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How to control and change STL file sizes.

STL is a common and well understood file format for 3D printers, but it can create huge unwieldy files, if you are not careful. Luckily PhotoToMesh gives you an estimate of the STL file size as you change the number of samples in your model.

In the example below there are 300 by 300 samples, and you can see (beneath the Y Samples slider) the estimate of 17 MegaBytes for any STL file you create with these settings.

STL file size estimate (a)

Of course it is a bit of a compromise between resolution of your final 3D printed object and the size of files which your 3D printing software will accept.

Change the setting to 600x600 and the file size increases to 70 MegaBytes, but the resolution is much better:

STL file size estimate (b)

We seem to be stuck with this bulky uncompressed format for the next few years, I hope someone comes up with a better 3D format which can handle more detail with less bytes!

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"I imported the STL's from PhotoToMesh into my CAM package (Cimatron E) and machined the STL directly."



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