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:

Constant Read Support Write Support Description
FILE_STL Yes No STereoLithography CAD software created by 3D Systems.

When STL files are rasterized, they are 24 BPP.

Required DLLs and Libraries

Related Formats


Win32, x64.

See Also


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