Meshlab: definition, functionality and scope

Meshlab was originally developed in 2005 at the University of Pisa. However, due to its versatile capabilities, the open-source application is still enormously popular in the field of 3D modeling. In the following, we will show you what you can do with Meshlab and what the advantages and disadvantages of the application are.

The most important facts in brief:

  • Meshlab was initially developed in 2005 at the University of Pisa
  • The application is available as open source software and can therefore be used free of charge
  • Compatible with all known operating systems of Windows, Linux and macOS
  • Meshlab provides a number of functions for rendering, editing and texturing meshes.

Meshlab: definition, functionality and scope

Meshlab is a well-known and widely used software in the field of 3D modeling. Behind the application is originally a course from the University of Pisa. The program was developed in 2005, but regular updates are still being carried out. The basis of the program is modeling with the help of triangular structures.

Use of Meshlab in the 3D printing process

Meshlab is used in various fields such as microbiology, paleontology or even orthopedic surgery. For the 3D printing process, Meshlab is a versatile software. You have numerous tools at your disposal to shape, render or texture your meshes. The usability of the application is high, and you can export your objects in different formats.

File formats at Meshlab

  • PLY
  • STL
  • OFF
  • OBJ
  • 3DS
  • VRML 2.0
  • X3D

Meshlab: costs, trial version and operating systems

Meshlab is compatible with a number of operating systems. Moreover, you don't have to worry about any costs when using it.

Cost & trial version

Meshlab is an open source application that you can use free of charge. You don't have to purchase a license and can access all the functions of the CAD program.

Supported operating systems

Meshlab supports all known operating systems. You can use the software via Windows, Linux or macOS. In a somewhat weakened version, the CAD application is also available for Android and iOS.

Advantages and disadvantages of Meshlab in 3D printing

We have listed the main advantages and disadvantages to Meshlab in 3D printing for you below:


  • Easy operation enables use for beginners
  • Compatible with Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS
  • Versatile tools for editing, texturing and rendering meshes
  • Free to use as an open source application
  • Support for several major file formats


  • Limited options in the mobile version for Android and iOS
  • Application available in English only


Meshlab is a helpful and versatile CAD program that you can use for free as an open source application. You can use triangles to edit your models, plus you have several options for rendering or texturing. So you can prepare your objects optimally for printing.

FAQ: Frequently asked questions & answers about Meshlab

Meshlab is suitable for beginners and offers a clear user interface. However, it is important to know that the application is offered in English only.

Meshlab offers a variety of functions and tools to edit meshes in preparation for 3D printing.

Most users can learn how to use Meshlab within a short time. The range of functions is manageable, at the same time the program is based on a clear user interface.