I pretty much solely use S3D - I tried using Slic3r and others briefly (MatterControl wasn’t bad, but was missing a bunch of features I was used to in S3D – and it kept crashing on me).
I generally really like S3D. It’s got some major annoyances though, and those are easier for me to remember so I figure I’ll list 'em:
There’s no really detailed overview of what each and every setting does, and how it will affect the GCode output/printer output. For example, there’s about 4 (maybe more) settings that will all effect the amount extruded from the nozzle: Nozzle size, extrusion multiplier, extrusion width, and filament size. Took a lot of trial and error to figure out how each of those actually affect things.
It likes to crash when duplicating objects, which is annoying as hell.
It’s really easy to accidentally delete a ‘process’ (printer settings) with no undo or warning.
Dual extrusion settings leave some things to be desired - I’ve been using PVA paired with Soft PLA, and the PVA oozes like nothing else I’ve ever used. There’s no way to set an auto-ooze setting per extruder, and more importantly, you can only print a skirt with the ‘primary’ extruder. I’ve been printing a skirt as tall as the model with the soft PLA (which is a massive waste) so that as the PVA extruder moves into position, the skirt wipes the ooze off. Downside is, with long prints too much oozes out, and there’s no way to force some extra extrusion to make up for it.
Setting up different processes based on height is kind of a pain - you have to make completely new processes, and set them to start and end at different heights in mm - can’t just make one process that changes the layer height at layer 12 or something. And… say your first process has a layer height of .3mm, and you tell it to stop at 2mm. Your next process is .1mm layer height, starting at 2.2mm. There’ll be a gap of .2mm between the two processes! You’d have to make your changeover height be 2.4mm.
The manual support structures are great, but very difficult to remove only parts of the support structures - if you don’t want support in holes, but need it elsewhere, you have to click every single little pillar you want to remove. It’s also not smart enough that if you have support starting halfway up the model, and have a support ‘inflation’ (supports go outside the model a bit), it won’t drop that inflation down to the bed - you’ll end up with strings hanging off your model.
Doesn’t seem to have support for two extruder fans at all, not sure how to add that (the TAZ firmware doesn’t support that yet, though someone elsewhere on the forums said they were working on it).
There’s nowhere to set up X/Y offsets for the second extruder - have to do it in firmware. Works OK but a pain in the ass to tweak.
And… not a huge deal, but they seem to release updates very erratically. Lots of posts on their feature request forum are met with ‘you can already do this! here’s a 16 step method to do that one thing you want.’ It seems that their updates don’t really add many/any of the requested features at all.
Would be great if it were open source, as we could just add the features we want. It does seem to have some sort of plugin structure (evidenced by an ‘Add-ins’ menu) but I can’t find anything about how to WRITE an add-in for it, and the only one that exists is to convert an image into a 3d-model relief.
So, this is long - I don’t want to look like I’m completely badmouthing this software. It’s still basically the only program I use. The bed layout functions are great, the support system is better than anything else I’ve found, and I don’t think anything out there really does a better job than S3D. But I think S3D could be doing a better job than they are.