Edit 3D Files

Three-dimensional objects are virtually mapped in a 3D file. It forms the basis for further processing, either for 3D printing or for rendering animations, films and images.

3D files can be edited with CAD software – in this context, we also speak of modeling. Well-known representatives include AutoCAD, SketchUp, FreeCAD, 3ds Max, Cinema 4D.

A variety of 3D file formats exist which sometimes have very specific properties. However, only the STL and STP formats are relevant for 3D printing.

STL and STP files

Files with the extension STL can ideally be used for 3D printing. Alternatively, the SPT format is also used. It is structurally more complex, which has advantages and disadvantages in processing. SPT files contain information on tolerances and material properties. The added value of information, due to the often very large amount of data, means that memory quickly reaches its limits.

The basic models look inconspicuous at first glance and have the character of technical drawings. The templates consist of grids, geometric shapes, lines, nodes, etc. Textures are only partially represented by the programs. They only create graphic 3D models when they are rendered. Since STL and STP files are mostly only used in the context of 3D printing, this step is not necessary. The preview function of the programs, which renders models in a simplified representation, is suitable for viewing elements and areas.

Download STL files for free

You do not necessarily have to create STL files yourself. They are sometimes available free of charge online. The users choose from many models those that come closest to the intended use. They can be adapted to your own needs with almost any CAD software.

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