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  1. #1
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014

    prusaslicer versus simplify3d

    As a die hard long term user of simplify3d I thought I'd download the latest version of prusaslicer and see what the differences were and where each program was better or worse than the other.

    So I've set up prusaslicer (hereafter called PS) for Saffy (sapphire pro) and I'll do a few of the test prints that I originally did but with s3d (simplify3d).

    before prints a few initial observations.

    Setting print speeds.
    s3d: you set a main print speed and all other's are set as a percentage of that. So to change overall print soeed I just change one setting.

    PS: every single little bloody thing has to have the speed set individually. WHY did they do this ?????????????? Talk about a long winded and unnecessarily complicated process.

    Basic program layout.

    These are fairly similiar and if I weren't so used to s3d's horizontal tabs, I reckon I'd have no problems at all with PS vertical tabs.
    It's pretty easy to find all the settings in both programs.

    I did find one setting in PS that I really like. They call it 'elephant foot adjustment'. Which threw me initially (fortumately all settings have comprehensive explanations/tips in both programs).
    It's basically a way to adjust for the lip you get on the first layer if you smoosh it to make it stick better to the bed. So you can still smoosh - but the PS slicer makes the first layer that bit smaller to compensate for the lip.
    Ingenious !
    And something s3d does not - to my knowlege - do.

    Basic model layout and viewing.
    Pretty even on both.
    Scaling and viewing are easy and obvious on each.

    Although PS does have a cut function - which is something I've always missed in s3d and tend to load things into flashprint to cut them up.

    Something i did find odd.
    On PS when you set the printer up it asks you for the x&y sizes but NOT for z-height.
    So potentially you could load a print that was too tall for your printer to handle.
    I've had a good look around and I cannot find a z-axis setting anywhere.
    Really weird.

    Sliced preview - PS is fairly basic and lets you step through whole layers only.

    S3D is much much better. you can run through by layers or - what I usually do - by watching the actual head movements. You can even run a simulated print.
    Also as S3D has built in printer control and communication you can actually run a simulated print synched to a print running over usb.
    Something I've often used to check a prints progress if I can't actually see it without moving.

    PS comes bundled with pronterface - which is a printer control program.
    It's installed as a completely seperate program - so nowhere near as useful as it could be, if they'd integrated it into the slicer itself.

    MY first comparison print is going to be a failure - cos it's a 2mm thick phone stand with print in place hinges and I set the layer height at 0.3 when it needs to be 0.2
    I'm running it throiugh to the end anyway, just out of curiosity.

    right time to walk dogs before it starts raining again.
    back later...
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 10-06-2020 at 12:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Staff Engineer
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    I prefer S3D now. I must use PS still for the multi material stuff or at least for the MMU2S. But I am so impressed with the supports on S3D. They just release better. With the same temp and the same filament and the same settings. The S3D supports peel off and stay in one piece a lot of times and the PS supports I sometimes have a hard time getting to release. The Z height is there. keep looking.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    yep - found it. Seems weird that it's not part of the machine setup routine.
    Well the phione stand damn near worked.
    Looked good.

    Some of the print speed settings can be set as percentages - and some can't. This just makes no sense to me.
    Instead of just changing a single print speed I still have to go and do 4 or 5 different settings.
    And as print speeds are something I change a LOT. That's really bloody annoying.

    I think on balance if i were starting printing today and not 6 years ago.
    Would i pay £117 for simplify3d when PS is free ?
    I would not.
    I might go find a 'free/hacked' version. And yes they are out there - and no don't ask me where :-)

    I think I paid around £70 for my sed licence and at the time - there simply wasn't anything else around to touch it.

    I actually got a fairly comprehensive demo and run through of s3d at a TCT show by the very nice people behind the 3DP giant printers.

    Also s3d was the only slicer to fully support the replicator clone mighty boards and the s3g file format at the time. well appart from the worst slicer ever: makerware desktop.
    So it was money well spent and I have definitely got my moneys worth from it.

    And today if i did need the s3g capability - I'd just use flashprint, great little slicer and free. And in fact while my klic-n-print does use s3g files - I don't use s3d for it anyway. I've never managed to get dual extrusion to work with s3d - while it's really easy and works well with flashprint.

    While s3d is good and really easy to use and the print preview is the best in the industry - honestly if I were starting today I'd probably use PS and flashprint.

    One thing I have spotted in PS is the top layer infill patterns.
    External infill patterns. s3d offers rectilinear and concentric, while PS offers some interesting aklternatives: hilbert curves, archimedean chords (i have no clue) and octagon spiral as well as the two s3d has.

    Going to play with this - actually having an interesting pattern on top of something could work really well and look good too :-)

    So while I do think s3d is the easier to use software, from a print quality point of view - it's no better than PS or flashprint, come to that.
    And while some of the settings in PS are annoying, it does have some useful features that s3d does not have.

    Profiles - I use profiles in s3d a LOT. I have 4 working printers all with their own settings and material profiles. And I can load as many as I like and switch between them with no hassle.
    I can't see any options for something similiar in PS.

    There must be a way to save something similiar in PS - but I have yet to figure out how.
    perhaps as project files.

    On balance s3d is definitely still the most user frinedly slicer around - particularly if you have a bunch of totally different printers and use a lot of different materials and different settings.

    But I do really like Prusa slicer.
    And there's nothing in s3d that would be a deal breaker.

    Like a lot of software companies - I think s3d got their marketing wrong.
    Sell the software at a much lower price to a LOT more people, would bring in more money and also a rolling supply of new customers.
    By aiming at industrial users and people with more money than sense - they've cut themselves off from the largest and constantly growing 3d printer market: the home/hobby user.

    How many people would still fight cura if they could buy simplify3d for $29.99 ?
    An awful lot less than do now that's for sure.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 10-07-2020 at 12:53 PM.

  4. #4
    There is a way to export your profile and give it a name then import it.. I have one for my M2 printer and then several filament profiles

  5. #5
    Staff Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post

    How many people would still fight cura if they could buy simplify3d for $29.99 ?
    An awful lot less than do now that's for sure.
    If two things would happen they might have a better chance of selling me Simplify 3D
    1. A demo to test the program before purchase, though the purchase price is still higher than I would pay. Have purchased many programs that do not do what they claim.
    2. Even at half the price "simplify3d" would be a stretch for a lot of us hobbyist, and a third would bring it in closer to my budget though still stretching.
    3. A lower price like was suggested "simplify3d for $29.99" would surely bring a large increase of buyers, And myself for one would have no problem with this purchase.

    I would still like to have an offline serial number for the product, As I have a program I purchased some time ago the company is now defunct.
    I cannot install into windows 10 correctly because the registration servers are offline. in order to restore this program after locating a computer registry.
    I had to find a windows 7 with it loaded that did not have this corrupt registry then re-install all my other programs an upgrade to Win 10, this was a real pain.

    Still you need to know that I am getting supper good prints from all the free slicers that our at my disposal, an have tested most of the free ones.
    My 3D Printer slicing is still done in Cura / PrusaSlicer, and it may knock your socks off to know with Cura 15.04.6. PrusaSlicer is basically Cura 15.04.6
    And PrusaSlicer will import my Cura 15.04.6 profiles.

    If someone can get them to drop the price I will help promote simplify3d to all.

    They can call it the " Hobbyist Package not for Commercial use. "
    Last edited by Roberts_Clif; 10-08-2020 at 09:15 AM.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    Some of the things simplify3d does that I don't think prusaslicer does. Or if it does - I can't figure out how :-)
    And possibly the reason to get s3d.

    Processes. A process in s3d is essentially a collection of settings that you apply to your prints.
    PS does that.
    But s3d allows you to have multiple processes either applied to a single model, or different models on the same build plate can all have their own processes.
    Printing two things ?
    one is detailed and needs to print at 0.1mm and slowly, while the other is basic and will print fast at 0.3mm.
    Just use a different process for each object and you can printt hem both at the same time.

    It is really useful. I often applky different speeds and layer heights to different parts of the same print.
    Printing a bracket with a few fiddly bits. Just use different processes for each part.

    As i mentioned - different printers can all have their own processes. Different filaments likewise.

    It's a biggee and something I would really miss if I had to use a different slicer than s3d.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Staff Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    I am just now beginning to understand PrusaSli3r, ("I know I spelled it differently no worries")

    I am learning this at warp speed maybe because I have used so many different slicers, an believe you me this is astonishing even to myself.
    Last edited by Roberts_Clif; 10-30-2020 at 07:44 PM.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    so is there a way to have multiple processes on ps ?

    I also need to slow the z axis travel down - saffy really doesn;t like it at all.

  10. #10
    Staff Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    You can change the slicing process at a specified layer want 25% infill from layer 1 through 69, then at layer 70 I want 50% infill.


    You can do magic with the Slic3r modifier meshes.

    The modifier meshes are actually much more powerful than the S3D profiles.
    Decided to print this pre-sliced model seems to work perfectly
    It printed perfectly. Now I need to go through the Modifier meshes tutorial to see how I can do this myself.

    Printed On MY Hictop 3D12

    Landing Pad.jpg
    Last edited by Roberts_Clif; 11-03-2020 at 10:40 AM.

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