Comparison of the 3D Modelling File Formats

The Comparison of the 3D Modelling File Formats. People have stored information since the invention of writing. Before 3D scanning, dental professionals and laboratory technicians kept physical models and paper files. Instead of cabinets, computers are used to store digital data. Because file formats encrypt data for computer storage, programs must be able to recognize and access the file format to utilize the data.

In file formats for renderings, the geometry of a 3D model is encoded. All three of constructive solid geometry, precise mesh, and approximate mesh serve a purpose (CSG).

Because high-resolution printing is not possible with 3D printers, the geometry is encoded using a coarse mesh. Approximate mesh employs tessellation, covering a surface with geometric tiles. It is effortless to tile. During this procedure, the model’s color and texture are saved. The CAD/CAM system is produced when CAD generates the 3D printing file and CAM processes it.

STL, OBJ, and PLY are the three file formats most frequently used in 3D printing.

STL is generally the most common file format for 3D printing and using approximate mesh. Triangles also referred to as facets, are the fundamental building blocks of STL files and are used to cover the surface of 2D shapes. STL is superior to other file formats in several ways. First, collaboration is simplified by its widespread acceptance and use. In addition, STL files are simple and compact, which expedites processing.

STL files have a significant disadvantage. Tessellation only affects the surface, so the files only contain the geometry of the surface without color or texture representation. STL files are ideal if you only need a single color or texture, which is typically the case, but other formats are becoming increasingly popular as printers improve and the demand for color increases. Resolution is an additional issue with STL files. Maintaining a high resolution or encoding larger objects requires more triangles, which increases the file size. More time is needed to process larger files.

The OBJ and PLY file formats were created to fill the space left by the STL file format. Both can store characteristics such as color and texture. Despite being less popular than STL files, OBJ and PLY are well-known and frequently used for their ability to store color, texture, and other details. Both files are anticipated to have greater future relevance than STL files and will benefit from more advanced 3D printers.

Is there a definitively superior file format? It depends mainly on your situation and requirements. However, one thing is sure: both file formats and 3D printers will improve over time.