL viewer can offer some features which allow you to check if the model is printable. For example, these features enable wall thickness estimation, as well as make it possible to check the model for potentially problematic areas.
In this article, we will talk about some of the best free STL viewers available on the market. Continue reading to find a viewer that is a perfect match for your needs and requirements.
3D Builder is a free 3D tool available for Windows (it even used to come pre-installed with the system but not anymore). Simple, straightforward and highly functional, the program is more than just an STL viewer. It offers some editing capabilities, can be used for 3D repair (there’s an automatic error fixing feature) and there are even some slicing functions.
The interface is clean and intuitive. The sidebar provides the editing options while the toolbar located at the bottom offers the abilities to view, rotate and move the objects. Everything looks well-organized. 3D Builder is a good example of a program that is both straightforward and packed with the features. Its editing and repairing capabilities might be lacking, but as an STL viewer, the program gets the job done.
Supported File Formats: STL, PLY, OBJ, 3MF, VRML (import only)
3D Viewer is a simple 3D files viewing program, which comes preinstalled in Windows 10. 3D Viewer reads the majority of most commonly used 3D file formats. In addition to that, it is possible to display 3D animations. 3D Viewer offers a set of simple viewing tools, such pan, zoom, and orbiting controls, which can be implemented using your mouse, touch, pen or keyboard.
In this program, it is possible to inspect the 3D model mesh, texture and material, as well as choose from a variety of lighting and shading modes. On top of that, the application offers a Mixed Reality mode, which makes it possible to mix your 3D models into your actual surroundings using your computer’s the camera.
Supported File Formats: STL, FBX, OBJ, GLB, GLTF, PLY, 3MF
Get the app: 3D Viewer
3D-Tool Free Viewer
3D-Tool is a free STL viewer designed for Windows. It is a sophisticated 3D software with an extensive feature set and an intuitive user-friendly interface. In addition to that, the program offers great CAD support which makes it a great tool for designers and engineers.
The viewer offers advanced viewing tools, such as cross-section view of the model. It is also possible to rotate the model in every direction and add an exploded view of the object. The program’s advanced measuring tool allows to access the dimensions of the model precisely. 3D-Tool enables to adjust the light source and the direction of the light as well. If you have to prepare your model for 3D printing, this program also offers many useful tools to test your model, wall thickness estimation being one of them.
Supported File Formats: STL, OBJ, CATIA, X_T, STEP, IGES, VDA, SA, SAB
3DViewerOnline is a free browser based STL viewer with simple and easy to use interface. On top of its main function, which is to view your 3D model files, this convenient tool allows you to measure the distance between two specified points in your 3D file and slice the mesh of the object open along the assigned axis. In addition to that it is possible to hide and show smart lines as well as customize your 3D objects. To make use of 3DViewerOnline’s additional features, you’ll have to register with the site via existing Google, Facebook or Twitter accounts or using your email. Registered users can share their 3D objects on their social media platforms or send them via email. On top of that, it is possible to embed this viewer in your e-commerce websites, which allows you to showcase your products.
3DViewerOnline also offers a premium version of the app. If you upgrade to a premium account, you get full access to this viewer’s feature set. The premium edition offers an ad-free experience with the ability to upload up to 100 files simultaneously. The viewer is easily customisable, it is possible to personalise it to match your corporate style by adding your logo and using your company colors.
Supported File Formats: STEP, IGES, PLY, OBJ, 2D-DXF, 2D-DWG
Get the app: 3DViewerOnline
ADA 3D is a very basic, yet effective tool for viewing STL files with a simple user-friendly interface. It allows you to adjust the colors of both the 3D model and the background to ensure that the object is clearly visible. It is very easy to examine even the finer details of the object, as it is possible to render the model with a flat or a smooth shader in the app. On top of that, if you contact ADA 3D’s publisher, there is an option to add your company’s logo to your 3D files.
Supported File Formats: STL, OBJ
Get the app: ADA3D
Autodesk A360 Viewer
This online 3D viewer by Autodesk is a professional software with an extensive feature set which makes it possible to view and inspect your 3D files completely free of charge. One of the main advantages of the app is that it offers support for more than 50 different 2D and 3D file formats, which makes it an indispensable tool for architects, engineers, graphic designers and professional users from other fields.
A360 Viewer provides a great number of viewing tools, such as zooming, panning and turning. Other features include cutting and measuring of the objects. On top of that, the app offers a possibility to view 3D files in collaborative mode, making it a great option for group projects.
This viewer allows you to share your 3D designs via high definition screenshots or links. For authorized Autodesk users it is possible to embed 3D models in a website or send them for printing. In addition to that, the viewer offers connectivity to the majority of common cloud storage services, which makes it even easier to inspect your files from any device. Autodesk Viewer also offers a premium subscription, which unlocks the rest of the advanced features and allows users to take advantage of the app’s full potential.
Supported File Formats: DWG, DWF, RVT, Solidworks, STP and many more
Get the app: A360 Viewer
Dimension Alley is an unusual 3D printing shop/coffee shop based in Berlin, Germany. They offer a great range of 3D related services from workshops and masterclasses for all ages to 3D scanning and printing. On top of that they have a free online STL viewer on their website. This viewer has quite a limited feature set, but fulfills its main function — it allows you to view your models in 3D. It is possible to slightly adjust your models in the viewer by coloring and scaling. Though Dimension Alley Viewer can’t offer much, you shouldn’t judge it too harshly — it was developed to help the customers of the shop view and inspect their models before ordering to have them printed.
Supported File Formats: STL
EasyViewSTL is a simple free tool for viewing STL files. The program offers you a wide range of view modes and settings to ensure the best possible viewing experience. Such features as grid make it possible to better understand the object’s dimensions and measurements. On top of that, this basic program is able to point out the potential problems of the model which can affect the structure and sturdiness of the finished product. Unfortunately, this app has a severe drawback — both the documentation and the website, along with the program itself, are all in German.
Supported File Formats: STL
Get the app: EasyViewSTL
Fast STL Viewer
Fast STL Viewer is a free (with some minor paid abilities such as configuring color options) STL viewing program available for Android. Boasting minimalistic interface and offering all of the needed functions, the program is quick and able to work even with large files.
The abilities include opening both binary and ASCII STL file formats, several viewing modes and selecting options. The files can be opened directly from email attachments and cloud services. 3D printing with Treatstock is also supported. The internal file manager keeps track of the last opened models, providing a fast and easy access to the files.
Fast STL Viewer is a useful app for quick viewing of the STL files on the smartphone. Its feature set and interface might be minimalistic, but the speed of the program and the ability to work with larger files make up for that.
Supported File Formats: STL
Get the app: Fast STL Viewer
fstl is a free, open-source and cross-platform STL viewer designed with the speed in mind. The models load quickly, and the program can show high-polygon objects very smoothly at 60+ FPS even on a mid-range PC.
It is also very clean-looking. The models are beautifully rendered with flat-shading and anti-aliasing.
fstl doesn’t offer any interesting functionality but it’s a decent STL viewer that’s extremely fast, smooth and good-looking.
OS: Windows, macOS, Linux
Supported File Formats: STL
Get the app: fstl
GLC-Player is a powerful STL viewer available completely free of charge. This software provides a very extensive set of efficient viewing tools. GLC-Player enables you to view cross-sections of 3D objects, display respective properties of the models and take snapshots for sharing. This viewer is known for its model management feature, which makes it possible to display a tree view of the objects elements, such as dimensions, textures and materials. GLC-Player offers an opportunity to shift the camera to view the model from different angles. On top of that, you have the option to choose from four different shader modes and select a light source. Another noteworthy characteristic of this software is its support for a wide range of 3D file formats, including OBJ, OFF, COFF, COLLADA and 3DXML. Due to its extensive feature set, this viewing software can be quite a brainer for novice users, but after a short learning curve you can come to truly appreciate GLC-Player’s functions.
OS: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
Supported File Formats: STL, OBJ
Get the app: GLC-Player
Though Gmsh performs the viewing function perfectly, it can do so much more. It is a full-fledged open-source 3D finite element mesh generator with a built-in CAD engine. It was designed as a simple, yet efficient meshing tool with an extensive set of viewing features. They allow you to cross section 3D objects, and include such basic tools as panning, zooming and rotating.
This program even allows you to create 3D models from ground zero. First, you have to define points, lines and surfaces of the object which are then extruded to form a 3D model. Though it can be quite difficult to get a hang of Gmsh at first, it proves to be a very useful tool due to its ability to import industrial CAD formats.
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Supported File Formats: STL, STEP, IGES, and BREP
Mac OS X Preview
This is a very simple way to view 3D models, if you have a Mac computer running OS X El Capitan and higher. The preview application has a built-in STL file viewer, which allows you to zoom in on the object and rotate the 3D model in any direction. Though the features available are very limited and basic, it is more than enough to view your 3D files in everyday use. Like any Mac application, it has a very sleek and pleasant interface with the opportunity to switch to a darker background, which helps to highlight the model and inspect it more thoroughly.
Supported File Formats: STL
MeshLab for iOS
MeshLab for iOS is a simple reliable STL viewer. It has a very easy-to-use intuitive interface and offers a very straightforward navigation system, which allows to properly inspect even complex and large 3D objects (up to 2,000,000 polygons). This viewer supports a number of other standard 3D file formats aside from STL files. Another great feature, which makes MeshLab stand out from other free STL viewers, is the ability to open 3D files directly from email attachments, web pages and DropBox.
Supported File Formats: STL, PLY, OFF, OBJ
This free STL viewer from Materialize was specifically developed to manage the work of 3D printing services. MiniMagics helps to facilitate great communication between account managers and customers, which ensures hatch-free efficient work on complex projects.
This software offers a very user-friendly intuitive interface which helps to analyze the uploaded 3D files quickly and precisely. MiniMagic provides a set of basic viewing tools, such as zooming, panning and rotating. On top of that, it is possible to display a cross-section view, which allows you to look inside of your model and inspect it properly. Another great feature of this advanced STL viewer is the integrated “3DPrintCloud” button enables you to efficiently repair 3D models before printing.
Supported File Formats: STL, MAGICS, MGX
Get the app: MiniMagics
Open 3D Model Viewer
Open 3D Model Viewer is an indispensable tool for everyone who has to deal with 3D files on the regular. This is more than just an STL viewer, it is also a basic user-friendly 3D editor. The app offers support for more than 40 most commonly used 3D file formats. In addition to that, this free app offers up to four viewpoints, which make it possible to inspect your 3D object from several different angles simultaneously.
The app’s small but mighty set of editing features allows to edit and fix broken models, as well as generate skeletal animations. This, along with the yet-to-come mesh repair tool, makes the Open 3D Model Viewer a useful app to prepare your models for 3D printing.
Supported File Formats: STL, OBJ, 3DS, BLEND, FBX, DXF, LWO, LWS, MD5, MD3, MD2, NDO, X, IFC, DAE and more
This free online STL viewer is built on the base of OpenJsCad and OpenSCAD.org. Unlike the vast majority of 3D modeling and viewing programs, this software doesn’t offer you an intuitive and interactive approach to creating 3D models. Openjscad instead enables you to use Boolean operations to combine primitive shapes and develop 3D objects. Though this approach doesn’t particularly catch on with an everyday user, it still has its loyal fans who truly appreciate the accuracy and precision.
One of the main advantages of this viewer is that it can work offline as well. On the downside, however, this viewer has a very limited feature set which allows you only to rotate around the object. More than that, the software supports quite a narrow range of file formats, which makes it impractical for a professional user.
Supported File Formats: AMF, X3D and JSCAD
Pleasant3D is a simple easy-to-use STL viewer developed for Mac OS X. The software allows you to inspect 3D models and offers a basic set of viewing functions; you can zoom in on the model and rotate it along the X, Y and Z axis. On top of that, the app enables you to alter the dimensions and location of your 3D objects. Another great feature of the app is the possibility to display the GCode of the model. You can examine your model layer by layer and determine all of the potentially problematic areas of objects, which helps a great deal when you’re trying to prepare your 3D model for printing.
Pleasant3D can also be integrated into Finder’s Quicklook function. This feature makes it possible to convert this STL viewer into a useful tool for convenient organization of your 3D files.
Supported File Formats: STL, GCode
Get the app: Pleasant3D
STL Viewer for WordPress
This WordPress plugin is a great tool to help you showcase your 3D models on your website or blog. The viewer is based on WebGL and can be easily embedded using a shortcode. This STL viewer has a very limited set of features in comparison with other viewer software, but it still allows you to zoom and rotate the object in any direction to help you inspect your model more closely. It is a viable option if you need to display a small 3D object on your page. Otherwise, it is quite insufficient, as larger files slow the viewer down significantly.
Supported File Formats: STL
Get the plugin: WordPress
STLView is a basic free STL viewer software developed by CNC milling company ModuleWorks for Windows and Android. It has a great touch screen support, which is quite useful if you need to quickly view a 3D file on your smartphone or other device. The app provides the basic zoom and rotate functions. It is also possible to change the color of the background or the model itself to help you better inspect the object.
OS: Windows, Android
Supported File Formats: STL
Get the app: STLView
The updated version of ModuleWorks’ STLView, 2.0 allows you to view your 3D files from your Android smartphone or tablet. The app offers a set of basic viewing features. Still, STLView 2.0 has one feature that makes it stand out from other trivial STL viewers. It is its “Gyrocam” — a viewing mode, which makes it possible to use your device’s G-sensor to twist and rotate the 3D models. The app is powerful enough to handle several models simultaneously without lagging.
Supported File Formats: STL
Get the app: STLView 2.0 (free)
When you are in a pinch, ViewSTL is the right tool to help you view 3D models quickly and easily. This is a browser-based viewer which doesn’t require you to download and install anything to your computer. You can simply visit the website and upload or drag-and-drop your files. This simple program offers different colors and three available views for your 3D models — flat shading, smooth shading and wireframe.
For now, ViewSTL can only view OBJ files, but the developers plan to add support for other 3D file formats as well to make the software more versatile. In addition to that, this handy viewer makes it possible to send your 3D files to an online printing service near you to get your model printed. With the addition of WP ViewSTL plugin, this software enables you to display 3D models on your website or blog. It goes without saying that this viewer doesn’t have any special features, but it gets the job done.