10 Best STL Editors of 2024

This post will explain best stl editors. The surface topography of a 3D model or object is, in a nutshell, defined by an STL file. STL files, which can be exported from many different software packages, are frequently used when making 3D printable objects. The designer can create, open, edit, alter, or merge STL files using an STL editor, on the other hand.

10 Best STL Editors of 2024

In this article, you can know about 10 Best STL Editors of 2024 here are the details below;

SelfCAD (best overall), Blender®, and FreeCAD are currently the three best STL editors. This article reviews the top 10 STL editors of 2022 and discusses what an STL file is, why it’s significant, and how to pick the best STL editor for your requirements.

1. SelfCAD  (Overall Best STL Editor of 2023)

This device can be used for 3D printing, rendering, sketching, and sculpting. For 3D printing, you can export your 3D models from SelfCAD in the STL, OBJ, and AMF file types. These files can also be imported and changed to suit your needs. The SelfCAD user interface offers extensive options for experts as well as being simple enough for beginners learning the application.

The “Import & Export Settings” option under the File menu, for instance, allows access to special features exclusive to each file type when importing models from STL files (e.g., OBJ files).

2. Blender®

Blender® is an open-source, free 3D modelling and rendering programme that is best suited for freelance designers or small design studios. Users can make new 3D models or edit already existing ones thanks to its user-friendly interface.

In addition to being useful for animation, game creation, and 3D printing, Blender is an extremely versatile piece of software. These technologies can be used to create high-poly models. For example, this software has algorithms that can smooth or interpret a surface (a 3D asset with a high polygon count).

ABC, USD, OBJ, FBX, PLY, and STL are just a few of the file types that the application supports. The import and preparation of STL files for 3D printing are also made simple by this programme.

The drawbacks of Blender® include a challenging learning curve and potentially resource-intensive complex meshes.

3. FreeCAD

A general-purpose parametric 3D CAD modeller is FreeCAD. It offers the fundamental set of tools necessary to create 3D CAD models, making the creation process simpler for beginning users. For those just starting started in 3D printing or looking at alternative STL editor options, FreeCAD is a wonderful option because it is utilised by many professionals and hobbyists. Also check vector images

Even without prior knowledge in engineering, computer programming, or computer-aided drafting, anyone may use FreeCAD to produce high-quality drawings, designs, and internal parts (CAD). The programme may be used as both an advanced tool that gives engineers a lot of creative licence and an entry-level tool for engineers who like to learn how to use a 3D modelling programme.

4. SketchUp®

  • A 3D modelling programme on the web called SketchUp® supports STL.
  • It’s perfect for beginners thanks to its user-friendly layout.
  • There is a sizable user base for Sketchup®, and there are a tonne of tutorials and guidelines accessible.
  • It has enough features to be helpful to both pros and intermediate users.
  • The premium editions of SketchUp® (Go, Pro, and Studio) include more functionality than the free version, including plug-in extensions.

5. MeshLab TM

On Windows, macOS, and Linux, MeshLabTM is a free and open-source 3D mesh processing software programme. 3D meshes can be viewed, edited, repaired, combined, and analysed with this tool.

3D meshes can be exported to STL, OBJ, PLY, OFF, and 3DS, among other formats. Even beginners can use MeshLabTM easily thanks to its simple user interface. Large files can also be run by the application.

6. MeshMixer®

  • A free 3D CAD programme called Meshmixer® enables the creation and editing of 3D objects.
  • The STL file format makes it simple to export 3D objects.
  • A built-in slicer tool in MeshMixer® enables the sending of designs straight to the 3D printer.
  • Although this programme has been present since 2001, a recent version included some fresh functionality, including mesh processing and editing tools.
  • This tool can be used to resize and make minor adjustments.

7. 3D Slash TM

3D models can be modified with 3D SlashTM, a free online STL editor. Its user interface is simple enough for beginners to use. The user interface is simple, and it may be used as a web-based programme or downloaded for Windows, macOS X, Linux, or Raspberry Pi. With the help of this programme, 3D models are created in a special manner that is comparable to how the popular game Minecraft uses cubes to create 3D designs.

For users of all ages, this feature makes the procedure enjoyable and simple. Different price choices, including a restricted free option, are available with 3D SlashTM.

8. SculptGL

  • A free mesh-sculpting tool that works in both 2D and 3D is called SculptGL.
  • Users can model using brushes, knives, or sculpting tools thanks to the program’s various digital tools.
  • Anyone who wants to learn 3D sculpting should use SculptGL, which is the best editor.
  • However, SculptGL could be a little constrained for more experienced users.
  • The fact that this tool occasionally generates non-manifold vertices is a significant drawback.
  • A non-manifold geometry is one that is unattainable in reality.
  • A non-manifold indicates that while having a digital representation, the model is impractical in reality.
  • The mesh of the 3D model must be numerous because it is made up of vertices, edges, and faces.
  • The 3D model has problems if the mesh is not manifold.

9. Fusion 360®

A CAD/CAM/CAE programme called Fusion 360® is used for CNC machining, 3D printing, and 3D modelling. Users can access files on this cloud-based platform using any device. The software is ideal for both professionals and amateurs since it easily integrates the power of design, engineering, and manufacturing onto a single platform.

Fusion 360® is the best option for novices or those who don’t want to expend money on pricey plug-ins because of its extensive library of free models and tools.

10. TinkerCAD®

Beginners will love using TinkerCAD® because it is free and simple to use online. This software, created by Autodesk, “built” a 3D model using simple forms. STL files can be imported and edited in TinkerCAD® as well.

This utility has a very small feature and support set. The file size is restricted to around 20 kB, and neither mobile devices nor macOS desktops support it. Mesh repair and surface modelling are two essential functions that a good STL editor must have, yet TinkerCAD® lacks both. This is another Best STL Editors.

An STL file is what?

An publicly defined file format known as STL (stereolithography or Standard Triangle Language) is used to describe an object’s surface geometry as a triangular mesh. Each STL file contains a collection of connected triangles that specify a 3D object’s surface geometry.

The smaller the triangles must be to accurately reflect the model, the more complicated the thing being modelled. One disadvantage of STL files over AMF (additive manufacturing file) files, for instance, is that they produce larger files as a result. For 3D printing, STL is the most widely used file type. Also check text editors mac

Rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing, and computer-aided manufacturing are the principal applications for this file type.

Which FREE STL Editors Are the Best?

  • The following are some of the finest free STL editors:
  • Blender® FreeCAD SelfCAD
  • Despite the abundance of available free STL editors, not all of them are created equal.
  • The best all allow you to import design files from many sources, as well as edit, alter, and export STL files.

The Best STL File Editors: How to Choose

When choosing the best STL editor for your purposes, there are a few aspects to take into account.

These consist of:

  • Mesh modelling software and solid modelling software are the two different kinds of STL editors.
  • Software for mesh modelling is appropriate for 3D printing applications, but not for solid modelling.
  • Some STL editing programmes are more complicated than others and may not be as user-friendly for beginners.
  • Data can be imported from various sources by the best STL editors.

What Functions an STL Editor Has in the 3D Printing Process?

STL files are created and edited using an STL editor. Designing the actual thing that will be printed is the first stage in a 3D printing project, and the STL editor is used to do so.

Additionally, it gives you the ability to edit and modify already-existing STL files as well as other imported file formats.

Do 3D Printers Need an STL Editor?

For 3D printing, an STL editor is undoubtedly helpful. For 3D printing, STL files are the industry standard. You couldn’t edit already-existing STL files or build brand-new STL files from scratch without an STL editor. The best STL editors existed examined in this post, along with their features and applications for creating 3D models and objects.

Contact a Xometry voice to learn more about STL editors and files. For all of your prototyping & presentation needs, Xometry offers a broad range of manufacturing capabilities, including 3D printing and other value-added services. Visit our website to find out more or to get a cost-free, no-risk quote. Notices of Copyright and Trademarks

The Blender Foundation has registered Blender® as a trademark in the EU and the USA. Trimble, Inc. has registered SketchUp® as a trademark in the United States. CNR is the owner of the EUIPO trademark MeshLabTM. Autodesk, Inc. is the registered owner of the trademarks MeshMixer®, Fusion 360®, and TinkerCAD®. The trademark 3D SlashTM belongs to 3D Slash.


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