We managed to get a close look at the new version of Simplify3D software today, courtesy of Mathijs Kossen of Leapfrog 3D Printers. Leapfrog is offering Simplify3D as an option for use with their printers.
The standard software, Slic3r, works well, but sometimes introduces layer artifacts such as those illustrated above. Simply3D attempts to provide better quality prints and introduce much more function while significantly increasing your workflow speed.
Simplify3D is a combination of both simple and expert control interfaces. The software provides 3D printer management functions, such as 3D model import, placement, scaling, rotations, slicing and producing GCODE for driving your 3D printer.
By default the software is in "simple" mode, where you are presented with a small set of controls to import and place your model (and it can auto-place it for you). You'll select from a short list of materials (ABS, PLA, PVA, etc) and either Medium or High quality (0.25mm or 0.1mm layer sizes, respectively).
The software comes pre-configured with a number of machine profiles, including:
- The Leapfrog line
- Various recent MakerBot machines
- PrintrBot Jr
- Prusa Mendel
- Rostock Max
- Solidoodle 2 machines
We understand it is possible to add your own profile by going into "Advanced" mode where numerous details suddenly appear. There aren't sufficient bytes in this post to describe all the features available in Simply3D, but we'll list a few notable items here:
- Very rapid slicing. We observed the castle model pictured below slice in mere seconds
- Sophisticated options for viewing the sliced model
- Multiple items can be added to the model, including a specified number of copies
- Ability to independently adjust, resize or rotate each loaded model
- Specific controls. For example, you can specifically adjust the temperature of any layer
- Support for multiple extruders, which can even have different characteristics
- Graphic animation of simulated print operation - you can see how the print proceeds in real time or sped up with an animated extruder
- Receives realtime monitoring information from your printer during activity
One of our favorite features is the colored lines representing GCODE movements. The color of the line corresponds to the speed of the extruder as shown in this example.
The software is available today from Leapfrog's site at a cost of €89 (USD$125).