Convert STL to SVG With TinkerCAD

I just found a super easy way to convert STL (3D) files to SVG – TinkerCAD!

  1. Load your STL file
  2. Orient it so that the slice you want to export is sitting on the “floor” of the workspace
  3. Click “export,” and select SVG.
  4. Done!

Great find. This will be supper handy to anyone using TinkerCAD.


In fact it might be worth getting Tinkercad just to do that. Thanks!


Nothing to get. Just log in in and start making. It is all in the cloud. :cloud:


Cool! I’ve tried doing something like this in Openscad, and sometimes it works, sometimes the details of the mesh make it go boom. So if TinkerCAD can just do it…

Additional exercise for the reader: repeat, moving the STL up/down by some small amount each time.

1 Like

Thanks for the info. This will be an interesting rabbit hole for me.

1 Like


1 Like

Out of curiosity, what does the output look like?

Like this.

It still produces a ton of nodes if your pattern is complex, just like every slicer I’ve tried…

So you’d either have to simplify or convert to raster for GF to handle it, but it’s at least a start!


What did it look like as a 3d image? I am just curious as to why this process is necessary… not to say it isn’t, I just cant wrap my head around it.

1 Like

It’s part of the lid to a decorative box, so it pretty much looked like that, only thicker.

There have been a few times when I’ve had an STL file that contained something I wanted to use as part of a laser project, and all the previous ways I’d found to convert them to SVG were really fiddly and unreliable. This one is fast and easy, in comparison. :slight_smile:

I see… thanks for the insight.

1 Like

In case there is anyone still stumped on signing up. =)

1 Like

Finally tried this out… soooo simple! THANK YOU @geek2nurse !


I have a complex .STL that I imported into TinkerCAD and it looks like this

I brought it from MODO and exported as .STL for 3D printing. Doesn’t .STL stand for stereolithography?

How are you guys using 3D models to export into TinkerCAD to export as SVG? I click on export in TCAD and it exports my SVG and looks like this in Affinity Designer:

It cuts the model in half.

I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m trying slice a 3D model into parts I can put together as puzzles.

I can use slicing tools in MODO to slice the model into thicknesses I can cut through but one problem I have is I cannot cut through .50 or even .25 of inch wood. So I would have to cut my model into thicknesses of .125 which could get out of hand real quick.

When i say .25 I mean plywood. I haven’t tried cutting other types of wood. I was able to get some scrap wood from the local college.

You should be able to cut through 0.25" materials. What kind of wood are you using?

I just wanted a cross-section of my shape, but this would also work with layers. I don’t see how you can get around using layers the thickness of your material, though, unless you just make your model really small.

See if this tutorial sheds any light for you: A Cardboard Castle using Free Tools =)


Whoa, this is awesome! Thank you!

1 Like

I was thinking about it in another way also. I was wondering if GF could add a pen tool to the and I could make a two circles as end pieces with nails through them like old pinewood derby cars and put my wood in the middle. Then rotate my wood and cut, stroke, or engrave from the pen tool as I rotate the circles on the spindle made from some cuts onto the thickness of the wood.

1 Like

So it would be like a lathe but using GF to make cuts as I manually rotate the wood.