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How to read and visualise a 3D file

You just got a 3d file from one of those popular websites (, Youmagine, 3DHubs), you created it from scratch or a friend gave it to you. But you want now visualise it.

You can visualise a 3D file with whatever the extension (STL, OBJ, PLY...) without paying a penny with the differents kind of open-source software you can find on internet. I advice you to download MESHLAB with the following link depending of your OS "Operating System": Download Meshlab.

When it's done, install the software on your computer. You can now load your 3D file by clicking on:"File -> Import Mesh" and look for your 3D file in the directory you dropped it off.

It may ask you the following question: Unify duplicated vertices. Click on ''OK''.

Now that your file is loaded into the screen. You can rotate it, move it on X, Y, and Z, change the size, etc.

  • To rotate your 3D object: Hold down the left click and move it as you want

  • To move your object: Hold down ''ctrl'' on your keyboard and also the leftclick on your mouse. Move the mouse wherever you want and the object will follow the arrow.

  • To change the size of your object: Hold down "shift" on your keyboard and so the left click on the mouse too. Now you can move up and down the arrow on the screen. You'll notice that our object's size scale up or down.

That was a nice way to introduce you to that nice 3d opensource software call Meshlab. Meshlab is also used to repair and correct the 3D files and make them more compatible for a possible 3D printing.

We'll see that part in a further tutorial. So stay tuned or subscribe to our newsletter on the website and our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Youtube) to no longer miss one of our tutorials and news.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. See you next time for another one. ;-)