Printing | 10 07 2014

3D Printing File Formats

We’ve written this article to help users with some more details regarding the accepted file formats in Threeding’s platform:

VRML File Format
VMRL is a graphics file format used by Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML). .vrml files are appropriate for 3-D information mainly online. These files contain data regarding the graphics of the site – sounds, animations, objects, and lighting. They allow user interaction since they are designed primarily for the web. They are similar to .wrl and .wrz files, which both contain compressed versions of .vrml files.

WRL File Format
Files with the .wrl extension are most often associated with the Virtual Reality Modeling Language. Such files contain virtual worlds created with this VRML. The .wrl files contain coordinates and colors that define objects and shapes in the virtual world. WRL files are saved in ASCII text format. A wide range of modeling applications use the .wrl file extension to save files.

STL File Format
STL file names end with .stl that comes from "STereoLitography". This format was developed especially for the need of 3D printers. Such files are used a lot in Rapid Prototyping (RP) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM). This format is a good choice when specific parts and details have to be printed since the .stl file describes the surface geometry of a part.

There are more 3D printing files format which are not that often used and that’s why they are not supported by However, here is some information about them. 

PLY File Format
The PLY file format (known as the Polygon File Format or the Stanford Triangle Format) is a simple object description designed mainly as a convenient format for scientists working with polygonal models.

3DS File Format
3D Studio Scene is an image format that contains mesh data, material attributes, bitmap references, smoothing group data, viewport configurations, camera locations, and lighting information, may include object animation data as well. 3DS file format is widely used in 3D printing industry.

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ZPR File Format
ZPrint CAD format is used with Z Corporation 3D printers. It is a native format of the applications ZEdit and ZPrint. It stores a physical 3D model as well as object’s color information. ZPR file format is a binary one.