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All you need to know about 3D file formats

The Most Common 3D File Formats

Dibya Chakravorty
Updated Aug 31, 2019

Which 3D file formats are there? How do they compare? What should you use? We simply explain the most common 3D file formats used today: STL, OBJ, FBX, COLLADA, 3DS, IGES; STEP, and VRML/X3D.

A 3D file format is used for storing information about 3D models. You may have heard of the most popular formats STL, OBJ, FBX, COLLADA etc. They are widely used in 3D printing, video games, movies, architecture, academia, medicine, engineering, and earth sciences. Each industry has its own popular 3D file formats for historical and practical reasons. We will learn about 3D file formats and take a deep dive into the 8 most common 3D file formats in this article.

You can also jump to the most popular 3D file formats directly.