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What is an STL file

This article is brought to you by Lizzsews.


STL -> Stereolithography

Stereolithography -> form of 3D printing CAD for creating models. Using photochemical processes -> light causes chemical monomers and oligomers which cross-link to form polymers. This is in a layer-by-layer fashion.



The object surface is composed of triangles- the more triangles, the more complex.

To put it simply, STL files are files that have been (most of the time) designed for 3d printing. They are three-dimensional objects, without other common CAD attributes; only the geometry of the model is given.

This STL file cannot be read by your 3d printer. It needs to be 'translated' for your printer to print it.


Translating = slicing

For your printer to be able to print your STL file, you need to slice it.

Recommended read: What is slicing in the 3D printing world

After slicing your print, you're left with a GCODE file. This file is compatible with and can be read by your machine!


Recommended read: What is PLA
Recommended read: What is TPU


Leave a comment below and let me know if you have ever made your own STL files! And don't forget to subscribe to stay up to date with all of Lizzsews new articles. See you next time!

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