3D printers have redefined how we look at a printer. Capable of printing 3-dimensions these devices can be used to print out prototypes at a low cost. If you work with one of these you surely know what 3D printer (.STL) files are. Working on designing a 3D prototype, you will most probably create various versions to test out and make improvements. With each version, you are actually creating an extra file. By the end of the project, you’d have several duplicates with only minor differences between them.
To avoid filling up your storage with the duplicate files you must delete the ones you don’t need. Going through one project and deleting the unimportant 3D printer files is still manageable but if these files are big in number and located in different folders on your computer, finding and deleting them is going to be a long tiring process.
A quick and easy way to do this is to use a software that can find these files and clean them up. Clone Files Checker is a software that exactly does this. Compatible with Windows XP onwards and macOS 10.10 onwards, it searches for duplicate 3D printer files and can help you select one file (to be retained) based on various criteria like the newest one, the smallest one, by folder location etc. Let’s take a look at how this application works:
Finding Duplicates with Clone Files Checker
Clone Files Checker is available for download on its official website. Download and install the application and open it. Next, follow these simple steps to find duplicate 3D printer files easily:
Step 1: Add Files to Clone Files Checker
You will see the Add button on the top-left of the screen. Add the files that need to be scanned from your computer. You can add more than one folder in the same way and also remove any paths located inside them that shan’t be scanned.
Step 2: Customize the Scan
You can customize the scan in this section. You can either set the app to check for all files or specify a category to scan for. Since 3D printer files do not fall into any of the custom categories, select All Files.
Next, you can also select a lower-size limit, upper-size limit or a file size range for Clone Files Checker to ignore. However, both of these steps are entirely optional and can safely be ignored. Click the Start Search button to launch the scan.
Step 3: Select Duplicates
After the scan, the app throws up the scan results window. Fix Wizard provides a simplified way to breeze through the process and is recommended for beginner level computer users. Review and Fix allows you to select the duplicates based on advanced criteria. For this, click the Select Duplicates button on the bottom, and you can select the duplicates according to date, modification, size, and file location.
Step 4: Select Action
After selecting the required files, you can choose if you want to delete or move the files to a folder of your choice.
In case of relocating your files, you need to specify where they should be moved.
However, if you wish to keep track of the duplicates as well, you can click the Export Results button. This makes organizing the duplicate 3D printer files easier. The results are exported to an Excel Sheet.
Finding Duplicate 3D printer files using File Explorer
You can also use the File Explorer to find duplicate files within the same folder/ drive. Use the search bar on the top right corner to search for .stl and press Enter to look for the results.
The results will be populated very soon and you can then go through these duplicate files to see which ones you want to keep. Although this method is not as reliable as the other one, it surely offers some level of duplicate cleanup.
Raza Ali Kazmi works as an editor and technology content writer at Sorcim Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. He loves to pen down articles on a wide array of technology related topics and has also been diligently testing software solutions on Windows & Mac platforms.