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Why switch to Simplify3D?

Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:13 pm

I'm admittedly extremely new to 3D printing, I just got my printer over the weekend and I have been tuning it over the past few days, currently using a free slicer application developed by another company. Simplify3D seems to promise better quality prints, something I am very concerned about. But as I just shelled out for my printer, I'm a little short in the spare cash department, it's hard to justify another $150 expense, particularly when I'm already looking at other hardware upgrades. I don't see any free trials listed, so I can't do anything to really see the effect that moving to this new slicer would provide without diving in headfirst.

So tell me, why, if at all, a printer n00b should switch to Simplify3D. I certainly see the advantages of some of the advanced features, particularly if I get into printing for sale or on-demand. Admittedly this is something I would like to get into, which is part of the reason print quality is a high concern of mine. Is there a good justification for moving right to Simplify3D now? Is there benefit in learning the basics using the slicer recommended by the manufacturer of my printer before upgrading to the advanced features that Simplify3D offers?

I appreciate any insight that anyone provides.

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Re: Why switch to Simplify3D?

Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:52 am

It's exactly what you said - more functionality and better prints. It gives you more control over the way your parts are printed which means you can make them better. It also adds functionality that the stock software doesn't have. I personally also enjoy the huge time savings since everything in S3D seems to be 10x faster than the software that originally came with my printer.

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Re: Why switch to Simplify3D?

Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:36 am

I recently started using Simplify3D. I mainly did it for two reasons. 1) it seems to handle complicated (read large file size) .stl files much better and slicing time is very fast...and 2) more/easier control over support material.

I like the UI as well - though it did take a while to get used to. It is different from Matter Control. And there are many more options available to tweak. That can be good or bad.

But Simplify3D is far from perfect. it is missing some basic functions like "lay Flat on Bed" and "Mirror" to name a couple. There is also a serious Memory Leak issue with the application. If you move back and forth between preview and regular mode (moving to preview is what slices the model), it uses more and more RAM until you just run out of RAM and the app starts doing weird things or stops working all together.

The good news is that they seem to release a new version every 3-4 months or so, so feature requests and bug fixes may be there in the next release or two.

There are a number of youtube videos demonstrating some of the unique features of Simplify3D so you can get some idea of how it works since there is no demo version of the application available.

Is it worth the $149? To me it is but your mileage may vary.
Proud owner and builder of the Rostock MAX V2

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Re: Why switch to Simplify3D?

Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:22 am

The biggest reasons for me above other tools are:

1) much much faster slicing. -> saves me way over the cost of the tool and more in time.
2) Easy to customize support material -> definitely helps get better prints and wastes less material and makes faster prints.

That said, infill, dual extrusion and a couple other things make me pull my hair out and try other tools.

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Re: Why switch to Simplify3D?

Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:28 pm

I've been involved with 3d printing almost 3 years now. I only got involved with using s3d in around january I think. In that time I have mixed feelings on the software.
it does open up a world of control and flexibility to the printing process. and the prints are very clean and nice looking.
on the other hand, for me and I've seen this discussed before, there is a strength issue to the prints. I believe it comes from 2 areas -
1. the infill options are limited somewhat. the cross hatching technique is not as strong for me as the honeycomb structure, which s3d does not offer.
2. internal handling of how walls and floors/roofs are handled. for examle, if you have an empty box with a smaller box on top, the melding of the two is not proper. if you search the forum you will see a few threads discussing this.

your mileage may vary. for what its worth, I think s3d is a must have, but you should have multiple slicers at your disposal.

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Re: Why switch to Simplify3D?

Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:25 pm

I agree with what folks have mentioned in the thread.

If you're new to 3D printing, its probably okay to stay with Matter Control or Cura. Once you get a grip of one or both of those, comeback to look at S3D. It may fill some gaps or open up some ideas about how to better slice.

Some distinctions for me were:
- Add / Remove supports
- Varying print characteristics in a single project through layering processes

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Re: Why switch to Simplify3D?

Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:59 pm

I bought S3d for the slicing speed, and have just tried a few prints. S3d is literally 6 times faster than Slic3r.

However, my printer (Hyrel) does not use the extrusion settings--it calculates its own. As a result, it will not allow varying width extrusions. (I requested an option to eliminate this "feature", to allow slicer software control, and fortunately, it was confirmed to be implemented.) Anyway, due to the current architecture, any other slicer setup is tedious, and must be coordinated with machine settings until the new Hyrel feature is ready.

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Re: Why switch to Simplify3D?

Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:39 am

I use Simplify3D due to its compatibility with multiple printers, the absolutely tremendous feature that is manual support, and the ability to have multiple processes in my part always brings a greater level of control to my prints that I find absolutely necessary!

I can't comfortably use anything else.

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Re: Why switch to Simplify3D?

Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:41 pm

Thank you all for your feedback, you've given me a lot to think about.

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