Is All 3D Print Slicing Software The Same? Apparently Not

By on June 1st, 2014 in Software


We’re looking at a story from Simplify3D that apparently demonstrates their product can handle prints that other software cannot. 

The software provided by Simplify3D is unique. It’s non-free software for 3D printing that isn’t associated with a specific machine. And it’s price isn’t trivial: at USD$140, its price could be a substantial proportion of your 3D printing investment. So why does it justify such a high price? 

It’s the features, for starters. Simplify3D offers the ability to not only rapidly slice and preview your 3D model, but you can also repair problems with the model and drive your printer directly. It offers significant flexibility by providing the ability to apply different settings to different objects within the same print job. It allows flexibility in generating support structures and even has a “Continuous helical/corkscrew extrusion option” for smoother cylindrical surfaces. 

While those are certainly useful features, there’s one more we discovered by reading a post on their site that described a scenario encountered by artist Don Foley, who attempted to 3D print a replica of the Confederate submarine CSS Hunley. 

Evidently Foley was unable to successfully 3D print a build plate of the required parts. He was forced to 3D print individual pieces, thus greatly lengthening the duration of the operation for him and any subsequent print operator. It’s likely due to the complex geometry of the parts that require special attention. 

Because Simplify3D can apply different print parameters to each object, he was able to successfully configure a full set of submarine parts in a single print job. We understand from Simplify3D that this was not the only example of print operators rescued by Simplify3D’s features. Jann Wilke of Simplify3D says: 

  • Jeremy Simon (3D Universe) contacted us to let us know that it was only with our software that he could build the intricate e-NABLE prosthetic hand.  The prosthetic hand parts require extensive support structures, but our software allows you to control the placement of the structures (one-click add or delete feature) which allowed Jeremy to build the hands with clear passages where the “tendons” are threaded.  These narrow passages need to be printed perfectly.
  • Tim Gornet (U of Louisville) contacted us after failing to print a heart model with other software. It was only when he moved to Simplify3D Software that he was able to slice the complex model (he had waited 8 hours using other software – our software sliced the model in less than 5 minutes).
  • Mike Garey contacted us after building a new flexible prosthetic foot for Buttercup the Duck.This duck made national news in 2013 waddling on his new 3D printed foot, but when Mike wanted to build a new-and-improved flexible foot for 2014, it was only with Simplify3D Software that he could make it happen. 

It’s something these folks could achieve with Simplify3D that could not be done with other slicing software. Depending on the complexity of your printing, you might just find the price of Simplify3D worth it. 

Via Simplify3D