STL Files (*.stl)

Stereolithography is a three-dimensional printing process that makes a solid object from a computer image. The process, also called rapid prototyping, creates parts using a faceted mesh representation in STL files.

You can import .STL files with up to 500,000 facets (~ 24 MB for binary format .STL files and ~ 138 MB for ASCII format .STL files).

For surface and solid .STL file imports, you are warned that conversion may take a long time and you are given an opportunity to cancel the import.

You can assign a unit of measure to a model for both import and export.


The STL translator imports STL files as SOLIDWORKS part documents. You have the option to import STL files as graphical data, solids, or surfaces. When you import STL files as graphical data, you can select the Import texture information check box to import texture information if this data exists.
The default option in the STL/VRML tab of the Import Options dialog box is Solid Body.
SOLIDWORKS assembly files that you export as STL files are imported into SOLIDWORKS as part documents.


The STL translator exports SOLIDWORKS part and assembly documents as STL files. Click:
  • File > Save As to access STL export options and save the data in .stl format.
  • Print 3D (Standard toolbar) to print a prototype.
  • 3D Scan on the Task Pane SOLIDWORKS Resources tab to access the SOLIDWORKS ScanTo3D web site.