Solidworks to slice? OR do I need Simplify 3d

Have questions or comments about Simplify3D, Slic3r, Cura, Reptier, etc? Or wondering about which CAD software to use...discuss it here...
Post Reply
jcspball13
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:49 am

Solidworks to slice? OR do I need Simplify 3d

Post by jcspball13 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:52 am

100% newbie here, just ordered my printer, so excited!

My question is, I own Soldiworks; will I be able to use it to print with (since it already cost me so much!) or do I also need Simplify 3d?

I would hate to spend any more, but at the same time, I wan the best experience possible!

Thanks in advance for the help!

benavery
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:31 pm

Re: Solidworks to slice? OR do I need Simplify 3d

Post by benavery » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:58 am

Does SW even include a slicer ? Its not a very common feature of cad tools.
It doesn't seem like it'd be a priority for them, given they cater to people doing high end multi-axis milling and the like, not for people printing on low-end (relatively) printers.

S3d is a great investment (and trivial compared to the cost of SW). You don't need to get it first thing - you can experiment with slic3r or cura, and when they have annoyed you enough, try out s3d.

swbluto
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 7:09 pm

Re: Solidworks to slice? OR do I need Simplify 3d

Post by swbluto » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:40 am

benavery wrote:S3d is a great investment (and trivial compared to the cost of SW). You don't need to get it first thing - you can experiment with slic3r or cura, and when they have annoyed you enough, try out s3d.
Slic3r sucks. It doesn't handle models all that well. It prints well, but too many models get mangled.
Cura rocks, it handles nearly all the models with ease and maintains a great connection but the print quality has a low ceiling.
S3D is pretty much the shit, it handles all the models and its print quality has a HIGH ceiling, however, its connection for large prints is glitchy.

User avatar
insta
Posts: 2000
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:59 am

Re: Solidworks to slice? OR do I need Simplify 3d

Post by insta » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:52 am

jcspball13 wrote:100% newbie here, just ordered my printer, so excited!

My question is, I own Soldiworks; will I be able to use it to print with (since it already cost me so much!) or do I also need Simplify 3d?

I would hate to spend any more, but at the same time, I wan the best experience possible!

Thanks in advance for the help!
The M2 can use the normal open-source software stack (Slic3r + Repetier-Host OR Cura) just as easily as it can use Simplify3D. Cura is a good starting point for newbies on a budget, especially ones who are still a little starstruck by the price tag of the M2 :)

Set the nozzle diameter and filament diameter and the out-of-the-box defaults for Cura will be good enough to get you at least putting plastic down.
Custom 3D printing for you or your business -- quote [at] pingring.org

User avatar
ednisley
Posts: 1063
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:34 pm
Location: Halfway up the Hudson
Contact:

Re: Solidworks to slice? OR do I need Simplify 3d

Post by ednisley » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:51 pm

swbluto wrote:Slic3r sucks. It doesn't handle models all that well.
It would be more accurate to say Scli3r "doesn't handle non-manifold models all that well."

Slic3r performs automatic mesh repair that compensates for many common modeling errors, but apparently your models have errors that overwhelm Slic3r's algorithms. When your modeling software or technique produces incorrect results, you really can't blame something else for not automatically cleaning up the mess in the manner you expect.

I've been using Slic3r for about three years now, feeding it hundreds of my OpenSCAD designs, and it works perfectly with manifold models.

During those years, I have found, isolated, and reported several errors in Slic3r that were quickly corrected. Yes, it had (and, surely, still has) errors, but it doesn't "suck". If you can determine why Slic3r has trouble with your models, produce a simple testcase, then report it through the Github bug tracker, you can improve the results for everyone.

User avatar
insta
Posts: 2000
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:59 am

Re: Solidworks to slice? OR do I need Simplify 3d

Post by insta » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:53 pm

I've done that a few times :) My best bug report was that "small holes" were originally calculated by area rather than perimeter, so really long, thin slots were printing slowly.

I felt like a philanthropist, strutted around for a bit.
Custom 3D printing for you or your business -- quote [at] pingring.org

swbluto
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 7:09 pm

Re: Solidworks to slice? OR do I need Simplify 3d

Post by swbluto » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:38 pm

ednisley wrote:
swbluto wrote:Slic3r sucks. It doesn't handle models all that well.
It would be more accurate to say Scli3r "doesn't handle non-manifold models all that well."

Slic3r performs automatic mesh repair that compensates for many common modeling errors, but apparently your models have errors that overwhelm Slic3r's algorithms. When your modeling software or technique produces incorrect results, you really can't blame something else for not automatically cleaning up the mess in the manner you expect.

I've been using Slic3r for about three years now, feeding it hundreds of my OpenSCAD designs, and it works perfectly with manifold models.

During those years, I have found, isolated, and reported several errors in Slic3r that were quickly corrected. Yes, it had (and, surely, still has) errors, but it doesn't "suck". If you can determine why Slic3r has trouble with your models, produce a simple testcase, then report it through the Github bug tracker, you can improve the results for everyone.
It Cura and S3D handles a model well that I downloaded from thingiverse that slic3r doesn't, I'd say slic3r sucks, non-manifold or not. It works wonders when it does work, but I'd say it doesn't work about 25% of the time.

jsc
Posts: 1864
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:00 am

Re: Solidworks to slice? OR do I need Simplify 3d

Post by jsc » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:54 pm

swbluto wrote:a model... that I downloaded from thingiverse
There's yer problem :-)

Thingiverse is a never ending well spring of badly formed models (thanks, Sketchup). Out of curiosity, any particular model you've had problems with Slic3r?

Every slicer has its issues. Some just have more.

User avatar
Matt_Sharkey
Posts: 347
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:10 pm

Re: Solidworks to slice? OR do I need Simplify 3d

Post by Matt_Sharkey » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:07 pm

I'm there with Ed; I've been using slic3r for a year now almost exclusively and it's done all right. the learning curve is STEEP, because you have to figure all of the settings out yourself (although rsilvers will get you started.) Silver lining is that you learn a lot more about 3D printing, when you have to figure out all of your settings yourself.

the only problems I get are some students' models will be non-manifold...they also use TinkerCAD...so yeah, to be expected. Any non manifold .STL's go immediately here: https://netfabb.azurewebsites.net/

@swbluto, I reccomend you give the new slic3r 1.2.9 a shot, it's come a long way in the past year for sure.

@jcspball13, if you start off with Slic3r (its free anyways, why not?) I can help you with any newbie/stupid questions, since I've been there frequently. More advanced questions probably should be thrown towards ednisley

User avatar
SouthSideofdaSky
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:35 pm

Re: Solidworks to slice? OR do I need Simplify 3d

Post by SouthSideofdaSky » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:23 pm

jcspball13 wrote:100% newbie here, just ordered my printer, so excited!

My question is, I own Soldiworks; will I be able to use it to print with (since it already cost me so much!) or do I also need Simplify 3d?

I would hate to spend any more, but at the same time, I wan the best experience possible!

Thanks in advance for the help!
I'm a big SolidWorks user as well and was wondering the same thing when I got my printer a year ago. So far the M2 doesn't seem to work with SW, even in the new 2015 release. When I select File -> Print3D the feature manager tree pops up, but it says that direct 3D printing from SW is only available for Windows 8.1 or later (I have Windows 7). Also, I haven't been able to get it to recognize that the M2 is connected to my computer (didn't recognize it as a 3D printer, etc.)
sw.png
sw.png (26.61 KiB) Viewed 6871 times
Here's a video that seems to show SW Print3D working pretty well though, at least with SW2015, Windows 8.1, and a Makerbot... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilkXh3ryBGU

So, I'd imagine that eventually SW will be able to run the M2. But for now it's questionable at best. If you do have SW2015 and Windows 8.1 I'd be curious to hear if you make any progress with it.

As others have said I'd recommend Simplify3D (or Slic3r if you don't want to shell out the additional money for S3D). Even if you could get it to work in SW, the printing options available there look very limited. S3D (and to a slightly lesser extent, Slic3r) allows you to manipulate tons and tons of settings so that you can tweak things to improve bed adhesion, print quality, etc. As you become more experienced with your M2 you will want this flexibility.

Post Reply