Re: History of .stl format

From: Tom Vorgitch (
Date: Wed Jan 15 1997 - 18:36:24 EET

A Brief History of STL files...

STL stand for STereoLithography and was first specified by 3D Systems
in 1987. The format was developed by the Albert Consulting group which
had by hired by 3D to develop the first slice algorithm.

When I joined 3D in 1988 as the software manager, I took over
responsibility for the slice program and started a formal program
to "entice" the CAD vendors to support the STL format. At that time
an official STL specification was published. We were successful in
getting most of the CAD vendors to support the format, so when other
RP suppliers began to develop their systems, they naturally selected
the STL format as their input format. I guess this is just another
example of how the market defines standards. While there are lots
of problems with the STL format, I still believe the advantages
outweigh the problems.

Hope this helps.

At 10:04 AM 1/15/97 -0500, Reggie Ponder wrote:
>Hello all--
>Does anyone out there no what .stl stand for? How was it established as
>the format of choice among most RP equipment and CAD vendors? Who
>developed it? Who named it? etc.
>Reginald Ponder
>Laboratory Manager
>Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing Institute
>Georgia Institute of Technology
>Manufacturing Research Center
>813 Ferst Drive
>Atlanta, GA 30332-0406
>404.894.7688 telephone
>404.894.0957 fax
Tom Vorgitch
Solid Concepts Inc.
28231 Avenue Crocker, Unit #10
Valencia, CA 91355
Voice: 805-257-9300
Fax: 805-257-9311

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