Slic3r PE (Prusa edition)
Your 3D printer can print almost anything if you prepare the model the right way. Whether you downloaded 3D models from the Internet or created your own from scratch, you will need to convert the .obj or .stl format into a .gcode file. Gcode is a file format readable by 3D printers. The file contains information about nozzle movement and the amount of filament to extrude. A great tool for advanced users is our Slic3r PE.
How to operate Slic3r PE
Unlike PrusaControl, Slic3r will allow you to tweak a wide range of print settings. This is useful when you want to set up your own custom-made presets. For example, you can save presets for supports, brims or even different kinds of infills, so you have them ready at any time. Here is an overview of all Slic3r PE functions.
- The Add button loads models into Slic3r.
- Delete and Delete All buttons remove the model(s) from Slic3r.
- Print Settings button opens the detailed settings for the print, filament, and printer.
- Export G-Code button generates the .gcode file.
- Quality / Speed setting of the printPlease note that printing with 0.05 layer height is very difficult, it is recommended only to experienced users. The extruder has to be perfectly assembled, calibrated and maintained.
- Material selection
- Printer selection
- Right-clicking the model opens a context menu with Rotate, Resize and other options
- Change the preview type
- Model preview
Printing of non-standard models
Custom settings are also useful for printing non-standard models. That includes models with overhangs or models which do not fit the heat bed.
Printing with support material
As you proceed towards printing more complex objects, you will probably need to take some extra steps in order to print them in full quality.
If you print an object with an overhang beyond 45°, it can start sagging during the printing process. To avoid that, you need to add supports, essentially a scaffolding designed to hold the problematic parts of the object in place. When the print is finished, you can remove the extra material. Slic3r has a built-in function that can generate the supports automatically.
Here is a simple guide how to use the support function:
- Go to the Print settings tab.
- Select the Support material menu.
- Check the Generate support material box.
- Overhang threshold lets you set an angle, at which supports should be created. Setting this item to zero lets the printer detect problematic parts automatically and print supports where needed.
- Enforce support for the first layer is used mostly with small models or models with a small base to prevent the object from breaking or tearing out from the bed.
Large object printing
- Another special printing case concerns objects larger than the heatbed. The first solution is to resize the object to a printable size. Right-click an object in Slic3r and from the menu select the Scale ... option, then you choose Uniformly if you want to scale down the model evenly; or you can alter the size of a model along one of the axes: Along X, Y, Z axis ...
- Alternatively, if you need to print an object that doesn’t fit the printer, you have to cut the object into several pieces using Slic3r. Right-click and choose the Cut ... option in the menu. You can cut the object horizontally by default. If you need to perform a cut in a different axis, use the Flip... option in the same menu
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