23 Free STL file Viewers for Windows, Linux, macOS and the Web

23 Free STL file Viewers for Windows, Linux, macOS and the Web

What is a STL file?

STL (Stereolithography) is a file format commonly used for 3D printing. It represents 3D models as a collection of triangular facets, defining the shape’s surface geometry. STL files are lightweight and widely supported by 3D modeling software and printers. They lack color, texture, and other complex attributes, focusing solely on the geometry.

Designers create STL files using CAD software or 3D scanners, making them essential for translating digital designs into physical objects.

3D Printing and STL files

3D printing involves layer-by-layer additive manufacturing, where a printer deposits material (such as plastic, metal, or resin) to build a 3D object.

To 3D print an object, you need an STL file. Designers create or download STL files, slice them into layers using slicing software, and then send the instructions to the printer.

The printer reads the sliced STL file and produces the physical object by depositing material according to the design’s specifications.

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STL file Viewers!

STL File Viewers enable you to view STL file directly without the need to have heavy software as 3D printing software to do so.

Online STL viewers allow you to preview and analyze STL files directly in your web browser without installing any software.

desktop applications like MeshLabGLC-Player, and Pleasant3D offer more advanced features for analyzing and editing STL files.

In this following list, we offer you the best open-source free STL file viewers for the desktop and the web.

1. f3d

F3D (pronounced `/fɛd/`) is a fast and minimalist 3D viewer desktop application. It supports many file formats, from digital content to scientific datasets (including glTF, USD, STL, STEP, PLY, OBJ, FBX, Alembic), can show animations and support thumbnails and many rendering and texturing options including real time physically based rendering and raytracing.

It is fully controllable from the command line and support configuration files. It can provide thumbnails, support interactive hotkeys, drag&drop and integration into file managers.

F3D also contains the libf3d, a simple library to render meshes, with C++ and Python Bindings, as well as experimental Java and Javascript bindings.

GitHub - f3d-app/f3d: Fast and minimalist 3D viewer.
Fast and minimalist 3D viewer. Contribute to f3d-app/f3d development by creating an account on GitHub.

2. STL Viewer

This is a free and open-source app that enables you to display and manipulate the content of stereolithography or STL files.

STL Viewer
Download STL Viewer for free. Display and manipulate the content of stereolithography or STL files.

3. ModelViewer3D

3D model viewer app for Android! Supports STL files (ASCII and binary), and has limited support for OBJ (Wavefront) and PLY (Stanford) files.

GitHub - dbrant/ModelViewer3D: 3D model viewer app (STL, OBJ, PLY) for Android.
3D model viewer app (STL, OBJ, PLY) for Android. Contribute to dbrant/ModelViewer3D development by creating an account on GitHub.

4. stl Thumb (Windows, Linux, and macOS)

Stl-thumb is a fast lightweight thumbnail generator for STL files. It can show previews for STL files in your file manager on Linux and Windows. It is written in Rust and uses OpenGL.

5. ManyFold (Web-based)

Manyfold is an open source, self-hosted web application for managing a collection of 3d models, particularly focused on 3d printing.

GitHub - manyfold3d/manyfold: A self-hosted digital asset manager for 3d print files. Previously named “VanDAM”
A self-hosted digital asset manager for 3d print files. Previously named “VanDAM” - manyfold3d/manyfold

6. STLVault

STLVault is an open source 3d model viewer and organizer. Think of it as Lightroom, but for 3d printing. It is built to work for Windows, Linux, and macOS.

GitHub - rubenwe/StlVault: 3D object viewer and organizer
3D object viewer and organizer. Contribute to rubenwe/StlVault development by creating an account on GitHub.

7. Erizo

Erizo is another extremely fast STL viewer. It is a sequel to fstl, which was challenged by meshview. It supports both binary and ASCII STLs, Implemented in fast, native code, and Distributed as a single, statically-linked binary.

It works for Windows, macOS and Linux.

GitHub - mkeeter/erizo: Fast native STL viewer
Fast native STL viewer. Contribute to mkeeter/erizo development by creating an account on GitHub.

8. fstl (Windows, macOS & Linux)

fstl is a very fast .stl file viewer. It is designed to quickly load and render very high-polygon models; showing 2 million triangles at 60+ FPS on a mid-range laptop.

GitHub - fstl-app/fstl: A fast STL file viewer
A fast STL file viewer. Contribute to fstl-app/fstl development by creating an account on GitHub.

9. ViewSTL

Viewstl is an open source way to view Stereo Lithography Files as shaded on-screen images. Ascii STL files and dynamic rotation, scaling, and panning are currently supported. Written in C using OpenGL, GLU and GLUT.

Welcome to the ViewSTL home page!

10. 3D Object Viewer (Web & Android)

3D Object Viewer in STL, OBJ and 3DS format with weight, size, volume, cost and printing time functions. It comes as a self-hosted web version and an Android app version.

GitHub - lrusso/3DObjectViewer: 3D Object Viewer in STL, OBJ and 3DS format with weight, size, volume, cost and printing time functions
3D Object Viewer in STL, OBJ and 3DS format with weight, size, volume, cost and printing time functions - lrusso/3DObjectViewer

11. STL Viewer (Windows)

Visualization tool for Binary and ASCII formatted STL files.

12. STL-Editor

☠️ Graphic editor for 3D-printable (biomedical implant) models in STL format. WebGL + Rust.

GitHub - avbelyaev/3D-STL-model-editor: ☠️ Graphic editor for 3D-printable (biomedical implant) models in STL format. WebGL + Rust
☠️ Graphic editor for 3D-printable (biomedical implant) models in STL format. WebGL + Rust - avbelyaev/3D-STL-model-editor

13. stlloader (Library)

Simple loader for STL 3D model files

This is a C++ header-only library. To use it, #include "stlloader.h" wherever you intend to use the library. You must #define STLLOADER_IMPLEMENTATION before including it in one of your files for the implementation to be defined for the linker.

GitHub - dacunni/stlloader: Simple loader for STL 3D model files
Simple loader for STL 3D model files. Contribute to dacunni/stlloader development by creating an account on GitHub.

14. ts-3d-model-viewer

This is a free and open-source Google Model Viewer built with React to enable you display and customize STL 3D files directly from your browser.

GitHub - wx-chevalier/ts-3d-model-viewer: 整合了 google-model-viewer/WebGL/Three.js/WASM 等一系列 3D 模型(STL/OBJ/GLTF/PLY/STEP/X_T)预览工具,便捷地进行模型预览、生成截图、计算拓扑信息。支持 Blender 进行模型压缩优化,提供了基于 Web 的简单 CAD 在线排版操作。
整合了 google-model-viewer/WebGL/Three.js/WASM 等一系列 3D 模型(STL/OBJ/GLTF/PLY/STEP/X_T)预览工具,便捷地进行模型预览、生成截图、计算拓扑信息。支持 Blender 进行模型压缩优化,提供了基于 Web 的简单 CAD 在线排版操作。 - wx-chevalier/ts-3d-model-viewer

15. stl-viewer

An HTML custom element to render 3D STL models in a web page, used on my blog.

Include stl-viewer in your web page and then add the custom viewer element:

GitHub - ottobonn/stl-viewer: An HTML custom element to render 3D STL models in a web page
An HTML custom element to render 3D STL models in a web page - ottobonn/stl-viewer

16. stl-part-viewer

This is a it-element web component that uses Three.js to display an STL model file.

Features

  • Uses Intersection Observer to load STL files when only in the viewport.
  • Uses Intersection Observer to pause rendering of scene when viewer is not in viewport
  • Loads Binary and ASCII STL files
  • Built as a web component on Polymer 3 / LitElement
GitHub - justinribeiro/stl-part-viewer: A lit-element web component that uses Three.js to display an STL model file.
A lit-element web component that uses Three.js to display an STL model file. - justinribeiro/stl-part-viewer

17. stlviewer

A simple browser based STL viewer based on tbuser's Thingiview. you can easily drag and drop your STL files directly to the browser, it takes secs to display the model.

18. WebGL 3D Viewer

This is a free and open-source ThreeJS WebGL STL viewer with basic mouse and touch controls. You can view the demo here.

GitHub - piscis/webgl-3d-viewer: A webgl ThreeJS STL viewer implementation written in ES6 -
A webgl ThreeJS STL viewer implementation written in ES6 - - piscis/webgl-3d-viewer

19. React STL Viewer

A Web-based STL model viewer that is built using React.js framework. It runs in all modern web browsers and uses Three.js.

React developers can include it easily in their apps.

20. OctoPrint-STLViewer

This is an open-source simple stl viewer tab for the famous OctoPrint app. Currently a work in progress and simple skeleton. Based on the Javascript STL Viewer located here. Currently tested with Octoprint running on Raspberry Pi and Google Chrome.

21. WASM STL Viewer

This is a WebAssemby project that parses STL files and renders them in the browser.

22. STL-Viewer (Window)

This is a Windows app that enables you to view, zoom, rotate STL 3D models easily. It comes with an integrated file browser and supports multiple file viewing at the same time.

23. Viewstl

Viewstl is a web-based JavaScript STL/OBJ 3D files Viewer app. It reads binary/ASCII STL files; OBJ files. Under the hood, it uses THREE.js lib - Can load THREE.js lib files in the background.

To view the working online version, you can head to.


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