There are many 3D printer slicing softwares available on the market, most 3D printer slicing softwares are free and open source but there are some slicers that cost money. There are many things to consider when selecting a slicer, such as user friendliness, cost, and community support.
As a general rule, when you purchase a 3D printer it will come with a slicer software included. There are also many free softwares available (such as Cura, PrusaSlicer, and SuperSlicer) and in most cases these free softwares perform better than the included softwares.
Just because a slicer costs money doesn’t mean that it is any better than a free slicer and I have generally found the opposite to be true. The few slicers that do cost money do not show any clear advantage over the free softwares and in many cases the free software options are open source and receive updates more regularly.
Which 3D printing brands have software included?
I have collected data on the most popular 3D printer manufacturers and graded the slicers on a scale of 1-10 on their user friendliness as well as their capabilities. There are really a lot of great slicing options especially in the top 4 of this list and you really cant go wrong with any of them.
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The Best 3D Printing Slicer Softwares.
There are many 3D printing slicing softwares available but few stand above the rest when it comes to user-friendliness and community support. Of all the slicers Cura, PrusaSlicer, SuperSlicer, and Simplify3D are the best slicing softwares available.
Cura is the most popular and user friendly slicing software available today and is a great software for people at all skill levels. Cura has a large selection of printer profiles or you can create your own printer profile within the software.
In Cura you can select your skill level (as shown below) which will then simplify the settings available to make an easier more user-friendly slicing experience. This is the software that I started on and I know that anyone who is new to 3D printing will have no issue programming with it.
I really like Cura because of its user-friendliness as well as its community support and available help.
PrusaSlicer is a slicer created by Prusa Research and really is a fantastic slicer. PrusaSlicer is a facelift from the original Slic3r software. PrusaSlicer although the name may be confusing but PrusaSlicer can be used with basically any 3D printer and you can create custom profiles for printers that are not listed and not just Prusa 3D printers.
Similar to Cura, there is an option for beginners in the top right corner. The settings are simpler but in general the interface isn’t nearly as intuitive. The settings in PrusaSlicer are slightly more confusing to navigate than other softwares like Cura.
SuperSlicer may look familiar if you use Slic3r or PrusaSlicer because these are the base of what SuperSlicer was created from. SuperSLicer gets very high marks from me because it has taken all the good things from the best slicers and put them together for free.
SuperSlicer is an open source software that is constantly being worked on and updated by the community. It is also the most aesthetically pleasing in my opinion but that is just a personal preference.
SuperSlicer is not the most user friendly software but it is one of the most advanced. This is a really great next step whenever you feel comfortable changing setting and making more advanced profiles.
The Simple/Advanced/Expert options on SuperSlicer work very similar to PrusaSlicer, basically this software is not for beginners and the simple option is helpful but honestly if you need basic slicer settings this is probably not the software for you.
SuperSlicer is also a bit tougher to install than the other options but that is really a minor inconvenience when it comes to getting free software that is very capable and advanced.
Simplify3D is the only paid option on the list and honestly it barely makes the list. If you have the spare $150 and are inconsolably curious then it is not a bad pickup but honestly I would recommend you save the money and go with one of the top 3 on this list.
The real issues with SImplify3D is that it simply isn’t the best slicer available and also it hasn’t been updated in a long time. Simplify3D is not for beginners so before going out and purchasing it you should start with something like Cura or PrusaSlicer.
There are so many good slicing softwares available there is really no reason to use a bad one. You really can’t go wrong with Cura but if you are looking for something more advanced you should go for SuperSlicer.
Any one can create G-Code for 3D printing and it is honestly not as difficult as people make it out to be. I have been training people to program machines for years and when a process is boiled down in the right way anyone can learn how to do something.