LabVIEW Hangs When Loading STL or VRML Files

Updated Jul 27, 2023

Reported In


  • LabVIEW

Issue Details

  • When I load a VRML or a STL file in the Sensor Mapping Express VI, the viewer remains black and LabVIEW hangs. What is causing this?
  • When I load a STL file using the Load STL Geometry VI, LabVIEW hangs, it is happening with specific sets of files. What is causing this?


LabVIEW 3D load functions as the Sensor Mapping Express VI or the Load STL Geometry VI are only capable of loading VRML and STL files saved in ASCII format. If they are saved as binary files, LabVIEW will hang when trying to load the file. To solve this issue, make sure the files ingested in these functions are ASCII instead of Binary.

Some CAD software can configure the type (VRML or STL) of the generated files. For example, in SOLIDWORKS®, we can save in both formats, but only the .stl format has an option to save in ASCII format. This is done by clicking Options when in the Save As prompt, as shown below. 

When the Options Screen comes up, select the Output as: ASCII radio button, as shown below. 
Your file will be saved as .stl in ASCII format, and will now be readable by the LabVIEW Sensor Mapping VI and/or the Load STL Geometry VI.

Additional Information

LabVIEW provides the ability to load 3D model files created from Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. Specifically, it can load Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) or Stereolithography (STL) files. These are saved as .wrl and .stl files, respectively, in either ASCII or binary format. It is important to note that LabVIEW can only load .stl and .wrl files in ASCII format.