So many slicers, what to use?

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whaleboy
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So many slicers, what to use?

Postby whaleboy » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:27 am

From reading it looks like you guys use several different slicers, and it seems to be more a matter of personal preference. Any thoughts as to what I should start with? So many choices...

Thanks

-David

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby mhackney » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:09 am

Firstly, you should read http://reprapmagazine.com back issue #1 on slicers.

Secondly, for me, it isn't a matter of personal preference - I can use them all and get the best out of each. BUT, each has its own set of features that I exploit. My go-to slicer is KISS for 3 simple reasons:

1) it has the unique "round" in-fill that I love. It is exposed in many of my parts and becomes a design element
2) it is fast, very fast
3) it always gets the job done, tool paths make the most sense and the quality of my finished parts is great

It has limitations - support for multiple extruders is primitive. The developer has gone AWOL.

Next up is Cura. It is a good "utility" slicer in my book. Slic3r used to be pretty reasonable but the most recent RC versions have all been horrible for me. I've written a few posts here about it.

For a simple, functional and easy to use slicer I would recommend the free version of KISS. Keep the slicing operation separate from the host application. A large number of problems and questions here - and confusion - comes from general lack of understanding about what each process/software does in the 3D printing tool chain. Learn how to use a free-standing slicer and you will get a better sense of that. The very minor tradeoff for convenience is well worth it. Just my .02!

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby bvandiepenbos » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:02 pm

well said mhackney.
I agree 100%
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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby whaleboy » Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:34 am

Informative article, thanks. I'll give KISS and Cura a shot first

-David

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby Polygonhell » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:14 pm

The pnly one I don't use frequently is Slic3r, it went through a phase of adding bugs with releases, and I haven't used it since.
The only real gotchas with KIssSlicer, is it uses what many in the opensource slicer community consider to be none standard terms for things, and it's about more sensitive to poorly formed models.
Until recently I used Kiss exclusively, the latest Cura though is very good, the real benefit being Curas toolpaths do the least perimeter crossing.

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby Fester » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:28 am

What settings do you use for kiss or cura to set up the printer in the slicer software. I have an Orion and i am struggling to get Kiss or cura To work for me. Thanks Fester

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby mhackney » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:41 am

I have a thread in the KISS forum that has all of my config files. They really have not changed if you are using the .5mm SeeMeCNC nozzle.

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby Fester » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:21 am

Oh great I will give it a try .Thanks again EDIT works Awesome my Orion prints are great now .. :mrgreen:

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby JonAdkins » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:10 am

I've found Cura to be a great all around slicer, both technically and from a user experience. Additionally, it's being actively developed for which is a good thing.

Cura has one feature going for it that no other slicer that I've found has, which is the ability to effectively deal with non-manifold models through some settings in the Expert Settings panel. These settings are Combine Everything A and B. These are brute force settings, however, they help to deal with things that other slicers simply can't.

I used to use KISS, and was very happy with it even though it wasn't being actively developed, however, as I started to create more models that I just didn't want to put extra effort into to make them manifold I found myself essentially having to use Cura for the above features.

It definitely pays to know several slicers. I've given Slic3r a fair chance and I've consistently moved away from it because it takes much more time to slice models and the resulting models take more time to print. To put it into perspective, today I fed Slic3r a model and it took 1 hour 20 minutes to slice, where Cura took about 2 minutes. The Slic3r model was going to take 18 hours to print where the Cura one was going to take 8 ( according to Repetier ).

I would personally get to know Cura and KISS and then decide from there. If you're new to the whole printing side of things and wish to simply get decent prints with minimal need to understand a bunch of settings then I would suggest Cura. The active developer, Daid, is really focused on the end-user experience.

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby Holy1 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:33 am

I really like simplify3d (SD3). Worth the coin! Here is great video showing why. There is a new version out now from that shown on the video.
http://youtu.be/D968RL1Z6l4
Orion to Cartesian viewtopic.php?f=59&t=7808

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby mhackney » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:30 am

Unfortunately, the proof is in the print and this video does not show or discuss a single actual printed object. My experience with S3D has not been positive at all. Happy to talk off line, don't want to drag this through the public forum. But long story short, the prints I was able to obtain were not satisfactory. This was with the absolute newest and the previous 2.0 versions.

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby whaleboy » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:33 pm

I was about to try Cura, but after pulling it up I'm slightly confused on the process. The Rep software has Slic3r built in, and it is all sliced and run in one interface. In Cura, I see that you can setup and looks like it can also connect to the printer. If I use Cura, do I not run Repetier and let Cura talk to the printer, or do I slice in Cura and just export a G-code file that I can load into Rep and run from there? If the latter, do I still need to setup all the machine settings in Cura? There are number of settings I'm not sure about.

If anyone who uses Cura can chime in...

Thanks

-David

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby Eaglezsoar » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:09 am

whaleboy wrote:I was about to try Cura, but after pulling it up I'm slightly confused on the process. The Rep software has Slic3r built in, and it is all sliced and run in one interface. In Cura, I see that you can setup and looks like it can also connect to the printer. If I use Cura, do I not run Repetier and let Cura talk to the printer, or do I slice in Cura and just export a G-code file that I can load into Rep and run from there? If the latter, do I still need to setup all the machine settings in Cura? There are number of settings I'm not sure about.

If anyone who uses Cura can chime in...

Thanks

-David

Cura was originally designed to work with the Ultimaker printers. If you were to read the Cura manual now they do not recommend trying to use Cura to print to the printer but use it to only create GCode. It has to know some specifics on your printer in order to create the GCode like the size of the bed the
z height and a few others. I use it to create the GCode and transfer the GCode to the SD card and print from the SD card. What settings are you not sure
about?
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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby JonAdkins » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:55 am

whaleboy wrote:I was about to try Cura, but after pulling it up I'm slightly confused on the process. The Rep software has Slic3r built in, and it is all sliced and run in one interface. In Cura, I see that you can setup and looks like it can also connect to the printer. If I use Cura, do I not run Repetier and let Cura talk to the printer, or do I slice in Cura and just export a G-code file that I can load into Rep and run from there? If the latter, do I still need to setup all the machine settings in Cura? There are number of settings I'm not sure about.

If anyone who uses Cura can chime in...

Thanks

-David


As Eagle mentioned you only use it to generate and then save the GCode, from there just load the GCode file into Repetier or alternatively as Eagle does simply save the file to an SD and print right off your printer.

In the next major release of Repetier they're building in support for the Cura Engine, so you'll see it right alongside of Sli3r and Skeinforge as a slicer.

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby whaleboy » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:01 am

Eaglezsoar wrote:I use it to create the GCode and transfer the GCode to the SD card and print from the SD card. What settings are you not sure
about?


In the Machine settings dialog...

E-Steps per 1mm filament
Maximum Width (270?)
Max Depth (same?)
Max height (389.585 from the printer settings Printable height in Rep? Or should that be the amount from the Max Z in the EEprom config?)
Printer head size (there are several, Towards X min for example).
Printer Gantry height.

I assume the other various settings in Cura should be taken from any similar settings from the ABS or PLA presets for Slic3r that are on the SeemeCNC site?

Thanks.

-David

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby Eaglezsoar » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:48 am

whaleboy wrote:
Eaglezsoar wrote:I use it to create the GCode and transfer the GCode to the SD card and print from the SD card. What settings are you not sure
about?


In the Machine settings dialog...

E-Steps per 1mm filament
Maximum Width (270?)
Max Depth (same?)
Max height (389.585 from the printer settings Printable height in Rep? Or should that be the amount from the Max Z in the EEprom config?)
Printer head size (there are several, Towards X min for example).
Printer Gantry height.

I assume the other various settings in Cura should be taken from any similar settings from the ABS or PLA presets for Slic3r that are on the SeemeCNC site?



Thanks.

-David


E-Steps should be 0
The width looks to be correct at 270
Depth should also be 270
ALL settings under printer head size should be zeros
including gantry height. (When Cura sees the zeroes, it uses the values from the firmware)

I am going to try to upload my Cura.ini file if this forum will let me.

Cura Setup.ini
(5.51 KiB) Downloaded 88 times


The .ini file would go under program files\ cura 14.03\cura

The .ini file is from my Orion so don't forget to check those widths - the Orion is just a little fellow.
Last edited by Eaglezsoar on Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby whaleboy » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:19 am

Awesome, thanks.

Now if only I could get that layer shroud to print. Tried with blue tape and glue stick as per docs, and the part comes loose about 45 min in each time. I caught it as it happened the first time, the second it went a while before I saw and stopped it, and ended up with a glob of plastic on the tip and the part stuck to that. I wiped it off, but now the plastic doesn't drop straight down any more, it just curls back up into the hotend when extruded. I need to let it cool and take the tip off and clean I assume...

- David

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby Eaglezsoar » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:33 am

whaleboy wrote:Awesome, thanks.

Now if only I could get that layer shroud to print. Tried with blue tape and glue stick as per docs, and the part comes loose about 45 min in each time. I caught it as it happened the first time, the second it went a while before I saw and stopped it, and ended up with a glob of plastic on the tip and the part stuck to that. I wiped it off, but now the plastic doesn't drop straight down any more, it just curls back up into the hotend when extruded. I need to let it cool and take the tip off and clean I assume...

- David

The best thing I have found to prevent ABS curling is a heat bed at 90c and a light coat of Aquanet Extra Super Hold hairspray on the glass. Works great
and I use it everytime I use ABS which is most of the time. There just is nothing better to hold down ABS. Works on PLA too.
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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby whaleboy » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:16 am

Eaglezsoar wrote:
E-Steps should be 0
The width looks to be correct at 270
Depth should also be 270
ALL settings under printer head size should be zeros
including gantry height. (When Cura sees the zeroes, it uses the values from the firmware)

I am going to try to upload my Cura.ini file if this forum will let me.

Cura Setup.ini


The .ini file would go under program files\ cura 14.03\cura

The .ini file is from my Orion so don't forget to check those widths - the Orion is just a little fellow.


Should the Max Height in Cura machine settings come from Repetier's "Max Z Length" from the EEprom settings (post tower/stop switch calibration) or the "Printable height" from the Printer settings (from the initial Z calibration)?

I'll try the hair spray...

Thanks

-David

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby Eaglezsoar » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:57 am

Just a guess but the printable height sounds like the best choice.
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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby whaleboy » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:34 am

Hairspray seems to have done the trick. Moved on to PLA, and it works with that too. I'll try tape again at some point, now that I've changed plastic. Cura seems to be printing ok. It is putting some support structures in that don't seem to be supporting much, as they don't really connect to anything. Slic3r seemed to give me slightly better quality on the one thing I've done in both, but cura prints in 1/3 the time.

-David

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby whaleboy » Wed May 07, 2014 1:58 am

I've been using Cura with mostly good results. I wish it had more options related to supports (I know about the advanced settings). I wish it would lay a bed down under the support structures as they are so thin and wispy that they can get lifted up without too much effort. If they were done on top of the skirt or brim, they'd fare much better.

I keep wanting to do some comparos with Slic3r, but even with similar settings (as far as I can tell), Slic3r prints show as taking a pretty consistent 2.5-3 times as long as Cura prints take. If a smallish print takes an hour to print from a Cura slice, then the slic3r version of the code will take almost 3 hours. I don't have the patience for that...

Anyone know why the massive disparity?

Thanks

-David

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby Flateric » Wed May 07, 2014 4:03 am

I swear by Simplify3D, I honestly cannot even remember the last time I sliced with KISS (Own it too, paid my money for the full version, never been a single update, sorta feel a little ripped about that), I also used Slic3r alot in the past, but again not since I have been using S3D. Add to that it's slicing speed is faster than even KISS and I see no reasons to ever not use it.
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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby atoff » Wed May 07, 2014 11:27 am

Flateric wrote:I swear by Simplify3D, I honestly cannot even remember the last time I sliced with KISS (Own it too, paid my money for the full version, never been a single update, sorta feel a little ripped about that), I also used Slic3r alot in the past, but again not since I have been using S3D. Add to that it's slicing speed is faster than even KISS and I see no reasons to ever not use it.


Apparently KISSlicer 1.5 is in the works, and 1.4 preview is available now. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic ... 5-false%5D

I wasn't impressed by it, very buggy.

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Re: So many slicers, what to use?

Postby Eaglezsoar » Wed May 07, 2014 11:29 am

Flateric wrote:I swear by Simplify3D, I honestly cannot even remember the last time I sliced with KISS (Own it too, paid my money for the full version, never been a single update, sorta feel a little ripped about that), I also used Slic3r alot in the past, but again not since I have been using S3D. Add to that it's slicing speed is faster than even KISS and I see no reasons to ever not use it.

I swear by it also. I swear never to purchase software that I can't try for even 10 minutes before having to hand over money.
I am glad it worked out for you Flatty, but I refuse to purchase products that have no test period.
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