The best 3D file converters make it easy to convert proprietary 3D file formats to other file formats that you can use in other applications.
The best 3D file converter
As the number of software tools for creating 3D files has increased, so has the number of file types. Many software vendors, like AutoDesk and Blender, have their own proprietary 3D file formats. Additionally, neutral file formats designed to work with all major 3D software tools have only increased the number of standards currently in use.
With all of these file types flying around, it is essential that anyone working with 3D design tools, animations, or 3D printers have a reliable file conversion tool. Ideally, you need a tool that can interconvert between all the major proprietary and neutral formats as well as the STL format required by 3D printers.
In this guide, we’ll help you take the headaches out of 3D files by highlighting five of the best 3D file converters you can use today.
If you are looking for a completely free 3D file converter, Meshconvert is a good place to start. As the name suggests, this program is designed only for mesh files and not for constructive solid geometry files. It currently supports approximately 37 input file formats, including Blender BLEND files, AutoCAD DXF files, and neutral STL and OBJ files.
The downside of Meshconvert is that the types of files you can convert are relatively limited. Meshconvert only converts 3D files to STL, OBJ, COLLADA, and PLY file types.
Meshconvert is hosted online, so there is no need to download a program. This makes this solution quick and easy for small files. If the 3D file you want to convert is hosted online, you can also give Meshconvert the URL to avoid another download.
Spin 3D from NCH Software is one of the best computer file converters.
It is only available for 64-bit Windows computers, which limits the use of this software. But, it is extremely fast and powerful and covers a wide range of conversion needs.
This software takes input in any of 45 different file formats, including the most common proprietary formats. The file types you can convert to are much more limited – there are only six – but Spin 3D includes outputs in 3DP and 3DX in addition to the STL and OBJ formats.
What really sets this 3D file converter apart are the features built into the desktop software. Before running a conversion, you can preview both the original 3D design and the early output design to make sure it will be rendered accurately. In addition to that, Spin 3D allows you to batch convert files using multiple processor threads.
If you are willing to pay for file conversion, it is worth taking a look at Online CAD Converter. This web-based converter tool allows you to convert a file for free and then charge a modest fee per file afterwards. Unlike other online tools, Online CAD Converter supports large files: you can upload files up to 100MB.
The main reason for using this 3D file converter over a free tool is that it supports a very wide variety of file types. In addition to the graphics formats covered by most converters, Online CAD Converter can accept files from Inventor (SLDPRT), Inventor (IPT), Pro / ENGINEER (ASM), NX (PRT), etc. You can produce designs in five standard formats, including COLLADA, STL, 3DP, 3DS, and OBJ.
If you want a single 3D file converter that can handle all file formats under the sun, look no further than i3DConverter. This desktop software supports over 760 file formats. Not all are supported for entry and exit, but many are. This makes this file converter software much more versatile than any other tool on the market.
The software itself is also quite feature rich. i3DConverter has a batch input module to convert a large number of 3D files, and you can load files into the software by simple drag and drop. There’s a built-in file viewer that lets you preview the input you’re converting, although you can’t preview the output until the conversion takes place. Additionally, you can access i3DConverter from the command line.
As you might expect, i3DConverter is not free. But it is very reasonably priced, and the software is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Greentoken offers an impressive range of file carriers for a free online tool. The platform can handle any of the 52 3D file format entries, including all of the most popular proprietary and neutral formats. What’s especially cool is that it also supports a wider variety of outputs than other free tools. You can convert files to STL, STLB, COLLADA, OBJ, 3DS, PLY, JSON and X. In particular, however, conversion to 3DP is not supported by Greentoken.
The online interface supports batch conversion, but you can only download a maximum of five files at a time. Fortunately, if your model is split into multiple files, the batch upload can be used to provide Greentoken with all the necessary files at once. Uploads and downloads are relatively fast, although the 50MB upload limit can be problematic if you have large 3D files.