What are the different 3D file formats?

I would like to know what are the most popular 3D file formats, and if they keep the textures/if they change anything from the model.
Does anyone know about that? Thanks!

The most common 3D file format for 3D printing is the Standard Tesselated Geometry file, or “.stl” file. Other common file types that I’ve seen are “.obj” or “.dae” or “.step” but I’m not 100% sure what those are for, except “.step” is from SolidWorks, I believe.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the help!
However, as the file is for printing, does it keep textures?

Yes! If you export a SketchUp model as an STL, it should keep all the details, like texture. It won’t preserve colors, although you could probably figure that out.

In SketchUp Web (Free), to export a file as an STL, you click on the “hamburger” menu at the top left (the three lines) and go to Download > STL.

Happy printing!

Depending on what is meant by the term “texture”, I would say that the STL format does not represent textures. To me “texture” means a raster image (e.g., photograph) which is to be applied or projected onto a surface of the digital model, in order to give the appearance of more detail than is actually present in the 3D digital model geometry. The STL format does not have a way to represent any surface appearance properties. STL purely encodes triangulated geometry.


Ok, thanks for the info!

You explained it better than I did, thanks! I wasn’t sure if he meant “texture” as in SketchUp texture, or “texture” as in something that is part of the model’s geometry.

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