The file extension WRL is created using VRML, which is a language that is used to represent 3D vector graphics which are interactive. VRML means Virtual Reality Modeling Language. It was created in the mid-1990s to describe interactive 3D objects in a universal format.
Virtual Reality Modeling Language was originally designed for use with intranets before the language began to be used on the Internet. VRML is also used with local client systems and LAN (Local Area Networks) when used in engineering, multimedia presentations, shared virtual worlds, and scientific visualization. VRML files are also known as worlds, hence the reason for the WRL extension.
WRL file extensions are a text file type that can be created in a compressed file format for easy transmission over the Internet. If the files are in a compressed format, they typically contain the file extension WRZ. WRL files can also be an image file type that contains 3D graphics, multimedia objects, hyperlinks to other media, and audio. There are VRML browsers as well as authoring tools that will create files using Virtual Reality Modeling Language.
WRL files can also be considered a collection of objects that are commonly known as Nodes which include geometric shapes such as a sphere, box, or cylinder. The Nodes contain a field which stores the data related to the objects created with VRML.
How to Open WRL Files
WRL files are created using a variety of authoring tools which are available for many different platforms and operating systems. If you use Windows, you can open WRL files with IMSI TurboCAD Deluxe, which is similar to AutoCad and is available for download on the TurboCAD website. Other programs that will open WRL files in Windows include Blender, which is a freeware 3D graphics program, FreeWRL, or Parallel Graphics Cortona 3D Viewer.
For Mac OS X, you can use Rapidform Explorer, which is a free viewer for 3D and CAD formats and is available for download on the Rapidform website. You can also use XnView or FreeWRL, which are open source applications available as a download on the SourceForge website. XnView and FreeWRL will also work with the Linux operating system.
WRL files can also be opened using Apple iOS. In order to open WRL files on this operating system, you must use Parallel Graphics Cortona 3D Viewer, which is a free download on the Cortona3D website.
If the WRL files are a text file type, you can open them using any text editing program such as Notepad or WordPad for Windows, Apple TextEdit for Mac, or gEdit and Nano Editor for Linux.