7 Best Free Open Source STL Viewer Software For Windows
Here is a list of best free open source STL viewer software for Windows. STL or Stereolithography is a free 3D CAD file format that carries 3D models and designs. To view STL files, you can find many STL file viewer software. Although, if you want open source STL viewers, then you can use this list that contains multiple open source STL viewers. These let you view and analyze STL files with multiple view tools. As these are open source viewers, thus you can also download and modify the source code of these software without any restrictions.
In these viewers, you can easily view 3D models of STL and popular 3D/ 2D file formats such as OBJ, STEP, DAE, DXF, DWG, PLY, etc. To view 3D models, each of these software offer orientation (to view a model from all angles), rotate, pan, and zoom (to closely analyze a model) tools. In some viewers, you can also find various viewing modes such as orthographic view, perspective view, parallel view, top view, bottom view, etc. Some viewers also offer wireframe feature to view the main structure of a 3D model. Apart from 3D model viewing tools, you also get a lot of 3D model editing tools in these viewers that you can use to make modifications to a model.
These software also contain additional features that may come in handy such as macro recording, screenshot, plugin support, etc. Go through the list to know more about these viewers.
My Favorite Open Source STL Viewer Software For Windows:
FreeCAD is my favorite software because it offers all the essential 3D model viewing tools. Plus, it also shows detailed parameters (number of edges, angle value, position coordinates, etc.) of imported 3D model.
Open 3D Model Viewer is another good and dedicated viewer software to view STL and other 3D models.
FreeCAD is a free 3D parametric modeler software that can also be used as an open source STL viewer software. It works on Windows, macOS, and Linux. In it, you cannot only open and view 3D files of STL format also view other popular 3D file formats such as OBJ, STEP, DXF, DWG, BRP, and more. As it is mainly a parametric modeler, thus, it also offers many 3D model editing tools to modify existing 3D models or create new 3D models from scratch. Besides this, you can also export your STL models in the same or other supports file formats such as STP, PLY, AMF, DXF, OBJ, and more. Now, check out the main STL model viewing features.
- View Modes: This software offers multiple viewing modes to view a 3D model from different angles and directions such as orthographic view, perspective view, set to front view, set to rear view, set to left view, etc.
- Orientation and Zoom: With the help of your mouse, you can change the orientation of a 3D model to view it from any direction that you want. Plus, you can also analyze a part of a 3D model by zooming on it.
- Model Properties: In this section, you can view all the parameters of an imported STL file such as the number of mesh points, number of edges, angle value, position coordinates, shape color, transparency level, etc.
- Workbenches: This software offers multiple workbenches (surface, robot, ray tracing, etc.) to work on different types of 3D models.
- Macro Recording: With its help, you can record an entire model editing process that you can later use to create another similar model.
- Measure Distance: It is another handy tool that lets you measure the distance between any two points present over a model.
It is a good open source STL viewer software in which you can easily view and analyze models of STL and other supported formats. Plus, you can also use it to create and edit 3D models.
GLC-Player is another free open source STL viewer software for Windows, BSD, macOS, and Linux. It is a dedicated 3D model viewer software in which you can view 3D models of COLLADA, 3DXML, OBJ, 3DS, etc., formats. In it, you can open up multiple 3D models at a time and quickly switch between them using the Album section. Let’s take a brief look at some of the main features of this software.
- Navigation Mode: This software offers three navigation modes namely Trackball, Turntable, and Fly to navigate around a 3D model. These models change the behavior of interaction between mouse and a 3D model. By selecting the Trackball mode, you can rotate the model in a circular loop through mouse. The turntable mode rotates the model like an actual turntable. The last Fly mode lets you quickly change the position of the model according to the position of mouse clicks over the viewing area.
- Viewing Modes: It provides multiple standard model viewing modes such as perspective, parallel, isometric, etc.
- View Tools: Using model view tools, you can quickly pan, rotate, and zoom in on a model.
- Edit Light: Using it, you can add multiple light sources around a model and specify the color of lights.
- Snapshot: Use it to take a single snapshot of a 3D model.
- Multishot: It lets you take multiple snapshots of a moving 3D model.
- Sectioning: Through this feature, you can cut and remove a portion of a 3D model to look at its internal structure.
It is a powerful open source STL viewer software that offers a good set of 3D model viewing tools.
Wings3D is a free open source STL viewer software for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Unix. It is primarily a subdivision modeler software that enables you to sculpt, smooth, and tweak the outer surface of a 3D model. Apart from STL, it also supports 3D models of 3DS, AI, DAE, OBJ, PLY, and EPS formats. After viewing and sculpting a model of an STL file, you can export it in the same STL or other supported 3D file formats. Let’s take a look at some of the main features of this open source STL viewer.
- Viewing Modes: To view a 3D model from different directions, this software offers multiple viewing modes such as orthogonal view, perspective view, orthographic view, and isometric view.
- Wireframe: Through this feature, you can view the main structure of a 3D model as it hides all the outer and internal surfaces.
- Light Settings: Using it, you can change the position of light and camera over the model and analyze it.
- Zoom: To closely analyze a 3D model, you can zoom in on it, using the mouse wheel.
- Auto Rotate: By enabling this feature, you can start the auto rotation of a model.
- Screenshot: It is a simple screenshot capturing feature through which you can take screenshots of 3D models.
- Plugin: In this software, you can add additional plugins to introduce more features to this software.
It is another simple to use open source STL viewer software in which you can view and sculpt an STL file 3D model.
Open 3D Model Viewer
Open 3D Model Viewer is another free open source STL viewer software for Windows. In this viewer, you can view and analyze 3D models of STL, FBX, DXF, OBJ, PLY, 3DS, LWO, LWS, STL, IFC, and Collada formats. In it, you can view a 3D model from four different angles at a time. Plus, options to rotate and zoom models are also present in it. Now, check out the main features of this viewer.
- View Windows: This menu offers three different types of model viewing windows namely Full 3D View, Two 3D Views, and Four 3D Views. In the Full 3D View window, you can only view a 3D model from one direction at a time. The Two 3D Views windows, lest you view a model from two different directions at a time. In the last Four 3D Views windows, you can view 3D models from four different angles at a time.
- View Controls: This software offers multiple view control tools through which you can change the angle of a model, zoom in on a model, and lock a model at an axis (X, Y, or Z-axis), etc.
- Wireframe Mode: It hides all the surface elements of a 3D model and only shows its barebone internal structure.
- Lighting: Using it, you can enable or disable the light falling over the 3D model.
- Export: Using it, you can export an STL file model in DAE, OBJ, and PLY formats.
It is simple to use open source STL viewer software that anyone can use to view 3D models of STL and other supports 3D file formats.
Gmsh is a free open source mesh generator software that can also be used as an open source STL viewer software. It works on Windows, Linux, and macOS. Other than STL, you can also use it to view 3D models of STP, MSH, VRML, STEP, GEO, and IGES file formats. Now, check out the main features of this viewer.
- Visibility: In it, you can view a list of all the elements present in a 3D model. By selecting an element from the list, you can highlight it in the main viewer.
- Mouse Gestures: This software supports mouse gestures and movements that lets you rotate and zoom in on a model.
- Full-Screen Mode: By enabling this mode you can view a 3D model in the entire screen without any distraction.
- Split Vertically and Horizontally: This feature lets you view two separate instances of a 3D model in either two vertically or horizontally divided windows.
- Merge: This feature lets you combine two separate 3D models to edit or create a new one.
- Statistics: It contains all the statistics about an imported 3D model such as number surfaces, number of points, curves, physical groups, nodes, points, and more.
- Export: Using it, you can export STL models to MED, POS, STL, P3D, etc., formats.
This open source STL viewer software offers a good set of 3D model viewing tools.
Blender is a free open source 3D creation and animation software for Windows, macOS, and Linux. In it, you can find and a lot of 3D model viewing, editing, and sculpting tools. Like most other similar software, it also supports 3D models of various formats such as FBX, PLY, OBJ, X3D, DAE, and more. Now, check out the main 3D model viewing features of this software.
- Scene Collection: Using it, you can adjust the light position, camera position, and object position to view a 3D model in the desired light condition and angle to observe its outer surface.
- Transform: This feature lets you move a 3D model in any direction over its axis to view the model from all the angles.
- Zoom: By simply moving the mouse wheel, you can zoom in on a 3D model to closely analyze the model.
- Viewpoint: It offers multiple predefined positions to view a model from such as top view, bottom view, front view, back view, etc.
- This software offers a lot of additional tools that are required for 3D modeling, Sculpting, UV Editing, Animation, Shading, and Rendering.
It is a feature-rich open source STL viewer software in which you can view and edit 3D models of many different formats.
MeshLab is yet another free open source STL viewer software for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Through this software, you can also view and edit 3D triangular meshes present in files like STL, 3DS, PLY, FBX, OBJ, etc. In addition to that, it also offers paint tools to color 3D models. This software also provides an export feature to export models in their native or other supported 3D file formats. Now, check out the main features of this open source STL viewer.
- In this software, you can view a 3D model in the form of wireframe, points, flat lines, boundaries, smooth, and surfaces. In addition to that, this software lets you view vertex edge, label, axis, boundary, box corner, current, mesh, histogram, and curvature of a 3D model.
- It also lets you closely analyze a model and view it from all directions, through simple mouse movements.
- Layers is another good viewing feature of this software that lets you enable or disable individual layers of an STL file model.
- You can also use its Camera menu to adjust camera quality, rotate camera, scale camera, and colors to change the view of a model.
- Filters: This software offers a lot of filters through which you can clean a model, repair a model, create a new mesh layer, adjust polygonal & quad mesh, modify raster later, adjust the texture of a model, etc.
- Edit: It contains multiple editing tools using which you can align parts of a model, manipulate model, paint model, select vertex clusters, etc.
It is another capable open source STL viewer software that also allows 3D model editing.
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