There are few, if any, software packages that have been as important and influential within the 3D printing space as Slic3r has been. As the only open source, non-profit, independent software for 3D printing, Slic3r has grown tremendously since its initial release by the RepRap community way back in 2011. For those of you unfamiliar with the software (probably none of you if you are at our site) Slic3r’s value is inherent in its ability to take an .STL or OBJ file and slice it into multiple printable layers, producing the Gcode that’s required for communication between the computer and the printer itself. Over the months and years following its initial release, hundreds of changes have been made to the base software, while others have modified it for their own personal or business uses.
The last stable version of Slic3r, version 1.1.7, was released about 10 months ago and since then the community has been working diligently to bring forth the next stable version, with a number of important bug fixes, updated features and changes.
Today, the software’s original author, Alessandro Ranellucci, and the rest of the Slic3r developers have announced the release of the first stable version in 10 months, Slic3r 1.2.9.
“I think your readers will be interested in reading more about this, since even the Slic3r aficionados don’t know that the project is still evolving with tens of new experimental features,” Ranellucci explained to 3DPrint.com.
This latest version features several major upgrades over the last stable release, version 1.1.7, including the following:
- Customized Bed Shapes – Users are now able to implement custom bed shapes as well as rectangular and circular shapes using a very simple bed shape customization tool.
- Incremental Real-time Slicing – No longer will slicing restart from the beginning every time you change a setting. In this latest version the new settings are only calculated for the remainder of the part, once implemented. When moving an object in plater, recalculations are also no longer necessary.
- OctoPrint Integration – Easily configure, slice and upload data to the popular host software for 3D printers, OctoPrint.
- Varied 3D Honeycomb Infill – Infill patterns are now able to be varied across the Z axis, rather than simply repeating the same pattern throughout every layer.
- 3D Preview Updates – New OpenGL views have been added and the new 3D toolpath preview shows a very accurate depiction of the object to be printed.
- X/Y Size Compensation – Dimensional errors can now quickly and easily be fixed within the Slic3r software (additional details on this feature can be found here)
- Autospeed Experimental Feature – Keeps nozzle pressure and volumetric speed at a constant throughout a particular print project.
- Rotate, Scale, Flip and Mirror – These options allow models to be manipulated prior to the slicing process within the Slic3r interface, making the software a graphical tool in itself.
Several bug fixes have also been included in this update including:
- Parsing issues related to fixed regression
- Issues regarding file names which use non-ASCII characters
Certainly it’s refreshing to see this software continue to evolve as an open source, non-profit platform. Slic3r is an important part of the community and continues to show it, supported by most of the major players within the 3D printing industry. Let us know your thoughts on this new release in the Slic3r Version 1.2.9 forum thread on 3DPB.com.