This is the fourth in a series of blog posts highlighting what Groundworks teaches patrons about 3D printing. This page will give you a brief introduction to slicing software which generates a tool path for the 3D printer. Keep reading below or skip to another step using the links below:
|Step 1: What is 3D Printing?
|Step 4: Slicing Your Model
|Step 2: Find/Design a 3D Model
|Step 5: Choosing the Best Filament
|Step 3: Check For/Repair Errors
|Step 6: Print Your Model!
What is Slicing?
In a nutshell, "slicing" your 3D model means taking your design (in .STL or .3MF format) and slicing it into individual layers. The software then generates the tool path (.gcode) the printer will use for printing. Most slicing software will have a print preview function to help you prevent print failures. This video from Maker's Muse shows how a slicer generates the tool path a 3D printer follows to build your model layer by layer.
PrusaSlicer - Created and designed specifically for Prusa's line of 3D printers, Groundworks uses this exclusively with our Prusa i3 MK3S+ printer to get the best prints. Suited for users of all skill levels you can even create custom profiles for non-Prusa 3D printers. Check out the video guides on their YouTube channel as well as the PrusaSlicer download page, a text based tutorial with pictures, and you can find PrusaSlicer updates on their blog.
There aren't many reasons not to choose PrusaSlicer since they began offering support for 3rd party printers in early 2020 with version 2.2.0. However, if you're looking for other options, review this lengthy list of slicer software from All3DP to see what else is available.