The slicing software is essential for 3D printing as it converts a CAD model into an understandable format for a 3D printer.
Today, we will look at 4 well-known slicing software that are easy for both beginners and intermediates to use.
In order to use a 3D printer, a slicer program that will convert CAD files into a printable format is essential.
Like fabWeaver's type A530, industrial 3D printer makers are providing their own slicer software which is optimized for their 3D printer products, however, users need to look for separate slicers if they're using a low-cost 3D printer or their own DIY 3D printer.
Various slicers are already on market. Here we share some of the most popular and well-known slicer software that are ease-of-use.
1. Ultimaker Cura (https://ultimaker.com/software/ultimaker-cura)
Cura is a slicer software developed by Ultimaker, a Dutch FDM printer manufacturer.
Cura is an open-source program and the slicer itself is a freeware that anyone can use free of charge, but the platform for using some features and services of the Ultimaker requires a cost.
Since it is the oldest slicer software, Cura offers a lot of different profiles and settings per various 3D printers and materials.
Not only does Cura offer basic settings for 3D printing beginners, but they also have dozens of changeable setting values that enable intermediate and advanced users to test their 3D printer's performance in various ways.
In addition, features developed by other general users can be installed in the form of plug-ins.
2. Prusa Slicer (https://www.prusa3d.com/page/prusaslicer_424/)
Prusa Slicer was developed by Prusa Research in Czech Republic.
Initially, Prusa Research used Slic3r which is another open-source slicer, but they developed based on Slic3r and finally, the current Prusa Slicer has been completed.
Prusa Slicer is completely free of charge and not only has their Prusa printer's default settings but also offers settings for small business FDM printers.
Similar to Cura, the Prusa Slicer also offers diverse settings that intermediate and advanced users can try and adjust.
3. CHITUBOX (https://www.chitubox.com/en/page/chitubox-free)
CHITUBOX is the name of a slicing software that a Chinese company developed.
CHITUBOX is a 3D slicer software, but different from CURA and Prusa Slicer, it is dedicated to SLA, DLP, and LCD 3D printers.
Users can enjoy different settings for various SLA, DLP, and LCD 3D printers, and support settings are also freely configurable.
CHITUBOX served in two versions: the basic version (free), and the pro version (paid) with additional CAD file support and model modification features, and more.
4. AstroPrint (https://www.astroprint.com/)
AstroPrint is a company that develops cloud-based slicer programs.
Users don't need to install a separate program on their computer and can use AstroPrint's slicer by simply logging in through a web browser.
AstroPrint's slicer is compatible with various FDM printers and can manage printing via both computer and mobile as it's cloud-based.
However, AstroPrint doesn't offer as many settings that users can adjust as Cura, Prusa Slicer, or CHITUBOX.
AstroPrint is served through the basic plan which is free of charge (up to 2 printers to manage and 1GB of cloud storage), and the premium plan is a paid service.
If you're looking for a free slicer for your 3D printer, we recommend you try the popular slicers that we have mentioned to meet your printing needs.