Export to STL format

STL is a standard file format used to represent a digital 3D model. STL is largely used by 3D printing and CAM software. STL stands for STereoLithography which is one of the first 3D printing process.

The units are not specified which means that number 1 can be a meter, millimeter, foot, inch and so on. As a standard most 3D printing software interpret dimensions in millimeter by default unless otherwise specified. The best practice is to choose the units from the CAD software that will export the 3D model in millimeter. It will save you a lot of confusion by doing so.



You need to install a plugin in order to export in STL format.

  1. Menu Window -> Extension Warehouse
  2. Search for Sketchup STL and install the plugin.

Then you can export your 3D model by using:

  1. Menu File -> Export STL…
  2. Export units: Millimeters
  3. File format: ASCII
  4. Click on Export



Menu File -> Export -> STL


CATIA save .stl files from the Part Design environment only. The accuracy of the .stl file is a function of the Display accuracy.

  1. Menu Tools -> Options…
  2. In the tree select General -> Display
  3. Select the Performance tab
  4. Under 3D accuracy, select Fixed
  5. Set to .02mm (.0008in)
  6. Adjust Curve accuracy ration to .2
  7. Click OK
  1. Menu File -> Save As
  2. Select type STL
  3. Save



  1. Menu Tools -> Options > Export
  2. STL Options
  3. Set Quality to Fine
  1. Menu File -> Save As
  2. Set Save As Type to STL
  3. Save


Solid Edge

  1. Menu File -> Save As
  2. Set Save As Type to STL
  3. Options
  4. Set Conversion Tolerance to 0.001in or 0.0254mm.
  5. Set Surface Plane Angle to 45.00
  6. Save



  1. Menu File -> Save a Copy
  2. Select STL as the File Type
  3. Use 0 as the Chord Height
  4. Leave Angle Control to 1
  5. Save