Here is the dropdown of Best Free 3DS to STL Converter Software for Windows. 3DS (developed by Autodesk) and STL(Stereolithography) both are 3D file formats used for creating and storing 3D models and data. Now, to be able to convert a 3DS file to STL format, you will need a software which supports these two formats as input and output. To help you out, I have created this list of best free software which let you convert 3DS to STL. So, you can simply go through this article and get a suitable software as per your requirement.
Most of these software let you modify 3DS file before converting it to STL format as they are primarily 3D modeling software. You can use various available tools to edit 3DS files including draw mesh designs, transform objects (rotate, move, scale, etc.), align objects, sculpt, extrude, etc. Plus, you also get a dedicated set of 3D model viewing and analyzing tools in these software.
One of these software is a dedicated 3D file converter using which you can batch convert 3DS to STL. Additionally, these software support many other 3D file formats for the purpose of conversion, such as OBJ, PLY, DAE, STP, FBX, etc. All in all, these software are quite versatile which can be used for many other 3D modeling tasks including 3DS to STL.
My Favorite Free 3DS to STL Converter Software for Windows:
Spin 3D Mesh Converter is my favorite software as it lets you convert multiple 3DS files to STL format simultaneously.
In case you want to edit 3DS model prior to conversion to STL, you can use Wings 3Dwhich is a feature rich 3D model creator.
Spin 3D Mesh Converter is a dedicated 3D model converter software for Windows. Along with various 3D file conversions, it also supports 3DS to STL conversion. Apart from 3DS and STL, it supports some more input and output formats including OBJ, 3DP, 3MF, and PLY.
It is the only software on this list which can batch convert 3DS to STL. So, you can input multiple 3DS files in it and convert them all to STL format at once. Now, let’s see the sorted steps to convert multiple 3DS files to STL format.
How to batch convert 3DS to STL using Spin 3D Mesh Converter:
Click on Add Files or Add Folder button in order to import individual 3DS files or a folder containing several 3DS files.
Now, set output format to STL and provide output location to save resulting files.
Lastly, hit the Convert button to initiate the process of 3DS to STL conversion.
It lets you preview imported 3DS models on its main interface.
Prior to 3DS to STL conversion, it lets you modify input 3DS file using basic editing options like rotation, scale, translation, etc. These parameters can be tweaked by clicking the Effects button.
It is one of the best 3DS to STL converter as you can convert multiple 3DS files to STL format, which is time-saving.
Wings 3D is another nice 3DS to STL converter software for Windows. It is basically a 3D CAD software with a lot of 3D model designing tools. Hence, you can even modify 3DS file prior to conversion to STL format. You get 3D model building tools which include extrude, shell extrude, bump, put on, lift, inset, rotate, scale, move, bevel, bridge, mirror, dissolve,tweak, material editor, ambient occlusion, etc.
How to convert 3DS to STL in Wings 3D:
Open a 3DS file by making use of its File > Import > 3D Studio (.3ds) option.
Now, edit the 3DS file with the help of its editing tools, if needed.
At last, go to its File menu and click on the Export > StereoLithography (.stl) option in order to simply convert 3DS to STL.
Apart from 3DS and STL, it can convert various other 3D files from one format to another, such as OBJ, DAE, PLY, GLB, etc.
It provides Outliner and Geometry Graph features which list objects, textures, lights, materials, and more used in the model.
You can find some advanced selection options and model viewing and analyzing tools in this software.
It is a good 3DS to STL converter which has a very simple GUI that makes the modeling and model conversion tasks quite easy.
MeshLab is a free open source 3DS to STL converter software for Windows. Using this software, you can easily convert a 3D model in 3DS file format to Stereolithography (STL) format. Also, prior to conversion to STL, it provides you the flexibility to modify the imported 3DS model with the help of various 3D modeling tools and features. Apart from 3DS to STL, you can perform some more 3D file conversions using this free software, e.g., OBJ to STL, PLY to DAE, OBJ to PLY, STL to OBJ, etc.
How to convert 3DS to STL in MeshLab:
At first, by using its File menu > Import Mesh option, open a 3DS file in this software.
Next, if needed, make changes to the imported 3DS file using tools like translate, rotate, scale, align, painting tools, edit referencing options, and many more editing features.
Now, you can simply convert 3DS to STL by using its Export Mesh As option from its File menu.
A variety of filters are provided in this software which you can apply over your 3D model. These filters are divided into several categories such as mesh layer, raster layer,point set, sampling, texture, cleaning and repairing, remeshing, simplification and reconstruction, color creation and processing, quality measures and computations, etc.
You also get various 3D model rendering options in it, such as enable shadow mapping, show curvature, show quality contour, show UV Tex Param, etc.
It is a good 3D modeling software which you can also use to view and create/ edit 3DS files as well as to convert 3DS to STL.
MeshMagic is yet another free 3D modeling software which can be used to convert 3DS to STL. You can simply import a 3DS model in it, view and analyze it, modify it as per your requirements, and then convert it to STL format. Besides STL, it lets you convert 3DS to a few other 3D file formats including 3DP, 3MF, OBJ, and PLY. As for input, it supports the similar set of formats with an additional FBX format.
How to convert 3DS to STL in MeshMagic:
The first step is to import a 3DS file to it by using File menu > Open File option.
The second step is optional i.e., if you want to edit imported 3DS model, you can do that too. For this purpose, you get designing and editing features like move, rotate, scale, create 2D shapes, extrude 3D from 2D outline, convert 2D object to 3D, coloring tool, etc.
Lastly, you can save the original 3DS model or its edited version in a STL file by using its Save As feature.
In its Tools menu, you can find some additional utilities including tools like Backface Culling, Invert Normals, Recalculate Normals, Reverse Winding, Duplicate Objects, Group/ Split Objects, etc.
It is a nice and simple yet effective 3DS to STL converter which is also a good 3D modeling software.
Open 3D Model Viewer, as its name implies, is a free 3D model viewing software for Windows. It can be your another alternative to a 3DS to STL converter software. To do so, it offers an Export feature which can be used to convert 3DS to STL and to perform various other conversions. It provides supports to various other input and output formats such as OBJ, BLEND, FBX, DXF, IFC, Collada (DAE), etc.
Let’s checkout step by step procedure to convert 3DS to STL using it.
How to convert 3DS to STL in Open 3D Model Viewer:
You can start with importing a 3DS file to this software by simply dragging and dropping it over the interface or using its open function.
Now, go to the Tools menu and select Export feature which will open up a window where you can select output format and parameters. Here, set export format to Stereolithography (.stl), enable or disable options like use relative texture paths, include scene hierarchy, include animations, etc., and hit the Export button to start 3DS to STL conversion.
You may also save texture files used in the model separately.
It is one of the best 3D model viewers which comes with the additional functionality of converting 3D models from one file format to another, e.g., 3DS to STL.