Although the 3D printing
market has and will continue to grow
rapidly, there are still some capabilities that the market needs that we take for granted on the paper printing side of things. For instance, you have to convert those excellent 3D models into a printable format, and that can be tricky.
Enter Slic3r, a free and open source
tool that coverts STereoLithography (STL) files into a printable format. The software cuts the 3D model into “slices” and then “generates toolpaths to fill them and calculates the amount of material to be extruded”, so says Slic3r supporter LulzBot’s announcement
LulzBot Taz 3D printer
After being developed from scratch starting in 2011, Slic3r has now reached version 1.0, meaning that it’s officially ready for primetime. Among the many features are the following:
-Wide printer compatibility,
-Fast G-code generation,
-Command line and graphical interface,
-Multiple extruder functionality,
-Automatic generation of support material,
-Open source code, open development,
-Brim features for best adhesion,
-Smart cooling strategies to improve prints,
-Many input/output formats,
-Easy, dependency-free downloads for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows, and
-Microlayering to save time, increase accuracy.
Slic3r works with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. You can download Slic3r here
and donate to the project here
The 3D printing market is an exciting one, and it’s a very good thing indeed to see the FOSS
movement do important work here as it has in the personal computing market.