PrusaSlicer is a slicing program – or slicing tool in English – developed by the 3D printer manufacturer, Prusa. It is actually based on the open source Slic3r slicer which has made some improvements to meet the needs of FDM and SLA 3D printer users. The program is in version 2.4.1 and it facilitates the preparation of the 3D file for printing. Available in 14 languages and three different versions – Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced – it’s free and open source, constantly evolving to meet user challenges. But what are the characteristics and main functions of PrusaSlicer?
The use of a die cutting machine for additive manufacturing is an essential step in the part creation process, allowing in particular to carefully cut the pattern in layers and create print supports when necessary. Currently, there are a large number of slicing software on the market, each of which is designed for a specific machine, whether for FDM machines or, for example, resin machines. The Prusa Slicer solution was developed for both processes – also one of the first slicing tools suitable for MSLA printing.
Key Features of PrusaSlicer
The first version of Prusa Slicer was released in November 2016 – by the way, at that time the program was called Slic3r Prusa Edition. In 2019, the solution changed its name to avoid any confusion with the solution developed at that time Alessandro Ranilucci. PrusaSlicer 2.4.1 is 100% free and open source, with a team of 7 in-house developers working on permanent upgrades. In particular, the program has a very clear user interface where all the functions are grouped together on a sidebar to facilitate the operator’s work.
There are basic functions for adding struts, choosing layer height for each part of the part, filament and resin printing profiles – 150 to be exact – but also some more advanced properties for intermediate and expert profiles. For example, PrusaSlicer offers a “ironing” or flattening service in French. This function has been developed for all flat surfaces that have been layered to smooth the part and correct any small holes that may exist between layers. The shredder is also capable of calculating overhangs and determining the areas where they will need support.
PrusaSlicer also integrates several drawing tools, whether for support, connections, or just your part. We prefer the “Smart Fill” tool to give color to a larger area and the “Brush Tool” to do it manually. Finally, the program includes a gallery of shapes, from cube to ball, including a rabbit or a pyramid. The user can enrich this gallery at any time with his own models.
Prepare your 3D file
Regarding compatible formats, the sector can read STL, OBJ, 3MF and AMF files. Once you have imported your model, PrusaSlicer guides you in the direction of the part on the board. Then choose your 3D printer from those offered, materials used, and printing profile. Then comes the step of adding any supports and filling. Depending on your model, the Prusa recommends a fill of 15% – not much to add to printing time and avoid excessive material consumption, but enough to provide support for the upper layers. You can then view your G-Code before printing to verify that all is well.
The shredder offered by Prusa is not fundamentally different from other solutions on the market, but it will be the most convenient tool if you have Prusa machines. The solution is anyway compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux and offers a version for ARM and Chromebooks. You can download it today from here.
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