Chapter 17

STL Files


check Finding out exactly what an STL file is

check Using an STL file for a Tinkercad design

check Outputting a Tinkercad design to an STL file format

You are now at that final stage where 3D printing is going to go ahead and you want to export your design to the appropriate file format to get it 3D printed.

In this chapter, you find out exactly what an STL file is and how to export one out of Tinkercad based on one of your designs.

What Is an STL file?

STL is an abbreviation of STereoLithography and is a file format native to the stereolithography CAD software created by a company called 3D Systems. STL has several nicknames, including Standard Triangle Language and Standard Tessellation Language.

Many other 3D modelers use the STL file format as one of their native formats or as a file format for easy design interchange. Typical examples from Autodesk include Inventor and Fusion 360.

Figure 17-1 shows both a CAD representation and an STL representation of a 3D shape known as a torus. In a 3D view, a torus looks like a donut or a rubber ring a child might wear at the beach or at a swimming pool.

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