So we have talked about 3d CAD development software in the past, with the recent rise of 3d printers, we though we’d dig into what the options are for your new 3d printer.
A lot of 3d printers even come with their own software as a stand-alone unit, to save you on cost. However here are all of the different 3d printing software options to look into:
1 year premium license for $149. This is slightly different where 3DPrinterOS is actually a cloud print management software. This is kind of like the Google Docs for 3d printing, where everyone can collaborate online, fix the design and then print to anywhere worldwide.
This is a great option for building/ reviewing files in a team setting, as it includes ways to fix your designs e.g. Autodesk Mesh Repair, NetFabb, and Magic Fix.
Free, you can get this along with their CraftBot custom 3d printer, but you can use this as it supports printers using the gcode command set. The tooling path/ slicing algorithm is really great here especially for a free program. Available for both Windows and Mac OSX
Free program that is great for converting your stl file into g-code (path info). The free version supports anyone with a single-head machine. However you can upgrade to a pro version (paid) if you love the program or if you need the additional multi-model printing and if you have a multi-head cnc machine/ 3d printer.
KISSlicer offers adjustable printer speed, fast slicing and the ability to be efficient with material usage, with features such as adaptive support and adaptive sparse infill.
Simple, free, open source 3d program. Hasn’t been updated in a while, but still does the job nicely for creating g-code. Supports s3g, x3g, stl, GCode files.
Repetier Host is free and supports Windows, Mac, and Linux. The interface includes a nice preview feature before you print with printing stats. Uses either Skeinforge or Slic3r as the slicing engine.
Coming in at $149 USD, Simplify3D has a lot of features, and can actually be used as an all-in-one with its 3d modelling capabilities. This allows you to make changes to your file after exporting it, potentially making the print process more efficient (e.g. splitting up parts). The benefit here is that you get full support as this is paid software. There’s support for Windows, MacOS X, and Linux.
Supports Windows, MacOS X, and Linux. Slic3r is a free G-code generator for 3d printers. The program is developed by Alessandro Ranellucci alongside other conributors to the community. With claims of Slic3r being 100x faster than Skeinforge. The software remains up-to-date with a good community behind it if you do get stuck.
Skeinforge is a free program written in the python language, its a pretty basic bare bones program that gets the job done converting .stl files to GCode. You can download direct from the author’s page here.
Marketed as the world’s most advanced 3d printer software. This would be one of our top picks as the software is completely free and open source. Ultimaker has a great community behind it. The software supports Linux, Windows, and MacOS X, and is kept up to date across all platforms.
Other software to look into that offer a variety of different options for your gcode conversion when custom 3d printing, such as networking, automation and peer based software options: OctoPrint, AstroPrint, PrintToPeer.
Well thats a round-up of the different options for 3d printing. For a free version, we recommend Ultimaker Cura, but for paid we think the Simplify3D software is worth the cost if you need the support and the extra features of an all in one.
Which 3d printing software are you using and why?