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What is an STL?

The format of the STL file is normally used in 3D printing, this is basically a set of coordinates that make up a cloud of points that are joined by vertices forming a three-dimensional object. In the data included in the STL itself there is no representation of color, model material or assigned colors that are normally given in the programs.


These files are usually generated by a CAD design program among the most popular, allowing you to easily save the object created in STL.

The resolution of an STL file varies according to the number of triangles that make up the model. This is usually indicated when saving the STL file.


The STL file lacks additional information such as; The authorship, extra information and mostly copyright design leaving little or no security in the archives. All this must be added the inability to modify the mesh once saved in STL.

To make a 3D printing we must first process the STL file using dedicated programs, such as Slic3r among the best known. This program is responsible for dividing the 3D model into different layers and then being saved in a Gcode format file, the language of 3D machines.

Being able to visualize an STL nowadays is not too complicated, without going further, Windows 10 or Mac Os X incorporates an STL file viewer where we can see the model.

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