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Convert Your 3D Mesh/Model IFC Files to STL

Our free and fast tool will convert most 3D mesh or IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) model files to a standard STL (Standard Triangle Language) file that can then be edited further in most popular 3D editing packages such as Blender or 3D printed without any further processing. Our conversion tool can also batch convert multiple IFC files; up to 25 files at a time can be converted.

To convert your IFC file, click the Upload button above and select the file to convert. Once selected, the file will be converted to a STL file and will be ready for download shortly afterwards. For more information about the IFC to STL conversion process, see the conversion information section below.

How to Convert your IFC to STL Online?

Here are two simple steps to convert your IFC to STL.

Upload a IFC

Click the "Upload a IFC File" button and select a IFC to upload. The maximum file size is 100MB.

Download your STL

Click the download link once completed to receive your STL file.

File Format Information for IFC to STL

ExtensionIFC
Full NameIndustry Foundation Classes
Type3D Model
Mime Typeapplication/octet-stream
FormatBinary
ToolsIFC Converters, 3D Model Voxelizer, Create IFC Animation, IFC Viewer

Description

The IFC format (Industry Foundation Classes) is an open format used to describe construction and building-related data in a standardized way. The first version was released in 1996, has continued to evolve over the years, and continues to be updated to this day.

IFC files are text-based and contain data primarily aimed at the building industry. An example of the data contained is 3D model/object geometry data. IFC files can be opened in most CAD programs and some 3D modeling programs.

ExtensionSTL
Full NameStandard Triangle Language
Type3D Model
Mime Typeapplication/vnd.ms-pki.stl
FormatText & Binary
ToolsSTL Converters, 3D Model Voxelizer, Create STL Animation, Compress STL, Text to STL, STL Viewer
Open WithBlender, Daz Studio, MeshLab, CAD Assistant

Description

The STL file format has its roots in the 1980's and is the native file format for 3D Systems stereolithography CAD software. The format defines a triangulated mesh with vertices and faces and is a popular format for sharing 3D printable model files.

There were several formats that attempted to extend the STL format, namely SolidView and VisCAM, whose formats included limited 15-bit color information for each mesh face, which is often ignored by most modern 3D software. The STL format can be either text or binary; our tools will support both formats.

STL Notes

The standard STL file format does not support colored faces, vertices, or texture information. The STL file generated by the tool will contain only raw mesh/triangle data by default, which is perfect for 3D printing.

The tool also has the option to save the file to one of the non-standard formats that support colored faces, such as VisCAM and SolidView which is perfect if you want to further process the STL in software that supports these formats.

Supported Features

  • Mesh geometry
  • Face colors via the VisCAM and SolidView formats
  • Binary and text versions are supported

Comparing IFC and STL Features

 

IFC Features

  • Mesh Geometry (Vertices and Faces)
  • Vertex Normals
  • Face Normals
  • Vertex Colors
  • Face Materials (Excluding textures)
  • Textures
  • Point Cloud
  • Multiple Objects Per File
  • Object Transforms (Translation, Rotation, and Scale)
  • Bones/Joints
  • Animations
  • Suitable for 3D Printing

STL Features

  • Mesh Geometry (Vertices and Faces)
  • Vertex Normals
  • Face Normals
  • Vertex Colors
  • Face Materials (Excluding textures)
  • Textures
  • Point Cloud
  • Multiple Objects Per File
  • Object Transforms (Translation, Rotation, and Scale)
  • Bones/Joints
  • Animations
  • Suitable for 3D Printing

How does it work?

Converting from the IFC file format to STL can be a complex process, and any tool used for this conversion process needs to be able to handle a variety of data conversion tasks as well as identify any defects within the 3D model and fix them. Here we will explain the conversion process used by our tool to accurately convert your IFC file to a valid STL 3D model. Let's start with the conversion process, which involves the following steps:

Step 1: Read the Source IFC File

In its simplest form, an IFC file is a binary data file containing 3D data such as vertices, faces, normals, and more. When combined, these make up the 3D model you see on your screen.

For more information regarding the IFC file format, please see this great article that goes into a lot of detail explaining the IFC format.

Step 2: Process File Data

With the IFC file data read, our tool generates an internal representation of the full 3D model and will attempt to fix any geometry issues encountered. Along with repairing any issues with the 3D model, the tool will remove any duplicated vertices and prepare the model for exporting to the STL format.

Step 1: Read the Source IFC File

Step 3: Saving to the STL Format

The STL format has been around for many years and has become not only a standard format for storing and transmitting 3D models but also a standard format for 3D printing, something we have talked about previously. STL files can be opened in most modern 3D editing applications without further processing.

To enable the saving of the model, our tool now needs to take the in-memory 3D model we have created in step 2 and convert this to the STL format. As the STL format supports only simple triangles with a single directional normal, if your IFC contains vertex normals, these will be recalculated into a single-face normal. To ensure an efficient file size, our tool will always save any STL file in its binary format.

Converting Your IFC File for 3D Printing

Software used to prepare a 3D model file for printing, which is also known as 3D slicer software, cannot usually open IFC files. This is because slicer software authors will support the most common formats used for 3D printing, such as STL and 3MF and do not have the resources to implement 3D object parsers for all the possible 3D formats that are out there.

A small cog in the IFC format

A small cog in the IFC format

The cog in a Replicator 3D printer

The cog in a Replicator 3D printer

The completed 3D printed cog

The completed 3D printed cog

Slicer software can, however, handle files formatted to the STL specification. This is because STL, although predating the 3D printing revolution and lacking in some of the features of modern formats, has found almost universal adoption as the format of choice for distributing 3D printable models. Our IFC to STL conversion tool can convert your IFC file into an STL file suitable for loading into the 3D slicer software of your choice. As STL files do not support material colors or textures, our converter will not process these, resulting in a single STL file suitable for use with most 3D slicer software.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I convert my IFC file to STL?

First click the "Upload..." button, select your IFC file to upload. Select any configuration options. When the IFC to STL conversion has completed, you can download your STL file straight away.

How long does it take to convert my IFC to STL?

We aim to process all IFC to STL conversions as quickly as possible, this usually takes around 5 seconds but can be more for larger more complex files so please be patient.

How accurate is the IFC to STL conversion?

We aim to create the most accurate conversions with our tools. Our tools are under constant development with new features and improvements being added every week.

Is it safe to convert my IFC to STL on ImageToStl.com?

Yes, of course! We do not store the IFC file you submit to us. The resulting STL file, once created is deleted 15 minutes after upload and the download link will expire after this time.

Can I convert my IFC to STL on Windows, Linux, Android, iOS or Mac OS?

Yes! Our IFC to STL tool will run on any system with a modern web browser. No specialist software is needed to run any of our conversion tools.

What if I am using an Ad Blocker, will that affect things?

Yes. Although you can use an Ad Blocker, if you like our IFC conversion tool please consider white-listing our site. When an Ad Blocker is enabled there are some conversion limits on some of our tools and processing/conversion times will be longer.

Can I get support with converting my IFC to STL?

Yes. When you have converted your IFC to STL, there is a "Feedback" option that you can use to let us know of any issues you encountered when converting your file.

What is an STL file?

The STL file format describes an unstructured triangulated surface of the triangles using a 3D Cartesian coordinate system. STL files do not contain any scale information, and the units are arbitrary. We have a more detailed description of an STL file here.

What STL formats can I convert to?

Our tool will save all STL files in binary format. Optionally, our tool will allow you to save to the non-standard color STL format.

I have several IFC files; can I batch convert my IFC to STL?

Yes! Our IFC tool supports full batch conversions. You can upload up to 25 and IFC files at a time. Our tool will convert them all as quickly as possible. Once completed, you can either download the STL files individually or download them all in a single ZIP file.

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