All about 3D File Conversions
The number of 3D files continues to increase with the increase in software used in creating 3D designs. Think about it, every CAD software has a format optimized for the specific platform. Currently, there are over 140 3D file formats and most of them are proprietary formats. Some of the most popular 3D files include 3DS, X3D, STL, OBJ, STEP, IPL, 3MF, and COLLADA. They are very popular in movies, 3D printing, architecture, video games, academics, engineering, and medicine. Actually, every industry has its own common 3D file format for practical and archival purposes.
What is a 3D file format?
They are mainly used to store 3D model information in binary or plain text data. Basically, they encode 3D model animations, geometry, scene, and appearance.
Let’s break it down into non-tech lingo. By 3D model geometry, we mean the shape of the structure. The scene captures the position of cameras, light, and peripheral sources. The animation shows exactly how the 3D model moves. The appearance shows the color, material, texture, etc. But not every 3D file format has all this data. Files like STL only stores the geometry while COLLADA stores all the attributes.
Importance of 3D File Conversion Software
With all the 3D files available, anyone working with 3D design tools, printers, or animation has to have reliable conversion software. You need a platform that can seamlessly help you convert between the popular proprietary and neutral 3D file formats.
Proprietary 3D files are a big hindrance to interoperability. Take, for instance, your pal uses Blender and you’re on AutoCAD. Suppose you both need to share 3D models so you can both contribute to the design. It’s not going to be easy because the native AutoCAD format is DWG while Blender only works with BLEND files. Without having a common file format, you can’t work on the same model.
The good news is that we have neutral 3D file formats that solve the interoperability problem. These are open source files that were developed to act as intermediates between two proprietary formats. And they have become increasingly popular. Some of these files include STL, X3D, STEP, and COLLADA (.DAE extension). You can use them to share 3D file formats between CAD applications. So you can use different software and still collaborate on the same 3D model.
Some of the most popular 3D file convertors you can use include Filestar, Spin 3D, Greentoken, i3DConverter, among others.
We’ll look at 3D file conversions with Filestar.
Filestar is a desktop-based file converter that’s extremely fast, robust, and covers a wide range of file conversion needs. You can convert 17+ 3D file formats into either neutral or proprietary file formats. What really sets Filestar apart from the rest is the security & privacy of your data and accuracy in conversions. And to top it off, you can batch convert your 3D file formats from one format to the next.
You can check out how to convert to STL or PRC file formats.
But, here is an example of how to do it seamlessly. You can use this for every 3D file conversion you need.
Convert 3DS to STL
1. Download and install the latest version of Filestar.
2. Right-click on one or more 3ds file(s) on your desktop and select Convert with Filestar.
3. Type convert to STL in the search box.
4. Press Convert.
We hope this article helps you solve all your 3D file format conversion needs.