Convert 3MF Files to STL

3MF to STL

3MF vs STL Comparison

Property 3MF STL
Extensions .3mf .stl
Name 3D Manufacturing Format STereoLithography
Versions
Textures
Colors
Geometry components

3MF to STL Conversion

The list below provides valuable resources, packed with detailed instructions and expert tips for converting 3MF files to STL format using our converters. Review them now to simplify your 3MF files conversion later.


3MF 3D Manufacturing File

An open-source XML file format that was created by the 3MF Consortium, a group of companies and organizations involved in the 3D printing industry. Unlike the older STL format, which only stores the geometry of 3D models, 3MF can also store additional information, such as:

  • Color: 3MF can define the color of each triangle in a 3D model, allowing for more realistic and detailed prints.
  • Transparency: 3MF can specify the opacity of each triangle or vertex in a 3D model, enabling the creation of transparent or translucent objects.
  • Texture: 3MF can associate a 2D image with a 3D model, and map the image coordinates to the model coordinates, resulting in textured prints.
  • Metadata: 3MF can include custom data such as author, title, description, or license for each 3D model, facilitating the sharing and management of 3D files.

3MF File Converters: Our products, Autoconverter and Automesher Application, are compatible with 3MF. To import and export 3MF files they utilize the official lib3mf library. However, there is one limitation that you should be aware of: 3MF does not support group hierarchies, which are used to organize 3D models into hierarchical subgroups. Therefore, if you have a 3D model that contains group hierarchies, you will lose them when you convert it to 3MF.


STL STereoLithography File

A file format that was developed by 3D Systems, a global leader in the 3D printing industry. It is primarily used for storing 3D models and exclusively contains triangular mesh data. Some of the benefits and features of STL files are:

  • Simplicity: STL files are easy to create and read by many software applications and 3D printers, as they only contain the coordinates of the vertices and the normal vectors of the triangles.
  • Lack of Additional Information: STL files do not include information on face color, texture, transparency, and named groups. This means that all STL models are effectively colorless in their raw form.
  • STL Files Converter: While it is technically possible to assign RGB color values to individual vertices in an STL file, it’s important to note that not all software, including our Autoconverter, currently supports this extension.
  • Binary and ASCII STL Formats: STL files can be saved in either binary or ASCII text formats. The binary format is generally preferred due to its significant reduction in file size compared to the ASCII format.
  • Units of Measurement: The coordinates in STL files are always defined in millimeters. If necessary, our STL converter will perform the required units conversion.