STL files describe only the surface geometry of a three-dimensional object without any representation of color, texture or other common CAD model attributes. The STL format specifies both ASCII and binary representations. Binary files are more common, since they are more compact.
An STL file describes a raw unstructured triangulated surface by the unit normal and vertices using a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system. STL coordinates must be positive numbers, therefore no scale information, and the units are arbitrary.
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Because ASCII STL files can become very large, a binary version of STL exists. A binary STL file has an 80-character header followed by a 4-byte unsigned integer indicating the number of triangular facets in the file. Following that is data describing each triangle in turn and the file simply ends after the last triangle.
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