In a team of three students we had the chance to write a seminar paper examining the influence of slicing tools on the quality of 3D printed parts. After finishing the seminar paper, we decided to turn the findings into a research paper, which meant to shorten and rewrite a majority of our original work. We submitted the paper to a special issue of the Computer-Aided Design and Applications journal and the paper got accepted.
Link to research paper: Influence of slicing tools on quality of 3D printed parts
To analyze the influence of slicing tools we had to compare different G-codes produced by different slicing tools of the same 3D model. There is an awesome online gCodeViewer available. I have extended the viewer to be able to compare different G-codes with each other.
With slicing tools it is possible to convert digital 3D models into printing instructions for 3D printers. The general approach is: The model is cut into horizontal slices which are then used to create extrusion paths similar to milling paths in the traditional CNC field, which are then being filled with material, mostly plastic material.
The goal of this study is to compare available slicing tools for 3D printers under defined aspects using different configurations. The main contributions of this study are: (1) collecting methods and tools to judge print results, (2) analysis of the available slicing tools with appropriate tests and comparisons, and (3) evaluating the slicing tools using the analysis as solid foundation.