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  1. #1

    slicer questions

    hello all, im running into rendering limitations on my 2010 mac mini and am looking into buying a new computer. my question is, is there a slicer that natively uses the GPU to render gcode? im looking at a computer with an intel i7(9th gen. 3.6g 6 core) and i know that will be good for programs such as cura but i dont know if getting a nice gpu would be wasted. i am new to 3d printing and have only been doing it about one year, and want to get a computer that will last the next 6+ years of 3d modeling and printing. below is a link to what i am thinking of purchasing. thanks for the advice in advanceFrank

  2. #2
    you don't need anything special to slice.. buy the biggest badest pc you can afford so it will still function as the OS becomes a bigger badder resource hog.. longevity has nothing to do with slicing..

  3. #3
    What is a slicer?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    well to start with My profession is an it expert and I've been building, fixing and installing computers for about 30 years.
    So I DO know what I am talking about.

    You do not need a serious graphics card, that money is better used on the harddrive, processor and ram.

    So first off - do not go with intel. Amd processors are cheaper, faster, more reliable and come with extremely good on-chip Ati graphics.

    Slicing is odd.
    simplify3d tends to slice really fast. I think the first slicer I ever used was repetier - what took half an hour on that only took about 2 minutes on simplify3d. And that was on an old single core system.

    The power hungry bit of 3d printing are the design programs.
    Some of my designs in openscad can take 10-15 minutes to render and I'm about to upgrade my design system to speed things up a bit.

    So were i to build a system specifically for 3d printing I'd go for:
    Amd ryzen processor - It doesn't much matter, they are ALL faster than i7's - even the cheapest ryzen 3 will outperform a mid level i7. Get the one with built on Vega graphics.
    I have benchmarked laptops with both ryzen 3's and ryzen 7's and there was surprisingly little difference. Also bear in mind that desktop versions of processors are much faster than their laptop equivalents.

    16gb ddr4 - 2666 mhz or faster (depends on the motherboard chipset)

    Most important: A FAST M.2 drive. 240gb will do fine, but if you can afford it go for 480-500gb. These are about 5 times faster than decent sata ssds, which in turn are 10x faster than standard mechanical harddrives.

    At the moment I'm, mostly using gigabyte A320m motherboards. For anything but a gaming pc these are more than adequate.

    What makes a gaming pc is about £500 worth of graphics card and as much fast ram as you can fit on the motherboard :-)

    The important thing with building a pc is to eliminate as many data bottlenecks as possible.
    The curent amd am4 socket and chipsets are amazing at this. Throw in the 7nm ryzen wafers, m.2 drives and ddr4 ram and what you can build for not a lot of money is pretty extraordinary.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 05-12-2020 at 01:47 PM.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    @yoshiko: the slicer is the program that looks at the 3d model you want to make and 'slices' it into really thin horizontal sections that can then be built up on the printer into a solid model.
    They determine how much plastic is extruded, what temperature i is and where it is placed. Arguably they are the single most important part of the 3d printing process.

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