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What is the .STL File Extension?


.STL File Extension Description:

The .stl file extension stands for STereoLithography, and is the standard used by Rapid Prototyping industries, developed by 3D Systems. Stereolithography is a common technology for constructing physical objects with good surface finish and high accuracy. STL files are generated through a machine called Stereolithography Apparatus, or SLA.

STL files are triangular representations of an object in 3D format. Each triangle composing an STL file shared common vertices and sides, and uses a Cartesian coordinate system that is also three-dimensional. This coordinate system defines three dimensions of space, which are height, length, and width; and uses the letters 'x', 'y', and 'z' to represent them.

The triangles that make up a file with the .stl extension are defined as facets. A unit normal and three vertices or corners identify each facet within an STL file uniquely. The facets define the boundary between the exterior and interior of the 3D object.

Files with the .stl extension serve as the link between Computer-Aided Design (CAD) models and SLA or Rapid Prototyping machines. Stereolithography CAD software uses .stl files to generate useful information to create 3D models on SLA Machines.

There are two types of storage format for STL files, which are Binary and ASCII. ASCII STL files are human-readable and take up a large amount of storage space. These .stl files can be edited using a text editor and are used for testing and debugging CAD interfaces.

Binary STL files are four times smaller than that of the ASCII type; and helps in providing use of smaller storage space. These .stl files use floating point numerical representation with the IEEE integer; and are organized with a header of 84 bytes and a 50 byte record for each triangle.

Author: Chuck Hill
Author URL: http://www.3dsystems.com/
Related Applications: Protogenic:, SolidView:, Autodesk:, Cadkey
Common Path: n/a

Recommendation:

Run a Free Scan to check for STL related errors & to optimize PC performance.


Do you have errors with .STL files?

The General Reason for .STL files Errors to Occur:

Upon experiencing errors with .STL files you are in all likelihood experiencing a severe Windows registry error - the error may be the result of damage in your program registry and you should move to correct it at once to prevent further corruption to the operating system. While the errors remain your computer remains at risk for possible blue screen errors, device failure and fatal crashes.

What are the Symptoms of .STL files Errors?

.STL files error symptoms include application freezes, system start up or shut down troubles, jerky system operation, sluggish behaviour, input freeze, beeping sounds, problems opening documents and errors during application installation.

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What is the .STL File Extension?    |    Repair .STL File Errors    |    How to Fix .STL File Extension Errors