If you want to master a 3D printer, you have to start with understanding the slicing software. Slicer software is a key tool for 3D printing, which is used to convert model files (usually in STL format) into G-codes that can be read by 3D printers. The process involves setting multiple parameters such as nozzle movement coordinates, temperature, speed, flow, etc. In order to obtain the best printing effect, slicing software is an extremely important link, apart from the design optimization, 3D printers, and printing materials.
In short, 3D printing slicing software is a tool that tells the machine how to operate. In addition to using the default configuration of the software, we usually need to learn and understand more advanced settings or try some complex functions to improve printing quality, save time, and get more printing fun. There are many 3D printing slicing software on the market, most of which are free and open source, but only a few need to be paid to use. So what 3D printer slicer software do you know?
Top Slicer Software for FDM 3D Printers
Simplify3D is a 3D slicer software for professional players. It supports almost all available FDM 3D printers. Users can download and import more than 100 3D printer configuration files, and add configuration files by themselves. Simplify3D software allows users to import, scale, rotate, and repair 3D models. STL, OBJ, or 3MF file import is very fast, and even huge meshes can be displayed instantly. It can help professional players obtain the best model effect through parameter control, and the printing quality is excellent. The only downside is that it is paid software.
Cura is one of the earliest and most used open-source free slicer software, with millions of users worldwide. Cura is developed and maintained by 3D printer company Ultimaker and its community. Many 3D printing equipment manufacturers have developed their own slicing software based on Cura, such as Creality Print of Creality 3D. It features variable line width, which increases or decreases line width to create the most efficient paths and print fine details more accurately. Besides that, it has an impressive dynamic preview feature. Users can display the layer preview in the form of video playback to accurately view the moving path of the nozzle. We can see that Cura has even added configuration files for competitors’ 3D printers, and its open source and open attitude is very clear, which has also benefited many users.
PrusaSlicer is a powerful, free, fast, and open-source slicing software that meets users’ needs for high-quality and personalized printing. The software is continuously updated to introduce new functions such as multi-material printing, automatic update of configuration files, variable layer height, color change, and so on. As a free software, PrusaSlicer provides many advanced and innovative features, and through continuous updates and improvements, it has become one of the highly respected 3D printing slicing software. PrusaSlicer is not only suitable for beginners but also loved by experienced users, it can help users achieve a higher level of 3D printing.
In the open-source 3D printing system, RepRap must be mentioned, and Repetier is the slicing software of this open-source system. Its functional modules are more professional and suitable for advanced users. Repetier provides multi-extruder support, up to 16 extruders, multi-slicer support through plug-ins, and supports almost any FDM 3D printer on the market, provided that users need to upgrade frequently.
In addition to the slicing software recommended above, there are many different types of slicer software on the market, such as KISSlicer, Slic3r, MakerBot Print, OrcaSlicer, etc. They are all loved by the public for their unique functions. Slicing software such as Simplify3D, Cura, and PrusaSlicer are more favored by 3D printer companies, and many popular 3D printers are compatible with these slicing software, such as Creality K1 Max, Creality Ender-3 Max Neo, QIDI Tech X-Smart 3, FLSUN V400, etc.
Top Slicer Software for SLA 3D Printer
Chitubox is the most commonly mentioned slicing software for resin 3D printing. It is powerful, easy to operate, and recommended by many 3D printer brands. Chitubox has many functions, such as automatic layout, model hollowing, digging, automatic support generation, anti-aliasing, and tolerance compensation. It is an independent software that can be applied to various brands of 3D printers and provides powerful configuration file support. With the increase in the number of users, this software has also launched a paid Pro version, which is different from the previous Basic version.
Lychee is a slicing software developed by the manufacturer Mango 3D, it is easy to use and has a user-friendly interface. Lychee has been updated for several versions and many of the underlying software engines have been rewritten, including automatic and manual support engines. Lychee has the functions of pixel pipeline, model hollowing, digging, manual/automatic generation of support, anti-aliasing, and variable layer height. Like ChiTuBox, Lychee also offers a free Basic version and a paid Pro version, but the free version displays ads, while the paid version has enhancements like resin compensation, 3D cutouts, and variable layer heights, and is completely ad-free.
In addition to the above two free resin 3D printing slicing software, there are many slicer software on the market. Such as Formware, Voxeldance Tango, Photon Workshop, etc. Photon Workshop is a special software developed by Anycubic. It supports all of Anycubic’s resin 3D printers, but it is not compatible with other third-party machines. This software supports hundreds of 3D printing functions and is constantly updated to ensure compatibility with the latest 3D printing hardware. ChituBox and Lychee slicer software are compatible with most resin 3D printers, such as LONGER Orange 4K, Anycubic Photon Mono X2, etc.