3D Model Viewing

20 Free STL File Viewers (Online, Mac, PC, Linux, Android, iOS)

STL viewer

Looking for a free STL viewer? Here are 20 free STL file viewers (Online; Mac, Windows PC, Linux Downloads; Android & iOS Apps).

The standard method to edit or revise a 3D model for 3D printing is to use computer-aided design (CAD) software such as FreeCAD, SketchUp, Blender, or MeshMixer. If that’s the way you want to go, then you should read this article:

Don’t miss: 5 Free STL Editors + How to Edit STL Files

But if your needs are simpler, and all you want to do is to view the 3D model, then there are many other options available. This approach can be less intensive for both your computer (and your wallet).

A free STL viewer is a good way to examine a model without the need to download and install 3D modeling software that takes up huge chunks of memory on your hard drive.

Here’s a selection of the best free STL viewers currently available. If we’ve missed any, let us know in the comments, and we’ll add them in a future update.

20 Free STL File Viewers: Overview

Viewer By System Complexity
ViewSTL falldeaf Online
3DViewerOnline 3DViewerOnline Online ★★
Autodesk A360 Viewer Autodesk Online ★★
ShareCAD CADSoftTools Online
Openjscad OpenSCAD Online ★★★
Dimension Alley DimensionAlley Online
STL Viewer for WordPress christian.loelkes WordPress
Gmsh Christophe Geuzaine and Jean-François Remacle Windows, Linux ★★★
GLC-Player GLC-Player Windows, Mac, Linux ★★★
Autodesk 123D Make Autodesk Windows, Mac, iOS
3D-Tool Free Viewer 3D-Tool Windows ★★
MiniMagics Materialise Windows ★★
ADA 3D ADA 3D Windows
Open 3D Model Viewer open3mod Windows ★★★
EasyViewSTL EasyViewSTL Windows ★★
STLView ModuleWorks Windows, Android
Mac OS X Preview Apple Mac
Pleasant3D Pleasant Software Mac
STL File Viewer (free) ModuleWorks Android
MeshLab for iOS Visual Computing Lab iOS

1. Free STL Viewer (Online): ViewSTL

Free STL viewer: ViewSTL
ViewSTL probably is the easiest and simplest way to view your 3D model online. Just visit the website, and drag your file onto the dotted field (where you see the 3D All3DP logo in the image below). The free STL viewer allows you to display the model in one of three views — flat shading, smooth shading or wireframe — and in different colors.

And that’s it! ViewSTL doesn’t have any special tools. That makes it very simple to use, but still very useful for anybody who wants to have a quick look at a 3D model file. Also, you can get a plugin called “WP ViewSTL” which allows you to embed it in WordPress.

Pros

  • Very simple to use
  • Allows embedding the STL viewer in WordPress

Cons

  • No additional options

Visit: ViewSTL

2. Free STL Viewer (Online): 3DViewerOnline

Free STL viewer: 3DViewerOnline

3DViewerOnline is another free STL viewer that’s easy to use. The tool doesn’t just allow you to look at your 3D model files for free, but also to share them via email or social media. To take advantage of this feature you need to be registered with the site, which can be done using an existing Facebook, Google or Twitter account or through email.

It has some useful options such as measuring the distance between two points and hiding or showing smart lines. Registered users may also embed it in websites.

These features are free for a basic account, and for more powerful features you need to upgrade to a premium account. The premium edition is ad-free, you can upload up to 100 files with a single click, and can add your company logo and style to the STL viewer – which is especially useful when you embed it in your own shop system. Moreover, you can disable some of the viewing options.

Pros

  • Advanced feature set
  • Allows embedding the STL viewer in HTML pages
  • Allows sharing of models

Cons

  • Upgrade to premium edition required if you wish to use its full potential

Visit: 3DViewerOnline

3. Free STL Viewer (Online): Autodesk A360 Viewer

Bildschirmfoto 2016-04-28 um 12.17.37

3D modeling software specialist Autodesk offers an interesting and professional free STL viewer. After dropping the file to your browser, the online STL viewer offers a lot of interesting features. Tools for zooming, panning, turning, cutting, measuring and inspecting your objects are quite intuitive.

The STL viewer also lets you take your designs, share them via link, screenshot, print, or even embed them in a website (the latter is possible when using an Autodesk Account). And it supports the most common 2D and 3D formats.

Pros

  • Good set of features and tools
  • Great and intuitive user interface
  • Over 50 file formats supported
  • Collaborative features

Cons

  • Some features are only available free for 30 days.

Visit: A360 viewer

4. Free STL Viewer (Online): ShareCAD

Bildschirmfoto 2016-03-01 um 13.01.52

ShareCAD is a free STL viewer that enables you to view your 3D model online using the web browser. It can display a huge range of CAD, 3D, Vector and Raster file formats. You can even upload archives to the service.

Pros

  • Supports a ton of 3D file formats.
  • Send links of the uploaded object to someone
  • Different shaders and view options

Cons

  • The maximum file size is 50 Mb.

Visit: ShareCAD

5. 3D/Free STL Viewer (Online): Openjscad

Free STL Viewer

OpenJSCAD.org is a free online software, built on OpenJsCad and OpenSCAD.org. It provides a programmers approach to view and develop 3D models. In particular, this enhancement is tuned towards creating precise models for 3D printing.

OpenJSCAD.org is more than a free STL viewer. It’s also a free programmable 3D editor, which you can use to build your own 3D models. There’s an in-depth wiki documentation.

Pros

  • Includes an editor
  • Also usable for professionals
  • Open source
  • In-depth documentation

Cons

  • Not easy for beginners

Visit: Openjscad


6. Free STL Viewer (Online): Dimension Alley

Bildschirmfoto 2016-05-09 um 16.28.03

Dimension Alley is a „3D printing experience store and café“ in Berlin, Germany. Besides offering workshops for all ages, 3D scanning services and even 3D printing by the hour, they also have a free STL viewer online on their website.

You upload your model and get a 3D view, which you then can color, scale and even order through the service in a limited variety of plastic material.

Pros

  • Simple and fast
  • Custom colors

Cons

  • Somewhat rudimentary

Visit: Dimension Alley

7. Free STL Viewer (WordPress): STL Viewer for WordPress

Free STL Viewer for WordPress

This one differs from the other free STL viewers on this page. It‘s a WordPress STL viewer which you install to show 3D files on your blog. With a simple shortcode, you embed a WebGL viewer to show STL files. You can freely zoom and rotate the object in any way you want it.

Pros

  • easy to embed STL files in a blog
  • fairly fast with smaller 3D objects
  • Custom colors

Cons

  • gets slower when loading large STL files
  • last updated to version 1.1 in 2015
  • The viewer can’t be used more than one time per page.

Visit: WordPress

8. Free STL Viewer (Windows, Mac, Linux): GmshFree STL Viewer Gmsh

Gmsh is more than just a free STL viewer. It’s is a three-dimensional finite element mesh generator with built-in pre- and post-processing facilities. It‘s distributed under SNU General Public License, so it‘s free for you to use. But beware. this “free 3D finite element grid generator with a built-in CAD engine and post-processor” can be pretty overwhelming for beginners.

Pros

  • a great mesh viewing tool
  • can do much more than display 3D objects
  • open source and customizable

Cons

  • it’s a professional tool which can be too complex for beginners.

Visit: Gmsh

9. Free STL Viewer (Windows, Mac, Linux): GLC-Player

Free STL viewer: GLC-PLayer

GLC-Player is a free STL viewer that supports many 3D file types. You can view cross-sections of your 3D models and take snapshots. The rendering is adequate, and you can change the camera property to have a precise view from different angles. You may also select four different shader options and change the light source.

Although it is basically “only” a 3D model viewing tool, GLC-Player is overly complicated in some areas. But it does the job in presenting a model.

Pros

  • Basic feature set
  • Supports Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Cons

  • Tricky to use

Download: GLC-Player

10. Free STL Viewer (Windows, Mac, iOS)Autodesk 123D Make

Bildschirmfoto 2016-05-09 um 15.20.42

Autodesk’s 123D Make lets you turn any 3D model into a 2D build plan – even with animated assembly instructions. You upload your model and get a 3D view of the model file, which you then can color, scale and even order through the service in a limited variety of plastic materials. The tool is pretty much perfect for laser cutters, but it also serves as a good STL viewer.

Pros

  • Turns 3D models into 2D build plans.
  • Easy to use and understand
  • Provides 2D building instructions for multiple build techniques
  • Error checking

Cons

  • For 3D printing, you need to download a separate free program, Autodesk Meshmixer.
  • iOS version is somewhat limited but still serves quite well as an STL viewer.

Visit: Autodesk


11. Free STL Viewer (Windows): 3D-Tool Free Viewer

Free STL viewer: 3D Tool
3D-Tool is an advanced STL viewer for Windows. The free version offers features like “Cross-Section” that allows you to take a look inside your model. You can add basic animations to rotate the model, or even add an exploded view. There is also an option to check the wall thickness. The rendering is good, and you can also change the light source and direction of the light very easy.

Overall, 3D-Tool is an easy-to-use free STL viewer and also offers many useful tools to view and test your model.

Pros

  • Advanced
  • Useful tools (e.g. checking wall thickness)

Cons

  • Windows only

Download: 3D-Tool Free Viewer

12. Free STL Viewer (Windows): MiniMagics

MiniMagics

From 3D printing behemoth Materialise, the free STL viewer MiniMagics is designed for 3D printing service bureaus in mind, so they work with their customers and partners to fully visualize the 3D models and prepare a printing quote. It also has an integrated “3DPrintCloud” button that allows users to repair their model quickly and efficiently.

Features include viewing parts by rotate, pan and zoom; a cross-section view to inspect the interior, and adding text annotations. All in all, this is a very slick and professional STL viewer.

Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • Quickly analyze the quality of all loaded files
  • Available in English, German and Japanese languages

Cons

  • Windows only

Download: MiniMagics

13. Free STL Viewer (Windows): ADA 3D

free stl viewer

ADA 3D is great for viewing meshes created in CAD systems — modeled in artistic packages like 3D Studio Max, MAYA, and Z Brush — or meshes generated from 3D scanning of physical objects. With a simple user interface, this free STL viewer is an ideal tool for observing 3D models.

Users can adjust the visualization colors based on their preferences, and there are options to render the object with flat and smooth shading gives to examine the finer details of the mesh

Pros

  • Quick visualization
  • Custom colors

Cons

  • Windows only
  • Company logo on the bottom of the pane

Download from: ADA3D

14. Free STL Viewer (Windows)Open 3D Model Viewer

Free STL Viewer Open3mod

This is a  powerful 3D Viewer and basic editor for more than 40 3D file formats. The free STL viewer lets you see your model from several angles at once. Several other features reach into the pro level: edit and fix broken models, do skeletal animation and export into different formats. A mesh repair is in the making. 

Pros

  • Great free STL file viewer for 3D designers, 3D printing enthusiasts and game programmers.
  • supports many formats
  • interesting viewing options
  • can do edits and fixes

Cons

  • Windows only

Download from: Open 3D Model Viewer

15. Free STL Viewer (Windows): EasyViewSTL

Free STL Viewer EasyviewSTL

If you download and install this program, you can then import and 3D files you wish. The software has several settings and options to let your 3D object “shine”. Several features like a grid help you get a better understand of the object you’re viewing.

Pros

  • Quick visualization
  • Points you to potential problems with your 3D object files.

Cons

  • Windows only
  • Program, documentation and website in German.

Download from: EasyViewSTL


16. Free STL Viewer (Windows, Android): STLView

Free STL viewer: STLView

STLView is a basic free STL viewer for Windows and Android with great touch screen support. You can move the camera in different directions and change the color of the object and the background. That’s it, but it’s a really fast way to view 3D print models from any angle.

Pros

  • Basic feature set
  • Touch-enabled

Cons

  • No support for Mac OS X, iOS, Linux

Download: STLView

17. Free STL Viewer (Mac): Mac OS X Preview

free STL viewer

It’s not common knowledge, but if you have a Mac computer running OS X El Capitan and upwards, you can open 3D models using the Preview application. It has a built-in STL viewer. Options are very basic, all you can do is zoom and rotate the object, but it’s more than adequate for display purposes. Plus, if you expand the view to full-screen, the background goes dark to better highlight the model.

Pros

  • Totally free
  • No downloads or external sites necessary

Cons

  • Mac OS X El Capitan only
  • Ultra basic

18. Free STL Viewer (Mac): Pleasant3D

Free STL viewer: Pleasant3D

Pleasant3D is a small and simple free STL viewer for Mac OS X. It allows you to change dimensions and the location and nothing else. But it’s a really fast way to take a look at your 3D models or to present them to others.

Pros

  • Very basic

Cons

  • Mac OS X only
  • No additional options

Download: Pleasant3D

19. Free STL Viewer (Android)STL File Viewer

Free STL Viewer STLview 2.0

Not to be confused with the online “STL View”, this app from Moduleworks lets you access 3D files on the go. It’s a very basic viewer, but it gets the job done.

Pros

  • Ad-free
  • Gyrocam lets you use your smartphone to turn and twist the 3D object.
  • loads fast
  • can handle multiple models at once

Cons

  • no iOS version

Visit: STL File Viewer (free)

20. Free STL Viewer (iOS):  MeshLab for iOS

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MeshLab for iOS is an easy-to-use STL viewer. MeshLab for iOS displays complex 3D models in a simple and intuitive way, allowing the accurate inspection of a 3D model through straightforward navigation.

Pros

  • reads a variety of standard 3D formats
  • opens 3D model directly from web pages, email attachments or DropBox
  • displays highly complex models up to 2,000,000 polygons on an iPad
  • landscape and portrait mode included

Cons

  • no Android version

Visit: Meshlabs for iOS.


Bonus STL Viewer (Online): 3D Printing Price Comparison 

All3DP Screen Price Comparison

Our 3D Printing Price Comparison Service also has a free STL viewer. Simply upload a 3D model and rotate and zoom to your heart’s content. Moreover, if you wish to get the object printed by a professional online 3D printing service, simply choose the best price and material from the options listed.

Visit: ALL3DP Price Comparison