My Projects

Papa’s Best STL Viewer

Papa’s Best STL Thumbnails – adds preview thumbnails for STL files to Windows Explorer

Papa’s Best CFBF Optimizer – optimizes compound files

About …

I’m Chris – father (Papa in German) and enthusiastic software developer. This is where I upload my best tools, hence the name – Papa’s best!

My first upload is the STL Viewer I wrote for 3D printing. All the clicks and pauses with MeshLab & Co annoyed me, so my STL Viewer comes without bloat. Double-click, see the file, done!

My page doesn’t use cookies and is free of ads. Because that’s how it should be. Have fun!

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STL Viewer & STL Thumbnails updated

This update fixes the orientation of STL files exported from recent Solid Edge versions.

Programs disagree on whether Y or Z should be the up axis, which is a major source of annoyance for me. My tools implement a set of algorithms to decide on a case-by-case basis which axis is most likely up. While this is a solid win for usability, it needs periodic adjustments when new program versions are released. If you encounter STL files that are not rotated correctly, please send me a sample!

The thumbnail handler was extended to show in the bottom-right corner the icon of your default STL program.

You can download the new version of Papa’s Best STL Viewer here and the updated thumbnails here.

STL Viewer updated

This update makes use of my CFBF Optimizer to make the setup even smaller. The size of programs and setups is, in my opinion, a very important quality factor:

Furthermore, Microsoft fixed a few problems in their tools, allowing me to remove old workarounds. You can download the new version of Papa’s Best STL Viewer here.

CFBF Optimizer added

You may have noticed that the setup of my STL Viewer has become smaller recently. This is mainly due to optimizations to the container format, Microsoft’s Compound File Binary Format (CFBF). I decided to share those optimizations with you, so I added CFBF Optimizer to my site (including source code). If you’re a programmer or just into data compression, check it out!

STL Viewer updated

The latest version fixes problems with the background color as well as spaces in file paths. Apart from that, detection of measurement units has improved. So if you ever had problems opening files that should otherwise be fine, or if the Viewer ignored your background color settings, be sure to head over to the download section!

STL Viewer updated

This update allows to run Best STL Viewer on computers that are very weak or very old (missing Direct3D 11-compliant hardware and drivers). It will automatically fall back to software rendering, which is very slow – but it’s better than nothing! (Windows 7 is still a minimum requirement, though.) Some small problems have been fixed as well.

STL Viewer updated

The STL Viewer now comes with a greatly improved setup (better updating, less UAC prompts, significantly smaller size) and a new option to use US/Imperial units (auto-detected on first launch). You can grab the update at the download page!

RSS feed added

You can now subscribe to updates via RSS!