How to Convert STL Files to G-code

Written by Abigail    2022-07-19

No matter what kind of 3D Printing technology was utilized, FDM, SLA, SLS, MJF, or Metal 3D Printing, 3D printers are building a solid object layer by layer, which indicates that 3D printers need geometric information of every layer. To help understand model slicing, let's take a step back to 3D model creating first.

Normally, it is CAD software where to design the 3D model. And when the model is finished, it needs to be export as STL file. By knowing 3D printer prints layers, the STL file should be sliced into layers.

Then open STL file into a slicer software, you may adjust the settings, scales and desired surface finish quality. The G-code file will be generated by hitting the button of 'slice', and eventually you will see layers of the model displays from bottom to top. Layers stand for the model's geometry in the XY coordinates with a specific height. When converting the file to G-code, the parameters set by you defines how the model will be printed, for instance, layer thickness. Your 3D model is ready to print after converting to G-code file.

cad software, slicer software, g-code

Image Source: SelfCAD

Part 2. Slicing Key Considerations

The slicer software will help you analyze the 3D model and convert the model into the code that 3D printer can read and understand, and all you need to do is to click the slice button. However, please keep in mind that there is something will affect your file while slicing, it's worth taking a look:

1. Part quality. There are many aspects will affect the printed part surface finish quality, including printing speed, wall thickness, infill percentage, and layer height. Please make sure that the settings are meet your need of a final printed part.

2. Printer setting. Adjustments are usually up to the user, although many slicers come with pre-filled settings for specific printer models. Please follow the recommended instructions from the printer manufacturer.

3. Material. Printing material decisions will affect the whole printing process as well. Please be careful about the bed and nozzle temperature. Material manufacturers always come with recommendations, please check before printing.

All in all, it depends on what’s your expectations of your final printed parts. If you are looking for printing a good quality one, you need to be more careful about the settings and make sure that your file is printable with slicer parameters. The factors that mentioned above are under control by the slicer, while the G-code generated in the file can be read by 3D printers.slicer software, slicing, g-code

Image Source: Ultimaker Cura

Part 3. Choose a Slicer

There are a wide range of 3D printer slicers in the market, which is the best one for you? First of all, choose the slicer software that developed by the same manufacturer of your printer. A lot of printer manufacturers are also software provider, such as Cura of Ultimaker, PrusaSlicer of Prusa, and Z-Suite of Zortrax. Second, choose the one that is recommended for your 3D Printer as the compatibility is diverse.

Most of the slicers in the market are free, and there is no challenge that you can't find one that is suitable for your printer. After knowing how slicers work generally, you definitely can decide which one is the best for you. Or you can find one from our recommendations: The Best 3D Printer Slicer Software of 2022.3d printer slicers, slicer software, cura

Image Source: RAISE3D

Part 4. Online 3D Printing Services at Wenext

If you are a beginner and you don’t have a 3D printer, why not considering online 3D Printing services! You can upload your STL files on our instant quoting engine, and our customer success manager will be with you shortly to ensure your files are printable. We provide a wide range of 3D Printing services, including SLA, SLS, MJF, and SLM Metal 3D Printing, while we offer dedicated CNC Machining services too! Besides, we have multiple post-processing choices to make 3D printed model unique, you can choose tapping, threading, sanding, painting, polishing, etc. Please feel free to try instant quoting on our website or contact us hello@wenext.com if you are interested.


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