14 Best Free PLY Viewer Software for Windows
Here is a list of best free PLY viewer software for Windows. A PLY file (Polygon File Format or Stanford Triangle Format) is used to store 3D models. To view 3D models stored in a PLY file, you need to use these free PLY file viewers. You can easily rotate, zoom, pan, or move PLY model. These software also let you select different rendering style to visualize a 3D model, such as flat lines, shaded, wireframe, points, hidden line, etc. Also, you can toggle between various view modes including fullscreen, orthographic, perspective, top, front, right, rear, left, bottom, etc. Other than that, you can use Measure, Texture Mapping, Toggle Visibility, Statistics, and more features to view and analyze PLY model.
Apart from PLY files, these software also let you view other 3D model files such as OBJ, DWG, DXF, DAE, IGS, STEP, STL, WRL, VRML, etc. Many of these software also let you edit/modify PLY files. And, you can convert PLY file to other supported formats using export or save as feature.
My favorite PLY Viewer Software for Windows:
FreeCAD is my favorite PLY file viewer as it provides all essential features to visualize PLY model and it is the easiest to use software on this list. Plus, you can also create 3D models using it.
You can also use Paint 3D to view PLY files as it is an inbuilt Windows 10 app.
FreeCAD is free open source 3D modeler software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can also view existing 3D model files using it including PLY. It lets you view PLY file in Points or Stanford Triangle Mesh format. As per chosen format, it displays a PLY file. It lets you open and view multiple PLY files at a time because of its multi-tab interface. From left panel, you can access all added PLY files, their elements, and their properties as well as other data.
You can use following features to enhance your PLY model viewing experience:
- You can select a draw style from given ones including normal, flat lines, shaded, wireframe, points, hidden line, and no shading.
- It lets you toggle between different view modes including fullscreen, orthographic, axonometric, top, front, right, rear, left, bottom.
- While viewing PLY or any 3D model, it lets you measure distance between two points.
- You can freeze view and save the frozen view to an external file.
- Some more of its features include Texture Mapping, Clipping Plane, Toggle Visibility, Appearance, Stereo, Zoom, Scene Inspector, etc.
It is a feature-rich software to view and create 3D models. It supports a lot of other file formats which are OBJ, DWG, DXF, DAE, SVG, SVGZ, IGS, IFC, STEP, STL, AST, WRL, VRML, WRZ, etc.
DeskArtes View Expert
DeskArtes View Expert is a nice free PLY viewer for Windows. Using it, you can easily view a 3D model contained in a PLY file. Besides PLY, it supports other 3D files too such as STL, VRML, CGR, DAE, OBJ, SLDPRT, STEP, etc.
This software contains all necessary features which are required to view and study a PLY file. These features include Ortho View, Spin View, Quad View, Zoom, Pan, Light Position, Show Object, Hide Object, Display Surface, Grid Settings, etc. Additionally, it provides a Dimensions menu which lets you measure various values like points, distance, angle, radius, volume, wall thickness, center of gravity, etc. All of the parts of a PLY model can be accessed from the left panel. It provides a Fix Model menu to verify a PLY file using Verify Shells option. Also, you can convert a PLY file to another supported format using its File > Save As option.
Note: In this free version, some features are disabled which can be unlocked only by purchasing a license.
MeshLab is a 3D mesh processor and editor which can be used as a PLY file viewer. Apart from PLY, you can import and view some other files as well including 3DS, OBJ, STL, DAE, PTX, VMI, X3D, etc. To view a PLY file, you can use options like fullscreen, orthographic camera, bounding box, points, wireframe, grid options, draw XYZ axis, etc. It provides various shaders to render a 3D model. You can also enable/disable options like Show Box Corners, Show Current Mesh, Show UV Tex Param, Show Quality Histogram, Show Quality Contour, Show Labels, Enable Shadow Mapping, etc. It provides various filters to apply to view a 3D model using different sets of algorithms, like Cleaning and Repairing, Smoothing, Fairing and Deformation, Color Creation and Processing, Quality Measure and Computations, etc. You can enable ‘Not Editing‘ mode in order to prevent any unintentional editing to the model.
It provides a lot of tools for editing and analyzing a PLY file including Align, Arc 3D Importer, Manipulators Tool, Measuring Tool, Quality Mapper, Reference Scene, etc. You can also save a snapshot of the current view of a PLY model. You can also use its ‘Export Mesh As’ option to convert PLY model to other supported formats.
Paint 3D is an inbuilt Windows 10 app for creating 3D content. It can also be used as a PLY file viewer as it lets you open and view 3D models in files including PLY, STL, OBJ, FBX, etc. You can view the model in basic 3D View mode or Mixed Reality mode. It provides orbit, pan, rotate, zoom, etc. options to properly view or analyze a PLY model.
As this is a 3D model creation app, you can edit PLY model using it. To do so, it provides tools like 2D shapes, 3D shapes, Brushes, Text, Effects, 3D Library, etc. You can also convert PLY file to another supported 3D file format using its Save As feature.
Autodesk Meshmixer is a free software to create 3D content. Using it, you can also view PLY files as well as other mesh files like OBJ, STL, AMF, 3MF, etc. It lets you rotate a 3D model to view it from every possible angle. For this, it provides a navigator in the viewer window. Also, you can change the view mode to Orthographic or Perspective. Additionally, you can enable or disable wireframe, boundaries, grid, printer bed, and other preferences to view a PLY model. Other than that, it lets you customize some properties like ViewCube size, On-screen position, Inactive opacity, etc.
It provides a handy Analysis feature which enables you to analyze an object of PLY model using a variety of options. These options include Dimensions, Measure, Mesh Query, Thickness, Inspector, Strength, Stability, Orientation, Overhangs, Slicing, and Layout/Packing. Apart from that, It provides more tools including Sculpt, Meshmix, Stamp, Shaders, etc. It provides Export function too in order to convert PLY file to another supported format like OBJ, VRML, DAE, STL, 3MF, etc. You can also export the view of PLY model to a SVG file.
GOM Inspect is the next PLY viewer software on this list. You can view and evaluate a 3D model contained in a PLY file using available tools. You can rotate the 3D model around XYZ axis as well as zoom (in/out) to look at the model closely. You can use View menu to customize model view as per your preferences. It provides a lot of 3D measurement options to evaluate the model including area, volume, etc. You can also create material thickness, surface defect map, and draft angle map.
A dedicated INSPECTION menu is provided to analyze a PLY file using options such as CAD Comparison, Create Cluster, Deviation Label, Check Dimensions, Check GD&T, Check Curves, Analyze Surface, Analyze Aerofoils, etc. Additionally, you can use CONSTRUCTION menu to modify the PLY model. You can also export PLY file to other supported formats including G3D, POL, STL, etc.
MeshMagic is another one of PLY file viewer software for Windows. It is a very simple software to view PLY and other 3D files. You can use various tools which enhance your viewing experience, such as Wireframe, Backface Culling, Specular, etc. It also shows 2D views in the right panel. You can also view values like number of triangles, points, etc. Its additional tools include Invert Normals, Recalculate Normals, Reverse Winding, Duplicate Objects, Split Objects, Remove Duplicate Triangles/ Vertices, etc. In its Edit tab, you get options like color, rotate object, scale object, etc.
3D Builder is a free PLY file viewer app for Windows 10. Apart from PLY, it lets you view 3D models in various formats including OBJ, 3MF, STL, WRL, etc. It comes with some inbuilt 3D models which you can open and view the model. To view a model, it lets you rotate and zoom the design using the mouse.
You can also edit PLY and other supported files using it. It provides options like Paint, Smooth, Split, Smooth, Merge, Emboss, Subtract, Intersect, Extrude down, etc. You can save the edited version in any of the supported formats.
Gmsh is a free portable PLY file viewer for Windows, Linux, and Mac. In it, you can also view IGES, STEP, GEO, STL, P3D, and more files. You can simply rotate the model to view it from different angles and also zoom in/out. It provides Geometry, Mesh, Solver, and Post Processing modules to view, analyze, and modify different aspects of a PLY model. For example, in Mesh module, you can find tools like Optimize 3D, Refine by splitting, Recombine 2D, Reclassify 2D, Inspect, etc. Other than that, it provides Visibility, Clipping, Statistics, etc. features too. You can even convert a PLY model to another file format using its Export option.
Blender is a famous 3D modeling software which can be used as a PLY file viewer. You can simply import a PLY file and view it using zoom in/out functions. For that, you can select 3D View Full mode from top toolbar. Other than that, I didn’t find any feature which can enhance your viewing experience. But, as a 3D modeling software, it is quite a complete package. It also gets a little complex to use, so you definitely need some skills to create or modify a 3D model in this software.
Besides PLY models, you can you view models in formats of 3DS, OBJ, DAE, STL, FBX, etc. Other than, you can render an image of current view of a 3D model. You can checkout its review on ILoveFreeSoftware.com by going to this link.
Bforartists is a free open source PLY viewer for Windows. It is basically a 3D modeler software which is used to create 3D content. It is a little complicated to use, so you need to have prior knowledge to use it. In terms of features and functionalities, it is exactly same as Blender.
To open and view a PLY file, it lets you use Import feature. You can enable 3D View Full mode to visualize a 3D model contained in PLY file. You can simply zoom a model to closely view it. It provides modes like Animation, Compositing, Game Logic, Motion Tracking, UV Editing, etc., to customize or create a new 3D model.
Other than PLY, it supports 3D files such as 3DS, OBJ, DAE, STL, FBX, etc. If you wish, you can convert PLY file to some other formats with Export function.
Open 3D Model Viewer
Open 3D Model Viewer is the next PLY file viewer software on this list. It lets you view PLY file in full 3D view, two 3D views, or four 3D views mode. Furthermore, you can enable wireframe, shading, textures modes to view PLY model. It also lets you enable options like show axis aligned bounding boxes for nodes, geometric normal vectors, skeleton joints in 3D view, frames per second, etc. You can also export a PLY model to another supported format like DAE, OBJ, STL, 3DS, etc.
3D Viewer is a default app for Windows 10 to view 3D model files. It lets you import and view various 3D files including PLY, STL, OBJ, 3MF, FBX, GLB, and GLTF. You can visualize 3D model stored in a PLY file with various functions like rotate, zoom, etc. To view a 3D model, it lets you toggle between Model Viewer and Mixed Reality modes. It lets you configure ‘Environment and Lighting‘ settings to select theme and light options to view PLY file. Also, it lets you select a shading mode from wireframe, metallic, smooth shaded, opacity, occlusion, etc. Other than that, it also lets you view PLY file statistics including mesh, scene, texture, animation, and performance data.
NuGraf is yet another software to view PLY files. Apart from PLY, it supports various other 3D model files to import and visualize, such as DAE, SLDASM, FBX, IGES, DWG, DWF, 3DS, STP, etc. It displays the model in four views by default including top, front, right, and camera. You can customize your preferences to view a 3D model with options like orthographic view, orbit camera, tilt camera, pan, zoom, rotate, etc. Additionally, options to customize lighting preferences, skeleton bones and joints display options, fog options, etc. are also provided in it. You can also convert PLY to some other supported format using its Export feature.
Note: This PLY viewer has a limitation that it doesn’t display every fifth polygon of a model. This limitation can be removed only by upgrading to its paid version.
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