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STL File Reader

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STL File Reader


Eric Johnson


11 Dec 2008 (Updated )

STLREAD imports geometry from a binary stereolithography (STL) file into MATLAB.

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In addition to the STLREAD import function, this submission also includes a small demo that loads an STL model of a human femur bone.

FV = STLREAD(FILENAME) imports triangular faces from the binary STL file
indicated by FILENAME, and returns the patch struct FV, with fields 'faces'
and 'vertices'.

[F,V] = STLREAD(FILENAME) returns the faces F and vertices V separately.

[F,V,N] = STLREAD(FILENAME) also returns the face normal vectors.

The faces and vertices are arranged in the format used by the PATCH plot


This file inspired Binary Stl File Reader and Polarizability Gui5.

MATLAB release MATLAB 7.7 (R2008b)
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Comments and Ratings (16)
26 Nov 2014 Arne


what is meant by faces and vertices?

I want to generate a 3D-array out of my STL-files.. is there a way?

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25 Sep 2014 Charles Eloquin Leclerc

Memory expensive, the script quickly crash because the computer is out of memory. The script extract about a billion points from my STL files. From my calculation, I would need about 100 Gb of ram......

Does someone have a solution for this problem?

05 May 2014 negar


Hi. thanks for this program. can you send me flowchart?
Best regards.

22 Jul 2013 Saber


Great work!

08 Apr 2013 Christian Kotz

Christian Kotz

Great! fast and easy to use.

23 Dec 2012 Héctor Corte

Héctor Corte

Wonderful submision. I used it to make some geek gif in my blog.

08 Jun 2012 Patrick


Very helpful

23 Dec 2011 Santosh ARS

Santosh ARS

i think this gives wrong faces? Please confirm.

Comment only
15 Dec 2011 Robert


Thanks for your submittal. What units is the model in once I've read the stl file with Matlab. I am using NextEngine's 3D scanner and they are telling me that the units are defined by the reader utility.

12 Dec 2011 Morteza Shahpari

Morteza Shahpari

11 Dec 2011 Morteza Shahpari

Morteza Shahpari

Very nice and useful.

05 Jan 2011 Francis Esmonde-White

Francis Esmonde-White

I have re-written this function to be much faster.


Comment only
04 Jan 2010 By ?

By ?

very good

22 Jan 2009 Luigi Giaccari

Luigi Giaccari

Very useful for binary filesl but do not support ascii format

16 Jan 2009 Jveer


very useful!

can the vertices and faces be arranged such that they can be used with surf??

textures cannot be applied to patch objects. surf is more useful.

12 Dec 2008 alain boyer

alain boyer

31 Dec 2009


20 Jul 2011

Updated submission with example script and 3D model.

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