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How to Convert STL to DXF: A Beginner's Guide

May 22, 2024

So you've designed a 3D model in STL format, but now you need to convert it to DXF for use in CAD software or 3D printing. Don't worry, we've got you covered with this beginner's guide to converting STL to DXF.

What is STL and DXF?

STL (Stereolithography) is a file format commonly used for 3D printing. It represents the surface geometry of a 3D object using a collection of triangular facets. On the other hand, DXF (Drawing Exchange Format) is a file format used for CAD software like AutoCAD. It contains 2D and 3D design data that can be easily edited and shared.

Why Convert STL to DXF?

If you want to use your 3D model in CAD software for further design work or manufacturing applications, converting it to DXF format is essential. Additionally, some 3D printers require models to be in DXF format for proper slicing and printing.

How to Convert STL to DXF

1. Use CAD Software: Many CAD programs, such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks, and Fusion 360, have native support for importing STL files and exporting them as DXF. Simply open the STL file in your CAD software and use the 'Save As' or 'Export' feature to save it as a DXF file.

2. Online Converters: If you don't have access to CAD software, there are online converters available that can convert STL to DXF. Simply upload your STL file to the converter, select DXF as the output format, and download the converted file.

3. Dedicated Conversion Software: There are specialized software tools designed specifically for file conversion, including STL to DXF conversion. These tools often offer advanced features and customization options for the conversion process.

Tips for Successful Conversion

- Check for errors: Before converting, ensure that your STL model is error-free and watertight to avoid issues in the converted DXF file.

- Preserve units: Pay attention to the units used in the conversion process to ensure that the scaled dimensions of the 3D model are accurately represented in the DXF file.

- Test the converted file: After conversion, open the DXF file in your CAD software or 3D printing software to verify the integrity of the conversion.


Converting STL to DXF opens up a world of possibilities for integrating your 3D models into CAD designs and manufacturing workflows. Whether you use CAD software, online converters, or dedicated conversion tools, the process is straightforward and essential for leveraging the full potential of your 3D designs.