Content.

  1. What is a slicer .
  2. Types of slicers .
  3. Slicer for FDM 3D Printers .
  4. Slicer for SLA 3D Printers .
  5. The most popular and Free slicers for FDM .
  6. The most popular and Free slicers for SLA .
  7. Options for applying support (SLA slicer) offered by the slicer. General explanation.

 

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What is a slicer :

A slicer is a software that processes a 3D model to prepare it for printing on a 3D printer. It converts a 3D model into a G-Code file, which is a command language used by 3D printers to control the movement of the extruder and the print bed.

The slicer divides the 3D model into thin layers and calculates the path of the extruder for each layer. It can also be used to configure print settings such as the temperature of the extruder, the print speed, and the bed adhesion.

There are several open-source slicers available such as PrusaSlicer, Cura, MatterControl, and Kisslicer. Each of these have different features and can be configured based on the user’s needs and preferences.

 

Types of slicers :

There are several types of slicers, but the most common ones are:

  1. Proprietary slicers: These are slicers that are developed and distributed by 3D printer manufacturers and are intended to work only with their printers. For example, Ultimaker Cura is a proprietary slicer that is designed to work with Ultimaker printers.

  2. Open-source slicers: These are slicers that have open-source code and can be used freely by anyone. Examples of open-source slicers are PrusaSlicer, Cura, MatterControl, and Kisslicer.

  3. Online slicers: These are slicers that runs on cloud and can be accessed through a web browser and don’t need to be installed. For example, Autodesk Meshmixer is a free online slicer that can be accessed through a browser.

  4. Professional-level slicers: These are slicers that are used in industry, providing more control and greater accuracy in the printing process. These provide more control over all printing parameters, and can be integrated with other industrial software.

From these, the user can choose the one that best suits their needs and abilities.

 

Slicer for FDM 3D Printers :

The slicer is essential for FDM (fused filament fabrication) printing as it converts a 3D model into a G-Code file that can be interpreted by the printer.

There are several slicers available for FDM printers, both open-source and proprietary, and the choice of which one to use depends on the user’s needs and abilities.

Cura, PrusaSlicer, and MatterControl are a few examples of open-source slicers that are compatible with FDM printers. These are free and can be downloaded and used freely.

Printrun, Simplify3D, and Kisslicer are a few examples of proprietary slicers that are compatible with FDM printers. These provide greater control over print settings and can be used to achieve better results, but are generally paid.

It’s worth noting that, regardless of the slicer used, FDM printers need specific settings such as bed leveling and others to print successfully, so it’s advisable to consult the printer’s manual or discuss with the FDM community to get the best settings for your printer.

 

Slicer for SLA 3D Printers :

The slicer is essential for SLA (stereolithography) printing, just as it is for FDM printing. It converts a 3D model into a G-Code file that can be interpreted by the printer.

There are several slicers available for SLA printers, such as:

  1. PrusaSlicer: This can be used for the SLA printers from Prusa Research.

  2. ChiTu DLP Slicer: this is a slicer dedicated to DLP (digital light processing) printers and is available for free for users.

  3. PreForm: this is a slicer developed by Formlabs for their SLA printers, it’s a proprietary software and it’s available for free for users.

  4. Creation Workshop: this is a slicer dedicated to SLA printers, offers advanced control over print settings and it’s available for free for users.

It’s worth noting that, regardless of the slicer used, SLA printers need specific settings such as bed leveling and others to print successfully, so it’s advisable to consult the printer’s manual or discuss with the SLA community to get the best settings for your printer.

 

The most popular and Free slicers for FDM :

The most popular and free slicers for 3D printing at the moment may include:

  1. Cura: This is one of the most popular open-source slicers and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is easy to use, has a large number of profiles for different printers, and offers good control over print settings.

  2. PrusaSlicer: This open-source slicer is developed by Prusa Research, one of the leading manufacturers of 3D printers. It is compatible with Prusa printers and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

  3. MatterControl: This open-source slicer is compatible with a variety of 3D printers and offers good control over print settings. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

  4. Slic3r: This is another popular open-source slicer that is compatible with a variety of 3D printers and offers good control over print settings. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

It’s worth noting that while these are among the most popular and free options available, there are many others that can be considered depending on the user’s needs and preferences.

 

The most popular and Free slicers for SLA :

The most popular and free slicers for SLA (stereolithography) printing at the moment may include:

  1. PrusaSlicer: This open-source slicer is developed by Prusa Research, one of the leading manufacturers of 3D printers. It is compatible with Prusa SLA printers and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

  2. ChiTu DLP Slicer: This is a dedicated slicer for DLP (digital light processing) printers and is available for free.

  3. PreForm: This slicer was developed by Formlabs, and it is a proprietary software that is available for free. It’s compatible with Formlabs SLA printers.

  4. Creation Workshop: This is a dedicated slicer for SLA printers that offers advanced control over print settings. It’s available for free.

It’s worth mentioning that these options may vary depending on the technology of the SLA printer and its brand, and it may be necessary to consult the printer’s manual or discuss with the SLA community to get the best settings for your printer.

 

Options for applying support (SLA slicer) offered by the slicer. General explanation:

A slicer for SLA printers offers various options for generating supports that allow the user to customize the printing process. These may include:

Support types: The slicer can offer different types of support, such as wide-base supports or angled supports, to fit the needs of individual models.

Thickness and distance of support: The slicer can allow the user to set the thickness, height, and distance between supports to achieve optimal adhesion and to avoid deformation or movement during printing.

Support inclination: The slicer can allow the user to set the inclination of supports to avoid deformation or movement during printing. This can be an important option for models with delicate or complex shapes.

Automatic support generation: Some slicers can automatically generate supports for models, making the process simpler for the user.

Manual support editing: Some slicers allow manual editing of supports, allowing the user to add, edit or delete supports as needed.

3D visualization: Some slicers offer a 3D visualization mode and allow the user to see how the generated supports will look before starting the printing.

It’s important to keep in mind that different SLA printers and slicers may have different options for generating supports, so it’s important to research and consult the documentation and support to get the best settings for your printer.