3D Printing with Macs

By on March 12th, 2010 in Software

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The 3D printing community would seem to be the realm of Windows or Linux, and as a consequence Mac owners might feel a bit left out. Much of the relevant software comes only in Windows form, posing a challenge for Mac users who might have to resort to installing Windows on their machines. 
Interestingly, the readers of this blog, whom you’d think would have extreme interest in 3D printing, break down by Operating System as follows:
  1. Windows – 67.70%
  2. Macintosh – 25.61%
  3. Linux – 4.25%
  4. iPhone – 1.55%
  5. iPod – 0.34%
  6. Android – 0.31%
Clearly there are more Mac 3D’rs out there than one might expect! (And an amazing 2.2% from small mobile devices…)
However, hope for those users springs up a little bit with the efforts of Zaggo of Pleasant Hardware. He’s spent considerable time porting software to Mac OS/X 10.6 and while the results are still early, they are very impressive. After he received his MakerBot, he thought there might be a better way:
As a (very) long time and hardcore Mac user and developer, I quickly thought about a nicer, cleaner and faster way to produce GCode and eventually print objects than ReplicatorG and Skeinforge.
His goal was to produce software to preview .STL and GCode and also transform .STL to GCode. After several iterations he managed to achieve something amazing: his “Slice” tool leverages built-in features of OS/X to run 230 times faster than Skeinforge! 
We think everyone should pass thanks to Zaggo, and give him a hand with this huge job. Well done! 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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