Exporting a design

When we are finished with our design the next will be exporting it for 3D printing. Just click on the export option; a dialogue box appears where we need to select.STL option, as we click on it our files will be saved in download folder in your system.

Now we have our project ready for printing, but don’t forget to convert your design into G-code for 3d printing.

Exporting a design from Tinkercad for viewing, making, or sharing is easy. When you click “Export”, you have several options for the format in which you will export your design.

STL (an abbreviation of “stereolithography”) 

The universal format for 3D Printing. Choose the STL format if you are exporting for 3D printing. STL format format is supported by many other software packages; it is widely used for rapid prototyping, 3D printing and computer-aided manufacturing. 


OBJ is an open format that is commonly used in 3D graphics applications. Use OBJ format for multi-color 3D printing. 

The OBJ format export from Tinkercad produces a zip file with two files in it. One file describes the geometry (example.obj) and the other file describes the colors as applied in Tinkercad. (example.mtl).  


Also written as glTF format, this export option minimizes both the size of 3D assets, and the runtime processing needed to unpack and use those assets. GLTF is becoming increasingly popular as a format for digital sharing and viewing workflows, such as on Sketchfab or Facebook 

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)

SVG is a vector image format for two-dimensional graphics. Use this format for a lasercutting project, for example. When exporting this type from Tinkercad, the 2D vectors are generated where the 3D model intersects the default workplane location.

Gcode file

A GCODE file contains commands in G-Code, which is a language used to describe how a 3D printer should print a job. It stores instructions in plain text with each line representing a different command, such as how fast the printer should print, the temperature it should be set at, and where the printing parts should move. GCODE files are created by slicing programs, that translate CAD drawings into G-Code, which a 3D printer can read.


Difference between STL  and GCODE

STL files represent 3d models. They cannot be 3d printed in and of themselves.

GCODE files represent instructions to a 3d printer: temperature, extrusion, movements, etc.

3d printers print GCODE. Slicer software creates GCODE from an STL file.


To convert the STL to GCODE file, follow the next activity.