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New Project: Getting Started With Slic3r

Slic3r is a free program that converts .STL files into .GCODE files for 3D printing.

New Project: Getting Started With Slic3r

So you have a 3D printer and a 3D file, but now what? Well, you have to slice it up into layers and create a .GCODE file, which you’ll then send to your 3D printer. There are many options for slicing parts in preparation for 3D printing, but Slic3r’s nice because it’s open source, free to use, relatively quick, and extremely customizable.

I’ll describe how each of the many settings relates to the actions of your 3D printer, and how to correctly adjust them to optimize your machine for your application. I don’t have experience with tweaking all of these settings (there are a lot), but I’ll do my best to describe what they do.

I recently read RichRap’s fantastic guide, Slic3r is Nicer, and recommend that you give it a read as well. Although Rich has a lot of nice photos and great explanations in his tutorial, it is almost a year old, and a lot has been added to Slic3r since then. Unlike me, he does cover extruder calibration in his tutorial, which is an optional, although beneficial, process.

The manufacturer of your 3D printer most likely provides either their default slicing settings, from which you’ll have to manually enter numbers into Slic3r, or an exported profile. If you have a .INI Slic3r profile, I’d recommend starting with that and tweaking settings from there (you can import a profile in Slic3r by going to File -> Import Config).

*Unless otherwise noted, photos of prints in progress are from John Abella.

*Main photo is from the Slic3r homepage.

Disclaimer: Despite the fact that I provide good starter settings here, there is no “set formula” that will work well for all machines, so experimentation is required if you really want to optimize your prints.

You can download Slic3r for free from the website or GitHub. Now open it up and let’s get started!

Eric Weinhoffer

Eric Weinhoffer

Eric is a Manufacturing Engineer at Other Machine Co., where he uses large machines to make smaller machines. When not building things, Eric enjoys skiing, cycling, and climbing.

  • will

    Good information!! I have only one question, If I use a Match3 board can I control de fan and the extruder??

    • Eric Weinhoffer

      Hi Will,

      Yes, you should be able to control the fan, no matter what extruder you’re using.

  • sam morse

    A good pictorial representation of the various Slic3r options can be found in this powerpoint presentation and pdf –

  • Tim Good

    Very nice tutorial!

    My question is when printing multiple parts, is there a setting in Slic3r to generate the layer for ONE part before generating the layer for another part. When I print multiple parts, the slicer appears to do a ring for one part, then a ring for another part, then another. It never completes one layer of one part first, then goes to the next part. Not that it is really messing up the parts, but it seems like there is a bunch of wasted time making a lot more moves from part to part then if it would simple lay down the layer of one part completely and then go to the next part.

    Does such a setting exist in Slicer?

    Or is everbody just printing one part at a time?

    • Eric Weinhoffer

      To be honest, Tim, I’m not sure. One thing I do know is that Slic3r doesn’t support multiple-part printing where one part is completed before moving onto the next. That is one advantage of Cura – the Project Planner can be used to arrange parts on the plate and have them printed in sequence instead of all at once.

  • G.Esteban

    to me, the instruction on downloading slic3r is somewhat confusing. I followed the instruction, press he window selection,it downloaded git-hub(later on I had to find directory where it was downloaded too, found git hub setup application-did this manually) next instruction choose between 2 citruses, choosed one of those and again had to look for where it was downloaded to,found it and still doesnt have slic3r. Is there an easy waya to download slic3r???? that anybody knows of. On the page it say git hub git//slic4 alex jr. Where do you place this command?? Thanks for any help

    • Eric Weinhoffer

      Hi Esteban,

      The easiest way to download is to use their own website:
      Just hit the “Download Now” button!

      • GE

        Hey thanks, I found a way of doing it easier after spending time on the internet reading blogs and experiences of other users. Surely you should look seriously on your downloading procedure and make it less complicated. Many of the viewers are probably a neophyte as I am. Thanks for this reply

  • Clementine

    Hello Eric,

    Great write up!

    Is it allowed to translate this guide in Dutch and post it on my website with source reference? :)

    • Eric Weinhoffer

      Yes, have at it! Please email me ( a link to it when it’s translated :)

  • George

    Hi Eric,
    We have the following problem. Poorly printed thin vertical walls. Typically the pipe wall thickness 1.4 mm. The printer prints the inner and outer perimeter, but the inside is ignored. We have a 0.5 mm nozzle and filling is 0.99 (1.0 does not want to), but it probably is not a major problem. We use Slic3r version 0.9.10b. I found the discussion of solutions (like me), author returned to the old version 7.2 Do you know where the error may be?

    • Eric Weinhoffer

      Hi George,

      I think your wall thickness and nozzle size are preventing the inside from being printed — since the nozzle’s 0.5mm and the wall thickness is 1.4mm, it can only fit in two full perimeters (1mm total). If the wall thickness was greater than 1.5mm, Slic3r should correct itself and add in an additional perimeter.

      Hope that makes sense and helps!


  • this video emusic review

    Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
    My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

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