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  1. #1

    Slicers and Quality

    I have been using Cura and Fusion 360 to slice my code.Cura seems to have about every option I could imaging (I am using Creality Ender-5). But I wonder if other slicers give you more control over the final GCODE. For example 3 top and bottom layers suffice for a lot of prints but there are areas that need strengthening, ability to drill later etc, and in those areas perhaps increasing to more layers makes sense. Also having a way to view areas of GCODE and see them represented on the slicer graphic would be handy for trouble areas. And of course there is the general issue of generating the cleanest-or fastest- slice. I was wondering if other slicers may produce better results and control. I had Simplify3d in mind for example.Anyone have some real world comparisons?ThanksFritz

  2. #2
    Staff Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    I started using Cura though wanting better quality I started using PrusaSlicer 2.3.0.

    This sweet slicer that has Slic3r roots will stand above most Free Slicers and will even put some expensive Slicers to shame.

    P.S. There is an Ender 5 Profiles an many filament profiles ready to download from within the PrusaSlicer 2.3.0..

  3. #3
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    I am the same. Used Cura heavily and started with PrusaSlicer a few years back. Ran both for a while as Cura had better support options. Then with the release of more recent PrusaSlicer builds I just switched across entirely. Haven't loaded Cura in months.

    Nicest thing about PrusaSlicer is how they've broken the parameters down into Print/Filament/Printer tabs, so if you're running multiple printers, you can share most of the profiles between them.

    I haven't seen much print quality differences between a well setup Cura or PrusaSlicer print. Either works well. My print time estimation is almost spot on with PrusaSlicer for all my machines, which is a nice bonus.

  4. #4
    Thank you for these replies. Prusa seems to come up often as a good option. Nothing wrong with Cura by the way but just wondering if there are differences in outcomes as I have sometimes heard-Martin's comment on quality is pertinent here.

    I can take a look at Prusa since it is no cost.

    Looks like it Does it pan thru the GCODE as it runs, perhaps displaying interpretations on the GCODE commands--
    Can you set different densities on different layers?

    ThanksFritz

  5. #5
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    It can read gcode in, which is a pretty useful trick.

    Here's a quick example of using a modifier to change infill - 70% down the bottom, and 15% above.

  6. #6
    Staff Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    Everyone has different opinions on this subject, I have never tried Simpily3d simply because it does not have a 30 day trial or reduced functionality test program.
    Plus the initial cost is out of my budget maybe if they reduced it more 3D Printer users would be able to test..


    After reading many post though I believe that if Simpily3d had a free opensource slicer completion it would definitely be PrusaSlicer 2.3.0.
    I have printed many models using information posted from Simpily3d owners and have made excellent 3D printed models using PrusaSlicer.
    Again without Simpily3d and PrusaSlicer printing side by side it would be very difficult for me to say that one is better than the other.

    Only that you can try PrusaSlicer 2.3.0 and if you do not like it you could purchase Simpily3d then maybe you could post which is better.
    I have never seen, heard of read about a real life function by function comparison of the two slicers.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the graphic Martin. I will download Prusa when I get a chance as I like the idea of viewing and perhaps modifying the GCODE. (I started to write a Python script to interpret the code, but it seems like there are just too many code constructs and too little documentation!).

    Clif- you are correct about the cost of Simplify-they probably deserve their money but it is pricey in a world where cheap printers can be had for $200US and there is plenty of freeware out there. I mentioned them because they come up a lot as one of the better ones. They do have a sort of trial: "Try it for a full two weeks! If you don’t love the software, return it for a full refund."

    A side by side comparison would be nice-my main interest is whether you see any quality differences. I am surprised by the differences in GCODE between Fusion and CURA. In my only comparison CURA seemed to look a little cleaner--possibly the way it was handling knurling on a knob. Unfortunately I don't have the drafts anymore.

    Fritz

  8. #8
    Staff Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    Was looking for this could not find so did not post previously

    Tablet Holder.jpg

    While 3D Printing this Laptop Stand at .28mm layer height i find that the area shaded in green has a texture as that of stairs.
    Using PrusaSlicer I can change the layer only in this area, this allows the model to be printer in record time without the stair-step texture.

    Laptop Holder.jpg

    This model was one I was helping another user configure using PrusaSlicer.
    I was using his model for proof on improving the model texture while keeping a low print time.
    If a smoother print surface was desired a more extensive configuration could have been easily used to make it smoother.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    After reading many post though I believe that if Simpily3d had a free opensource slicer completion it would definitely be PrusaSlicer 2.3.0.
    nope.
    Simplify3d does a whole bunch of things that I've yet to be able to do with anything else.

    Aesthetically, the layout, menu and profile system is streets ahead of the free slicers. And while all slicers have their own areas where they excel - flashprint, for example, is the best for cutting models and converting jpgs to extruded stls - simplify3d scores really high in all areas.

    But the main reason s3d is just so good is the profile system.

    Any model can have one or more profiles associated with it in the same build.

    If I want to print one part at 0.1 layer height and 150mm/s and another at 0.3 and 75mm/s - I can.
    I can apply different profiles to different parts of the same print.
    I can have as many profiles as I like - which is bloody useful when you have 4 very different printers going.

    Of the free ones I've tried - prusaslicer is the easiest to use.
    But lacks the sheer versatility of s3d.

    Quality wise - I'd say the printer itself has alot more to dpo with that than the current crop of slicers - which all pretty much do a great job.

    And yeah s3d is way to expensive.
    I bought mine when uit was about half the price it is now and there really weren't any decent free slicers around.
    It also helped that i got a hands on tutorial from one of the 3DP unlimited team at a tct show.
    So I knew what i was buying.

    So it really depends what aspects of a slicer amd 3d printing you value most.
    If you just like slow smooth prints and only have one printer with a single nozzle - then it really doesn't matter much which slicer you use. Just so long as you are comfortable using it.

    The more printers you get and the more complex the prints you make (I'm currently doing quite a few prints with embedded parts) the more benefit you'll get from simplify 3d.

    And when you consdier the average ender 3 user will end up spending another $200 - at least - over and above the original cost of the basic printer.
    S3d really isn't that expensive.

  10. #10
    Thanks Clif .. that was exactly the type of information that I was looking for. Unless I missed something, both Cura and Fusion lock you into one layer height. So having control over that alone is worth a lot. I will definitely download Prusa and learn about it.

    Curious-your points are valued and well taken. The one thing I respect with S3D is that it is a one time fee-in the wonderful world of research here in the US what grants you get one year may not be the same the next so recurring software fees do not template well. I think it makes sense for me to go with Prusa for now and consider Simplify if I do a lot of printing.

    Regarding that--I have heard some good things about the Sapphire from you and Gambo (he gave me some good examples) and I probably will upgrade at one of the labs I work for using this type.

    (Meanwhile my Ender-5 has been quite a workhorse for our lab-running about 10 hours/day. It is like a model T Ford-not too sexy and compromised but you can build the whole darned thing with 1 wrench which is great at times of low funding).


    cheersFritz

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