STL and OBJ Files – Exporting, Viewing and Repairing Guide

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STL and OBJ Files – Exporting, Viewing and Repairing Guide

What type of 3D printing file format do you use when you export your 3D model from the CAD software you work in? There is a multitude of file formats that 3D printing supports. However, the most popular are .STL and .OBJ files. These file formats are supported by most printing software and 3D printers.
What Are .STL and .OBJ File Formats for 3D Printing?

.STL format is one of the most commonly used file formats for 3D printing. It is due to the fact that most CAD software has the feature of exporting models in .STL format and most 3D printers support it. The file generates the surface geometry of the modeled object only.

.OBJ format is considered to be more complex than .STL file for the fact that it is capable of representing texture, color and other CAD attributes of the three-dimensional object. .OBJ is also easily exported from most CAD tools and is supported by 3D printers.

However, according to people’s opinion on forums and 3D printing enthusiast platforms, .STL seems to hold a top spot in the list of preference of file formats for 3D printing. The main reason is that this type of file is simpler to use and most mesh repair tools work better with STL files than .OBJ.

On the other hand, if you are willing to print a multi-color 3D model, you would want to choose .OBJ file format.

Viewing .STL and .OBJ Files

There are great online viewing tools that enable you to check your .STL and.OBJ files without the need to download and install complex software that takes up your hard-drive memory. They can be accessed directly from your browser and put your disposal quick and easy features. Here are some of the best of them.

Autodesk360Viewer – this online tool enables you to upload and view 3D files in 55 formats, including STL and OBJ. You simply upload your file, regardless of its size and complexity, and view it directly in your browser, without any additional plugins.

3DViewerOnline it is another free 3D file viewer that is simple and easy to use. It supports most 3D and 2D formats, including STL and OBJ. The tool makes it easy for users to share their content with friends and customers. All the data that the user uploads on the site is secured. This tool also offers great plans for businesses, enabling them to share quickly their work with the clients and collaborators.

3D-Tool is available in FreeViewer, Basic, Advanced and Premium versions. The tool supports both .STL and .OBJ files and has a multitude of features for viewing and analyzing, providing information about the dimensions, surface area and the volume of 3D models.

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