In the world of 3D printing, slicers – the software that rips your models into layers and tells your printer how to lay them – are a hot topic. Gurus will contest not only their optimal settings but the pros and cons of how each individual slicer approaches those tasks. E3D, the popular hot-end manufacturer based in the UK has officially tossed their hat in the ring with the launch of their own slicer; Pathio.
The free slicer is currently in Beta, and you can try it out yourself to see how the features fit your workflow.
The team is attempting to come out of the gate with an impressive toolset. Here are the main features that they mention in their press release:
3D Offsetting for perfect shells.
We calculate a true 3D offset of the model to define where we will place the shell and
infill. This leads to true constant wall thickness throughout the model and automagically
creates a more self-supporting geometry that reliably results in a contiguous shell
without gaps or holes. The 3D offsetting method also results in a more mechanically
sound print, with corners being reinforced and shells on sloped surfaces maintaining
Logical grouped model settings.
Pathio uses a unique hierarchical grouping system that allows a single print-job to be
organised into colour-coded groups of models each with their own slicing settings. You
can easily assign different infill or support settings to different models or groups in a
single print-job with clearly visible overrides.
UI made good.
If you use slicers at all, you’ll know that the user interface hasn’t always been a top
priority in older slicers.
Pathio is built on a mixture of modern web-technology (Electron) and a powerful native
slicing engine (written in C++17 ), which has allowed Pathio’s development team to
develop a great user experience whilst keeping a powerful native engine that runs
Scripting for Power Users.
We’ve implemented proper syntax highlighting and even variable-autocomplete in our
editor! This makes reading and writing GCode and scripts dramatically easier.
I downloaded it and gave it a try. The UI is easy enough to figure out for anyone who has used one of these tools before and machine setup was fairly simple. I did run into errors slicing my testing models, (random junk I had on my computer). This where the pathio team won some points in my mind. I logged on to their community forum and was able to discuss the issues with them and other community members. It turns out my model was broken, but the responsiveness of the community was really a great thing to see in action.
We are very curious to hear what our community experiences with this new tool, so go check it out and tell us how it compares to others you’ve used.