STL files, or “stereolithography” files, are the standard format for 3D objects, especially for 3D printing. This file type creates an object by tessellating it (or turning it into a large number of smaller triangular shapes).
In contrast, STEP, which stands for “Standard for the Exchange of Product model data”, is a CAD file format commonly used for 3D models. STEP files represent objects that are transferrable from one CAD program to another without several intervening conversion steps.
The primary difference between the two is that STEP files are typically much easier to edit due to the STEP file type being designed specifically for CAD editing purposes.
In the following, we’ll take a look at two programs that can be used to convert STLs to STEPs.