You own a RepRap 3D printer and you’re preparing a 3D model for printing with Skeinforge, the time-tested, defacto standard for slicing 3D models into printable GCode. All you need to do is wait for the slicing operation to complete.
And you’re still waiting.
That’s the problem with Skeinforge – while it has many features (perhaps too many) and generally produces usable GCode, it just takes forever to run. Hours or even days are required, depending on the complexity of your 3D model and the type of hardware you’re running Skeinforge on.
But there’s an alternative: Slic3r, software that can accept STL 3D models and rip them into GCode at warp speed, said to be around 100x faster than the now-pokey Skeinforge. Here are some features we found interesting:
- Open source software free for use; source code available on GitHub
- Simple operation with easy-to-understand GUI panel
- Multiplatform, Mac/Windows/Linux
- Ongoing development with new releases frequently
- Variety of customizable options
Reports say the generated GCode is quite good, although it’s such a complicated situation that there are always enhancements necessary (true even with Skeinforge). If you’re stuck twiddling your thumbs waiting for Skeinforge to finish, perhaps you should give Slic3r a try.