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I was taught to just export my part model in STL file format when I take it to the slicer. I can't believe it took me five years to realize this but apparently other file formats go to slicers as well.

I can look up the differences on my own (feel free to post them anyway) but what does everybody here use and what benefits do you think it has? I have an FDM printer and have always used STL files. I use Slic3r Prusa Edition and I like it. I adjust the resolution of my STL file depending on what I'm trying to accomplish.

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Not sure what you mean by slicer, unless it's the program that generates the code for a 3D printer.  In all the 3D printers I have used over the years, STL has always been the file to use.  If there are other files types it'll accept, that is probably dependent on the program.  STL is like the standard so it'll be the one common type across any program.

If you are doing your own design then you can export a .STL, but sometimes if you are buying a model on-line it is in .OBJ  format.

Either one will work in most good slicer programs. And your design program can import an .obj and export it as a  .stl.

A slicer program is just taking your model, slicing it in in multiple vertical layers as oriented in your print with a thicknesses that your printer can print, say 25 microns, 50 microns or 100microns. 

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