In many articles, we have talked about there are two major elements in 3D Printing, 3D models (STL files) and 3D printer. But 3D printer cannot understand the language of STL file, which means there should be a tool to help 3D printer print the file. That is 3D slicer. Slicer prepares the model and generates G-code for 3D Printer so that the printer can read the data and print the model layers by layers. There is a larger number of slicing software, to help you find the perfect fit one, we list the best 3D slicer software for you.
Image Source: Ultimaker
The most trusted and popular slicer software in the industry would be Cura. Cura was developed and maintained by Ultimaker, a 3D printer manufacturer. Featuring as a powerful, open-source slicing engine, it is a free 3D slicer. It supports STL, 3MF, and OBJ file formats and repairs the files if needed. Toolpath, printing time, and material estimates can be shown on Cura. Ultimaker keeps updating Cura and innovating new functions to make this popular 3d slicer software remain its marketplace.
Image Source: Ultimaker
2. Simplify 3D
Looking for slicing software for pros? Simplify 3D is totally worth considering. You can import, scale, and repair your files (STL/OBJ/3MF) in a highly efficient method even if the file is large and meshed are huge. And you don’t have to worry about if Simplify 3D is not compatible with your 3D printer, because it supports most 3D printers in the market, and it is easy to add a new printer profile on the software by yourself. With Simplify 3D, you can get high quality prints easily.
Image Source: Simplify 3D
Slic3r is another slicer for 3D printing experts and pros. It is the open-source 3D slicer that delivers a wide range of features such as micro layering, command line slicing, variable layer heights, mesh cutting, sequential printing, etc. More importantly, if you are working with multiple machines and filaments, Slic3r enables you to manage multiple printers, filaments and build styles by saving the configurations as presets for each category. It is high efficiency and accuracy.
Image Source: Slic3r
PrusaSlicer is the 3D slicing software that is open-source, feature-rich, frequently updated, which also known as Slic3r Prusa Edition or Slic3r PE formerly. There are three user modes if working with PrusaSlicer, beginner, advance user, and rework user mode. The software allows different types of users to create their own forks. PrusaSlicer is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and even providing builds for ARM devices and Chromebooks.
Image Source: Prusa
When see the acronym of this slicer program, you may think it is a little bit weird, but actually, KISSlicer means Keep It Simple Slicer. Like its name, KISSlicer is a powerful and easy-to-use slicer software that delivers two versions, free and pro versions. Free version of KISSlicer is sufficient for beginners and amateurs if they print with a single extruder, while the pro version allows multi-extruder prints for prosumers. KISSlicer is being able to generate high quality G-code paths for exceptional prints and delivering high quality parts.
Image Source: KISSlicer
3D Printing slicing software can allow you to control and monitor your 3D Printer's activities from web browser, that's OctoPrint. Additionally, OctoPrint owns a powerful plugin system that is being able to extend the functions with practical and excellent plugins in the industry, which enables you to 3D print easily and efficiently. Because you can load and import files to your printer without shuffling SD cards.
Image Source: OctoPrint
SelfCAD is more than a slicer software for 3D Printing, it delivers solutions for both 3D modeling and 3D Printing. With SelfCAD, you can complete your 3D design projects with low cost. SelfCAD offers three modes of pricing to different groups: freelance designer, businesses, and schools & course creators, so that you can choose which suits your needs accordingly. One of the greatest functions of SelfCAD is that you can preview the detailed layer after slicing the model in which displays the estimated print time, material usage, and final model weight.
Image Source: SelfCAD
As one of the best slicer software, ideaMaker strives to provide innovative and versatile slicing solution to the user. Developed by Raise3D, the slicing software is indeed compatible with 3D printers of Raise3D, while it can be used with most FDM printers in the market. Fast slicing speed is ensured by ideaMaker for its powerful slicing engine. No matter if you print simple or complex model, you can trust ideaMaker, because many automatic functionalities are integrated in the software ad it is easy-to-use, you can simply streamline your workflow.
Image Source: ideaMaker
To seek the best 3D slicers in the industry, you may find MakerBot Printer is on that list. MakerBot Print is a free slicer that optimizes and simplifies your 3D Printing process. To help you discover, prepare, manage, share, monitor or control 3D prints easily, MakerBot Print can be also used with web browser. The software is made for 3D printers that manufactured by MakerBot, and you will get the highest product quality if printing with MakerBot printers. It is suitable for beginner and experts for its simple and easy-to-use design, and printing with larger workload becomes easy with MakerBot Print.
Image Source: MakerBot Print
As one of the most popular open-source 3D slicer software, Repetier delivers versatile and user-friendly experience to the users. There are four steps to print high quality prints through Repetier, object placement, slice, preview, and print. You can upload one or multiple 3D models and place, drag, scale or duplicate the models on the virtual bed. Then you can slice and optimize the printing setting and preview you works layer by layer. More importantly, like OctoPrinter, you can print and monitor the models directly by a bowser.
Image Source: Repetier
11. Tinkerine Cloud
If you are looking for the all-in-one 3D Printing slicer software, please take a look at Tinkerine. You can process 3D slicing, file edit, printer management through Tinkerine. The interface is clean and simple, you can easily find and figure out the functionalities on the slicer. To deal with basic editing and create support structures for your models is feasible through Tinkerine. If you have a 3D printer made by Tinkerine, it is recommended to set-up the printer quickly with Thinkerine Cloud so that you can get the high-quality products efficiently.
Image Source: Tinkerine Cloud
Slicing software with advanced modeling capabilities, IceSL is one of them. Combining 3D slicing and 3D modeling together, IceSL streamlines your 3D Printing workflow. Take a look the interface. On the left, you can edit the mesh directly in Lua code; whereas on the right, you can find a dizzying variety of slicing options that will put any newbie off. IceSL has a bleed shield, which protects your model from “extruder dripping” in addition to the normal functions such as support or two-color printing we expect from a 3D printer slicer.
Image Source: IceSL
Astroprint is a cloud-based 3D slicer that resembles Octoprints and Tinker Cloud. It allows you to control and monitor your 3D printer on any web-enabled device, PC, tablet or phone in the world. There are two modes of the slicer, simple mode and advanced mode. You can choose printing material and desired printing quality, while if you choose advanced mode, there is no doubt that you can print what you want in high-quality.
Image Source: AstroPrint
Netfabb is one of the most remarkable 3D slicers that delivers great features to the users, which allows you to analyze, repair, edit, and slice your file in only one software. There are four packages of Netfabb, including Netfabb Standard, Netfabb Premium, Netfabb Ultimate, and Netfabb Simulation. You can choose base on you needs, but generally Netfabb Standard is a powerful slicing software. Standard, Premium and Ultimate are all tools primarily used for model optimization and manufacturing preparation. While Simulation is the version optimized for metal powder bed fusion and directed energy deposition processes.
Image Source: AUTODESK
Z-Suite is a comprehensive slicing and 3D printing farm management software that developed by Zortrax. Z-Suite is dedicated to Zortrax printers, but it also compatible with most LCD printers. The slicer has limited editing capabilities, allowing you to split a give mesh into sections, or scale it. While the simple and clean user interface leaves the users with only a few options, it caters for basic slicing needs. There are four options to choose automatically repairs damaged meshes, and allows you to create support structures for the meshes.
Image Source: Z-Suite