What is a .STL file?

The question might be silly if you’re an expert on the subject, or you might not know what STL means and be stuck with the big question mark.

Absolutely every day we get the craziest emails sending us photos, paintings, ideas, sketches, audios, etc., which we can do nothing with, because that’s not the right 3d printing format. But how can we explain?

So we decided to do some teaching by explaining what .STL and broaden your general knowledge.

The true meaning of the .STL file extension has been lost in the mists of time. It is generally thought to be an abbreviation for the word STereoLithography, although it is also sometimes referred to as “Standard Triangle Language” or “Standard Tessellation Language”.

A .STL file stores information about 3D models. This format describes only the surface geometry of a three-dimensional object without any representation of color, texture, or other common model attributes.

These files are usually generated by a computer aided design (CAD) program, as the end product of the 3D modeling process. “.STL” is the file extension for the STL file format.

The STL file format is the most widely used file format for 3D printing. When used in conjunction with a 3D slicer (3d printer software), it allows a computer to communicate with the 3D printer hardware.

From its humble beginnings, the STL file format has been adopted and supported by many other CAD software packages, and today it is widely used for rapid prototyping, 3D printing, and computer-aided manufacturing. Amateurs and professionals use it alike.

This simple 3D figure was modeled with an online software called Tinkercad. It is simple but has height, length and height. It can be rotated from all angles.
The software gives you the option to export what you designed to a format called OBJ or also to STL, with which you can print in 3D. Like Tinkercad, there are other programs on the market to build 3D models.

The main purpose of the STL file format is to encode the surface geometry of a 3D object.

What is 3D modeling?

3D modeling is the creation of a simulated three-dimensional object with the help of specialized software. The object can be created from simple shapes to complex high polygon models.

3D Printing

3D printers work with a software known as Slicer, which interprets the 3D modeled design, in STL and OJB formats, transforms it into a file that the printer can interpret and starts the process. As you can see, this 3D modeled design cannot be generated only with a photo or an idea, it requires the intervention of a software or a designer who knows how to use this software and generates the figure virtually to be able to pass it on to the process. manufacturing.

3D Printing Time

Depending on the size and padding of the object, 3D printers can take anywhere from minutes to hours and even days to print an object.

Object Size:

Another factor to take into account is that conventional 3D printers have a size limitation, so if they are objects larger than 200 mm x 200 mm x 200 mm, it is necessary to fragment them to print them in parts and then adhere them with special glue.

Alternatives to obtain 3d objects for printing

Don’t worry if you’re not a designer, you don’t need to be a CAD expert to get a 3D model for your needs as this work is done by numerous 3D model websites.

Whether you want to 3D print furniture, a mechanical component, or even human or animal figures, here are some of the most popular free 3D model websites to cover all your needs. Remember, make sure the chosen model is free.

These are the sites:


Cults 3D

My Mini Factory

CG Trader

Turbo Squid

Sample 3D design, it has width, height and depth, the software it was made in can manipulate it, rotate it, scale it or further modify it and export it to an STL file so that our 3D printing software can generate the G-code you the printer uses to print.


We work with the international metric system, that is, meters, centimeters and millimeters, etc.

When working with 3D printers the measurement works in millimeters, so make sure to indicate measurements in millimeters (mm) when you send us your STL file.

There are also clients who ask us for an approximate price of something with approximate measurements. We cannot quote like this for various reasons, the best thing is that you send us the model to be able to take into account criteria such as padding and supports, printing hours, etc. to be able to quote them and indicate working time with the help of our software.

Fill and Supports

Things that are taken into account to quote a design, and why we need the 3D model: the supports.

3D printers cannot print in the air, look at the example of this photo, the dog needs to be able to rest on something to be able to print, then the 3D software of our printer processes the design and places – removable – supports so that the figure does not collapses during printing.

Tomado de Lifewire

Another factor to keep in mind, the more detailed you want your print to be, the more material and time it takes. However, as it is a layered deposition method, you should know that the layers of a 3D print can be seen with the naked eye.

Tomado de Prusa Blog

The infill of the object also affects the printing price and its resistance, it all depends on the use that you are going to give the object.

Credits: https://www.hubs.com/knowledge-base/selecting-optimal-shell-and-infill-parameters-fdm-3d-printing/

Printing Material

PLA stands for polylactic acid, better known as biodegradable plastic or bioplastic.

Among all the types of filaments, PLA is the most used and best known. It’s the standard filament for most extrusion 3D printers, it’s also strong and easy to print with. Its great advantage is that it does not require high temperatures.


If you are afraid of someone copying your design, don’t worry, we don’t publish clients’ original designs (eg their thesis or project mockups, prototypes, original artwork) and we don’t share their files either. Unless you allow us to display your “original” designs, they are safe with us.

3D Printing Service in Panama:

Once all doubts have been cleared, you can send us your STL file for a quote.

At Multitask we 3D Print in PLA material. Send us the STL file by e-mail, we send a quote, then you pay by online banking or bank deposit, and once printed we will deliver the product to your address.

Please, before sending us a request, take into account the comments of this article.

Contact us:


Tel. 836-7132 (we speak English)

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