Top 5 Most Popular 3D Rendering File Formats

When working on a 3D model, you’ll find many different kinds of rendering files. It can be tricky to figure out which file rendering types are suitable for 3D printing and further processing to ensure compatibility with your specific software and hardware. We’re here to help you understand it all.

Best 5 File Formats for Rendering

Check out the top 5 rendering file formats! In 3D printing and modeling, there are many file render types to choose from. Here’s a list of common file extensions that people often use in 3D.

Top 5 Most Popular 3D Rendering File Formats

1. OBJ

OBJ stands as the go-to standard in the 3D industry. It’s a widely embraced plain text format but comes with limitations — offering only fundamental support for geometry and materials.


  • Mesh details: vertices, faces, edges, normals, UVs.
  • Group/Object separation.
  • Materials/Textures.
  • Curves and Surfaces.

However, OBJ rendering files lack support for mesh vertex colors, fixtures, animations, lights, cameras, void objects, parenting, or transforms.


The COLLADA file format is tailored for effortlessly transferring and exchanging digital assets like 3D models across various graphic applications.


  • DAE files viewable across various applications.
  • COLLADA’s versatility extends to diverse projects, including 3D landscapes, video games, and movie motion tracking.

3. STL

If you’re into 3D modeling, you’ve undoubtedly crossed paths with STL files. They’re a staple in 3D printing, offering a straightforward way to save and move intricate designs to software or printers.


  • STL 3D image format is widely supported and compatible with nearly all 3D printers.
  • You can craft various items, from lamps and plant pots to various accessories – anything.


STEP files are fundamental in the world of CAD and 3D printing, as they are key to holding and managing 3D model information for a wide range of design activities.


  • Their flawless compatibility with CAD software significantly simplifies the distribution and editing process.
  • The precision in data storage is guaranteed by the mathematical model of the curve embedded in STEP 3D format files.

5. 3DS

3DS, one of the more established file types, holds 3D graphics information accessible on any device.


  • Capable of handling shapes and designs of any complexity.
  • Despite being largely superseded by .max files, the 3DS format maintains support across most 3D design programs.

Summing Up

The specialists at Genense Studio (3d rendering studio) suggest opting for versatile rendered file formats like STL, OBJ, and Collada, which are compatible with various tools and fit seamlessly into nearly any workflow. Got more questions? Our experts are on hand to assist with any queries about architectural visualization, exporting, or creating a 3D model in the format you need.

Asad Ijaz

My Name is Asad Ijaz. I am Chief Editor on NetworkUstad and also a writing a blog for different websites. My most of articles are published on

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