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Here Are the Best Software that Can Open STL Files for 3D Printing

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3D printing, as cutting-edge technology, provides something special for so many different individuals, from home users to professional businesses. Everyone is excited to include 3D printers for some other operations. The process is simple, all you have to do is create the 3D model that you want  using one of the many 3D modeling software available online, slice it, and print it using the ideal 3D printer for that model and you’re good to go.

The final 3D printed object quality depends on the sliced file that’s been fed to the 3D printer. And that’s exactly why experts give immense importance to choosing the best 3D software that can deal with open STL files. But, when it comes to choosing one, you are left with too many choices.

To ease the selection process, pick3Dprinter handpicked some of the most reliable names when it comes to the best 3D modeling software that Can Open STL Files For 3D printing. Working with these software is not much of a hassle and they are beginner-friendly. The interface offered by these software lets you navigate extremely smoothly. So, let’s have a look at them one by one.

1) Tinkercad

This one’s an entirely free online CAD program developed by Autodesk. Its main feature is the use of primitives as building blocks in the creation of 3D models. The software permits you to import as well as edit STL files. To do so you need to have a Tinkercad account. Once you have a Tinkercad account click on the import option present in the upper right corner and then choose a file.

After the file is opened in its workspace you can easily apply the size as well as scale adjustments. Once that is done, you can also use any of the basic shapes, generators to modify your STL files. On completing your editing part, export the file which will make it ready to go.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Runs smoothly
  • Has all the tools you need

Cons:

  • It does not have a dedicated STL editor, typically the tools for surface modeling and mesh repair.

2) Freecad

If you wish to opt for open-source software, Freecad is a good choice. It offers various kinds of tools for construction such as:

  • Drafts
  • Drawings
  • Design

This software can be downloaded free from the Freecad website. All you need to take care of is while selecting the correct version for your operating system and install. After downloading Freecad, create a new document that will give you an option to import. Once you are done doing so, start editing the STL file.

You can make use of various kinds of tools available in the software to get the correct geometry in your STL file. Users can also utilize the extensive mesh repair tool to edit your STL file. After that, start exporting the STL file.

Pros:

  • It’s a great tool for constructing technical objects.

Cons:

  • It’s used for creating exact models for mechanical use, not majorly for modeling.

3) Blender

Another great free program to create models for 3D printing, Blender is also used for creating games or video clips as well. The software contains various tools backed by algorithms for smoothening or interpreting a surface. It is very easy to import as well as prepare STL files using Blender for modeling.

Working with Blender is fairly simple, you need to start by opening an STL file on it and thereby editing it. To make amends in the file, you have various tools at your disposal. Once you are done with the editing part, use the STL repair tool which is one of the many unique features of Blender. After doing so, export the STL file and feed it to your printer.

Pros:

  • Works extraordinarily while creating high poly models.
  • Offers many tools to sculpt and work out fine details.

Cons:

  • Working with the software requires a fair amount of technical knowledge and a lot of computing power while dealing with really complex meshes.

4) Meshmixer

This software can be downloaded from Autodesk’s website, and it’s very easy to edit STL files using the same. The program comes with a built-in slicer tool that lets you send the edited model directly to your 3D printer for printing it. Moreover, the company offers open-source tutorials using which you can learn how to use this software. Although, it will consume your time, if you give enough of it, it’ll be very fruitful.

To start working with the application you need to import the STL file and edit it using various tools available at your disposal. Once you are done editing the STL file, do not forget to repair it. For doing so, there are various kinds of tools present in the sidebar that can help you prepare your STL file for 3D printing. These are not the tools that you’d get with every software. Select the option ‘Repair Select’ from the drop-down menu to start the procedure. Once you are done editing the file, export it. After exporting it, you can feed the file to the 3D printer for best outcome.

Pros:

  • It is particularly used for editing STL files.
  • Take minute details into account.
  • Working with the STL editor present inside the software is easy as well as useful.

Cons:

  • You’ll need some time to get used to the nuances of the software.

The Conclusion

Opening an STL file for 3D printing with the above-mentioned software is a piece of cake. They allow you to edit and repair STL files more efficiently than others. Also, the tools that they offer are specialized ones that are designed to make your process of editing hassle-free. Most importantly, all of them are free and you do not have to pay a single penny for operating them.

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