Best Slicing Software

Just curious what software others are using and wondering if anyone has any suggestions on a good slicing software. I’ve been using Cura for almost a year now, and I’ve played around with Slic3r some but have always gone back to Cura. I’m just trying to get a bit more control of my prints and get better quality prints as well. Look forward to hearing everyone’s suggestions.

There is no single “best” software for everything. They all have things they are better at than others. If you want lots of things you can adjust, Slicer and Simplify3D seem to have the most options. Simplify3D is great, but leaves gaps in thin walls for some reason. It also seems kind of retract-happy, which my PET filament doesn’t do well with sometimes.

Thanks for your input. I’ve looked at Simplify3D, just wondering if I want to spend the money on the licensing.

Try Craftware… its also free.

Personally, I’m a S3D fan. But I had already purchased the software for my previous printer…

It doesn’t help that they are mildly annoying about the licensing. It has a number of installs check, that under Linux would cause issues. It’s better now, but it was really annoying to try to use software I paid for and have it fail to run saying I had installed it too many times (I hadn’t). Particularly on a weekend when I print most often. Thankfully my laptop had a working install.

I would have used something else, but the day before I had JUST dialed in the profile for that filament and model. :unamused:

Please do not recommend S3D.

They have sought software patents that are going to lock this very community out of future developments. Each dollar that goes to them is a dollar AGAINST this community.



I’m biased toward free/open source, so I refuse to use S3D. Jebba’s comment cements my stance.

There are quite a few free slicers out there, that show good results under different conditions. A post on SeeMeCNC’s forum did a nice job of showing differences for a single model - For most users, it still seems that slicer performance is model dependent.

I personally use both Slic3r (version 1.2.9 and the new Prusa variant, 1.31.6) and Cura.

If true, that’s a big deal. Can you provide a source? I think it’s a bit unreasonable to make claims like that without sources. It wouldn’t surprise me much based on the fact that they insist on using DRM though.

This is Lulzbot’s forum, so if you don’t want me to discuss S3D here, that’s your right I guess. And I’m even more happy to do so if they are engaging in software patents, one of the most foul forms of IP in my view.

I would like to hear more about this, too. Anyone have a link to what they have attempted to patent?

As for S3D functionality… I tried it for the “manual supports” capability. With certain parts (and parts for which I only had STL files), I just could not get Cura to generate the supports I wanted. I experimented with editing STL files to add supports, but that was too cumbersome.

I find the S3D UI a little better, or at least more organized, than the CURA UI. The profile management “out of the box” is lacking, but for someone willing to do some editing of the undocumented XML profile structure, that can be greatly improved – at least to the point where I find managing settings across various materials and qualities easier than it is with Cura. But many (most?) people aren’t going to want to mess with figuring out S3D’s XML structure and manually editing it, particularly after paying $149 for the privilege.

Where support structure is not an issue, I usually get slightly better quality prints from CURA. Although S3D exposes a lot more parameter inputs, and despite reading all of their troubleshooting advice, I still see a lot more “unexplained artifacts” in S3D prints than I do in prints from CURA. (Note: My experience is limited to a Lulzbot Mini with direct drive extruder; the additional parameters exposed in S3D might make more difference with other printer designs.)

The machine control panel is more elaborate in S3D than CURA, but I no longer use that in either program – because I have a RaspberryPi with Octoprint controlling the printer.

My biggest gripe with S3D is lack of any visible development progress, and lack of community engagement. Version 3.0 was released Jun-2015, and there has been only one significant update (3.1, mainly adding new printer profiles) in the 1-1/2 years since then. If they are working on a big new release, it is a well-kept secret. And while S3D hosts a user forum, they seldom (if ever) actually engage with the user community to discuss ideas, issues, or even general product direction. I want more in those areas with a product that costs $149, has no trial period, and comes with Orwellian and often-problematic DRM.

I currently use both CURA 21.xx and S3D somewhat interchangeably. I find the profile management (after my manual XML changes) and support structure control better in S3D. I find overall print quality to usually be better in CURA, as long as I don’t run into support structure issues.

I have high hopes that future CURA development will provide better control over support structures, and eventually address better settings/profile management. Those are the only two areas where S3D currently works better for me.


Thank you! That is an insanely stupid patent. How the hell else would you generate supports? Project a line and build around it. Duh. How I hate USPTO. I’m getting to the point that my first order of business in my imagined “king for a day” would be to obliterate all Patents and Copyrights.

And yes, that alone is reason to shun S3D. Guess I need to use some time over the long weekend to tune Slicer and Cura a little better. Cura with the Lulzbot profiles is pretty good, other than overextrusion on the first layer and a couple little things. I would like a few more options on some prints though, and Slicer sounds like it handles things like thin walls better, which S3D is completely useless with anyway.


You’re free to discuss S3D here, but I may rebuke you. :wink:

Glad to see you’re also concerned about software patents.



It’s like Apple getting a patent for the shape of the iphone and ipad, which most devices use to one degree or another. It’s just a rectangle with rounded corners. The people in the patent office need their collective heads examined.

I’m going to get a patent on the “submitting a patent” process. That will show them all!