Most CAD programs nowadays work with the STL file format, which has become the worldwide standard for 3D printing. It’s widely used for rapid prototyping, 3D printing, and computer-aided manufacturing. For more information about STL files, check our article STL File Format (3D Printing) – Simply Explained.
Since STL file is the most used format for 3D printing, it’s useful to be able to convert existing 3D models into STLs. Many 3D modeling programs offer export functions, however, not all export to STL. Therefore we present a list of the 12 best tools to convert STL files, many of which are free to use!
AccuTrans 3D provides an accurate translation of 3D geometry. The benefit of using AccuTrans 3D is that 3D mesh information, such as position and rotation, is maintained. Thanks to the feature Batch Mode, it’s also possible to convert a list of mixed 3D file formats to the STL file format.
You can download AccuTrans 3D from Micromouse’s website for free. For now, the software is only available for Windows.
Supported file formats: 30+ file types, including MA, X3D, and XYZ
3D Transform is a free-to-use online tool that converts 3D models to an STL type. You can upload up to 6 MB of 3D files to convert. 3D Transform ensures that you still have the intellectual property rights on your uploaded file, or that you have the right to use it. However, the platform doesn’t guarantee that it can convert any 3D file to the STL format.
Supported file formats: IGS, IGES, STP, STEP, BREP, 3DS, ASE, DXF, STLA, STLB, WRL, IV, OBJ, SWV, GMOD, and IV
SwiftConverter is a free online converter for images, documents, audio, video and 3D files. It convert 3D files into STL and other common file formats. The dashboard is easy to use and you can upload files of up to 100 MB.
Supported file formats: 25+ file types, including 3DS, FBX, Blender, OBJ, DXF, LWO, and PLY
i3DConverter is a program that allows you to convert almost any 3D file format. It’s available for both Mac and Linux.
The lifetime license costs $50, but you can try the trial program for free. Click here to download the application or buy the license.
Supported file formats: 760+ file types, including CAD, OBJ, PLG, and XML
Online CAD File Converter is exactly what it claims to be, converting 3D models to STLs within seconds. The platform offers three different conversion packages: Basic (1 EUR per conversion), Plus (10 conversions for 10 EUR) and Pro (50 conversions for 40 EUR).
After paying, you’ll receive a voucher with which you can convert your 3D files with sizes up to 100 MB. You can also try it for free with the trial option. If you’re not satisfied with the conversion result, the company will reimburse the costs.
Supported file formats: 25 file types, including 3DS, DWG, SKP, SLDPRT, and SLDASM
Meshconvert is a free-to-use online converter. You can upload mesh files with sizes up to 15 MB. In addition to STLs, you can also convert your 3D files to DAE, OBJ, and PLY. Nevertheless, Meshconvert does not guarantee that the online converter transfers all features of an input format.
Supported file formats: 35+ file types, including 3DS, DXF, BLEND, and XML
Perhaps you already know Makexyz, the platform that connects people with local 3D printers and designers. The online service provider also offers a free converter. That said, it can only convert 3DS to STL.
You can try the online converter on Makexyz’s website.
Supported file formats: 3DS
Greentoken, developed by German programmer Alexander Gessler, is an online 3D model converter that you can use for free. The 3D file converter supports various file formats and can convert your 3D file to STL as well as to STLB, Collada, OBJ, 3DS, PLY and JSON. You can upload up to five files with a total size of 50 MB.
Supported file formats: 30+ file formats, including 3DS, FBX, Blender, OBJ, DXF, LWO, STL, and PLY
Materialise, a market leader in 3D printing software and services offers a 3D printing toolbox called Materialise Cloud. Not only can you repair and design 3D models, you can also convert your 3D file to STL. After signing up for the online service, you can upload the first 10 files for free. After that, you can decide from three package deals to upload more 3D models.
Supported file formats: OBJ, 3DM, 3DS, 3MF, DAE, DXF, FBX, IGES, IGS, PLY, SKP, SLC, VDAFS, VDA, VRML, WRL, ZCP, and ZPR
Bear File Converter Online is a free-to-use online converter for images, video, audio, ebook, documents, and 3D files. You can convert 3D models with a size of less than 50 MB. The online tool is simple, although converting takes a little time.
Supported file formats: 35+ file types, including ASE, DXF, and OBJ
Yobi3D is a 3D model search engine that finds 3D models on the Internet with a simple keyword search. It also offers a free tool to convert 3D files with a maximum size of 40 MB. Depending on the complexity of the 3D model, it may take time until the converted file is ready to download.
Supported file formats: 3DS, BLEND, DAE, DWG, DXF, FBX, MA, MAX, MB, and OBJ
Spin 3D Mesh Converter is easy-to-use and comprehensive 3D mesh conversion software. With a single click, you can convert your 3D file. With the Batch Conversion feature, it’s possible to convert multiple files within minutes. Moreover, you can easily share your 3D models with other people in various file formats.
The software program is only available for Windows. You can download it for free from NCH Software’s website.
Supported file formats: 40+ files, including 3DP, 3DS, 3MF, OBJ, and PLY
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License: The text of "STL Converter – 12 Best Tools to Convert STL Files" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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