File Formats: STereoLithography (STL)

STL (an abbreviation of "STereoLithography"), is a file format native to the STereoLithography CAD software created by 3D Systems.

STL has several after-the-fact backronyms such as "Standard Triangle Language" and "Standard Tessellation Language". It is widely used for rapid prototyping, 3D printing and computer-aided manufacturing.

STL files describe only the surface geometry of a three-dimensional object without any representation of color, texture or other common CAD model attributes.

The STL format specifies both ASCII and binary representations. Binary files are more common since they are more compact.

LEADTOOLS supports loading both STL file types (ASCII and binary representations).

STL files can be loaded as either vector images or raster images. However, saving to STL is not supported.

For a list of products, refer to the Products Overview.

The default extension used by this format is: STL.

File constants associated with this file format are:


Read Support

Write Support






STereoLithography CAD software created by 3D Systems.

When STL files are rasterized, they are 24 BPP.

Required DLL: LFSTL. For a listing of the exact DLLs needed, based on the toolkit version, refer to Files To Be Included With Your Application.

Related Formats: CGM - Computer Graphics Metafile, CMX - Corel Presentation Exchange Format, DGN - Intergraph Format, DRW - Micrografx Designer DRaWing, DWF - DWF Format, DXF - Drawing Interchange Format, EMF - Windows Metafile Formats, GBR - Gerber Format, PCL - Printer Command Language Format, PCT - Macintosh Pict Format, PDF - Portable Document Format, PLT - PLT / HPGL Format, PS - PostScript Document Format, RTF - Rich Text Format, SHP - ESRI Shape Format, SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics Format, VEC - LEADTOOLS Vector Dump Format, VPG - WordPerfect Vector Format, WMF - Windows Metafile Formats, WMZ - Compressed Windows Metafile Format, E00 - ArcInfo Interchange File Format, MIF - MapInfo Interchange File Format.


Win32, x64.

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