The stereolithography (STL) file format was introduced by 3D Systems and has become the de facto industry\ud standard. However, this is not an ideal format due to the existence of some inherent problems. Due to the non-\ud robustness of commercial CAD systems, the choice of tolerance is a major issue when saving STL files. These\ud tolerances will affect the file size, the number of triangular facets and the number of STL file errors. The primary focus of this paper is to outline the relationship between tolerance and these issues in the conversion of CAD\ud models to STL files. To meet the aim of this study, the file size and the number of triangular facets were recorded\ud after STL file generation while the number of file errors was obtained after scanning. Some interesting\ud relationships were noticed and are documented. It is noted that the number of errors decreases with increasing\ud tolerance and that in general there are more errors in the ASCII file format than in the binary equivalent. This\ud paper is intended to provide to the practitioner an idea of how the different factors mentioned are affected by\ud tolerance and allow them to choose the best values based on the finding
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