The Perfect Slicer for 3D Printing
If you’ve noticed through this blog, I’ve battled through many slicers trying to get the best results from my Printrbot 1405 XL modified 3D printer. I started with Slic3r which did a good job of being a starter slicer as a learned more and more about 3D printing, and Skeinforge which tested that knowledge, as well as made me understand even more about 3D printing. It wasn’t until late last year that I was introduced to another slicer that made me think differently about slicers completely.
The software I’m talking about is called Simplify3D. When I was first told about this software, I quickly found out that this was not any sort of Open Source solution, and cost a decent price for something I thought was so simple. A month after learning about Simplify3D, I had thrown my hands up in the air, as my battle with Skeinforge and Slic3r were becoming futile. It was time to buckle down, and spend almost $150 for Simplify3D.
After buying it, I tried to think of what could be so great to warrant the money I had spent. Once I started using it, it was very apparent. No only did it have a built-in configuration for the Printrbot (labeled “Printrbot Simple”), I was able to create multiple configurations. While you may say, “you can do this in any other slicer, this one had every setting in these profiles. Not only that, it has extremely great supports, something I didn’t have without using an old version of Slic3r, and even then it didn’t compare to the support made with Simplify3D. You’re probably read where people printed supports they could just “brush off” the print, and this is where it becomes a reality.
I must stress the importance of the multiple profiles, because that is a simple way of putting it. Aside from having these multiple profiles, you can assign them to multiple models. Now that I have different size nozzles for my Printrbot, I can simply switch the nozzle, and switch to one of my 0.2mm or 0.3mm profiles to print whatever I want to, and not have to worry about dialing down the retraction, and size. While you keep that in mind, Simplify3D has a lot of different options for even the most avid maker, but even has an “easy mode” for the person just wanting to print, and not mess around.
As for 3D printer support, Simplify3D has support for all Cartesian type printers, and even Delta types. Before I finish up, I want to mention some of my favorite features offered that you won’t find in another. First off is heatbed control per profile. I overheat my bed on the first layer, and when it’s done it drops down to the temperature it should be. I’ve found this to help my models stick to the platform. This is a simple example of what type of control you have. Not only that, you can even set the fan to be used for “bridging”. If you know what I’m talking about, this is a huge deal. This helps for printing “in air”, and boy does it ever work great. You can even set it to whatever fan speed for this function.
So that is Simplify3D. While it may seem like a lot to pay when dealing with free software most of the time, this is by far the best investment I’ve made for 3D printing. Ever since, I’ve been printing without issues, and simply getting things done. This is a huge step forward for 3D Printing, and while the price is steep for a lot of the community, hopefully they can get enough exposure to where they can offer it at a lower price. Until then, I recommend this software to any FFF/FDM printer user.