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Best free 3D printer slicer software 2023

Spencer Hill
Spencer Hill 16:19 12-27-2022
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3D printing has become increasingly popular in recent years, and with the rise of accessible and affordable 3D printers, more and more people are starting to explore the world of 3D printing.

One of the key components of 3D printing is slicer software, which is used to convert digital 3D models into printing instructions for your 3D printer.

Not sure which 3D printer slicer to try? Here are some of the best ones in the market. If you want to make an informed decision, give it a read before making your final decision.

3d printer slicer

How to choose the best 3D printer slicer for 3D printing?

Here is a checklist of considerations to make when choosing the best slicer for 3D printing:

1. Open source and free to use

If you are a beginner, find an open-source and free 3D printing slicer. There is no dearth of such slicers in the market. Advanced users, well, they may not need this list. 

2. Importing speed

The 3D printing slicer should be able to import STL files hastily, no matter how large. 

3. Good support

Best 3D print Slicer software comes with multiple language support, resources, FAQs, and much more to bridge the gap between learning and learning 3D printing hobbyists. 

4. Compatibility

The best slicers for 3D printing shouldn’t be strict compatibility needs. The best ones support Mac, Linux, and Windows OS. Look for other slicing features like print profiles, file compatibility, printer compatibility, custom setting options, integration with 3rd party plugins, number of filaments and resins supported, etc. 

Best free 3D printer slicer software [Top 5]

#1. Creality Cloud - powerful 3D printer slicer

Creality Cloud is an All-in-One 3D printing platform, it supports 3D slicing on its website and mobile App. Slice 3D models are so simple just upload your 3D model files and you can adjust all 3D slice parameters in one click, including layer height, infill, support setting, build plate adhesion, print speed, etc.

Creality slicer

Creality Cloud is the only comprehensive slicer for 3D printing that is much more than just a 3D printing slicer software. It’s an all-in-one 3D printing platform that meets all the needs of a 3D printing enthusiast.

Some of its top features include:

  • 3D model library

Creality Cloud boasts a 3D model library that contains over 2,000,000 models at the user’s expanse. It includes high-quality 3D printable things like coasters, artifacts, trophies, medals, toys, and much more. You can download the slice file from the library and get the 3D model printed instantly. You can find ready 3D models in other niches like animals, vehicles, sports, fashion, food, machinery, sculptures, and much more. 

The library hosts 3D model designs from professional 3D designers. 

  • Built-in slicer

Creality Cloud isn’t just a 3D model marketplace where you can buy and sell 3D models. It is also a built-in slicer wherein 3D hobbyists can convert/customize/build digital 3D models through print settings, profile settings, and more. A slicer software prepares your 3D model and prepares it for printing on a 3D printer. 

Creality Cloud is an intuitive and user-friendly slicer software that makes printing 3D objects easier for beginners. You can print your design using G-code. You can also use custom settings on the Creality Cloud slicer for better control over the designs. 

  • Webcam streaming

Creality Cloud, through the app, also facilitates remote printing. You can start, pause or print from anywhere as and when you want through the Creality Cloud mobile app. Not satisfied with how your design is being printed? Even remotely, you can modify the settings during the printing process in real-time. 

  • Communities

Creality Cloud is an All-in-One platform because it also has a community of over 1,000,000 3D printing hobbyists. It’s a social platform for 3D printing enthusiasts to create 3D models, showcase their designs, sell them, and even earn from them. The Creality Cloud community is a community of like-minded people who always have 3D printing in their minds. The community aims to meet the goals of both beginners and experts in 3D printing. 

  • Instant print

Creality Cloud Maker’s Tool is simply superb. See a picture and want to print a 3D version of it? Creality Cloud makes it possible through its Maker’s Tools feature. Upload a picture from your mobile gallery and create a 3D model. This could be a pen holder, phone number maker, or anything object you want to make come out alive. 

Creality Cloud Compatibility

Creality Cloud doesn’t have any compatibility requirements as such. You can use the Creality Cloud web version on your PC or download its app on your mobile.

Operation System Download link
Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cxsw.sdprinter&hl=en_US&gl=US
iOS https://apps.apple.com/tw/app/creality-cloud-3d-printing/id1577663728

Pros

  • It allows you to slice 3D models on the Web, Android, and iOS.
  • Allows designers to sell their designs and get a 90% profit share.
  • Build-in slicer supports all sorts of 3D printers.
  • Remote control of your 3D printer with the Creality Wi-Fi box.
  • Free to use.

Cons

  • Not Found

#2. Ultimaker Cura (Open source)

Ultimaker Cura is an open-source and free slicer software and is one of the most popular ones in the market. Developed by Dutch manufacturer, Ultimaker, Cura is only a slicer software.

If you want to enjoy other features similar to Creality Cloud like Community, 3D model library marketplace, and more, you need to download Ultimaker’s dedicated solutions like Ultimaker Digital Factor, Ultimaker Enterprise, etc.

Ultimaker Cura

Back to Cura, some of the key features of Ultimaker Cura include:

  • Over 400 custom settings and print profiles.
  • Integration with CAD software like SolidWorks, AutoDesk, Inventor, Siemens NX, and more.
  • Supports all 3D printers and file formats like STL, X3D, BMP, JPG, PNG, etc.
  • Integrates well with Ultimaker 3D printers.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Imports custom settings
  • Variety of print settings, quality settings, print profiles
  • Easy integration with third-party software and plugins

Cons

  • Stern PC compatibility requirements

#3. Slic3r

Slic3r is another open-source and free 3D print slicer software developed by Alessandro Ranellucci. It might not look as blingy as Creality Cloud and Cura as it’s a non-profit organization developed with the help of the Rap-Rap project and other contributors.

Slic3r open source slicer

Users using Slic3r enjoy a wide variety of features:

  • Compatibility with many printers from Ultimaker and Rostock to DLP printers.
  • Works 100x faster than skeinforge with fast G-code generation.
  • Supports a variety of file formats like STL, OBG, AMF, etc.
  • No compatibility requirements. Run it free on Mac, Linux, and Windows.
  • The software supports multiple filaments and printers and builds tyles at the same time.

Pros

  • Open source and free to use
  • Useful for both beginners and experts
  • Handles Multi extruder 3D printers well
  • Microlayering within less time and with more accuracy
  • Works fast even on low-end computers

Cons

  • Overloaded with too many features 
  • Not too user-friendly for beginners

#4. OctoPrint

OctoPrint is more of a controlling and monitoring software for your 3D printers. You can check your connected 3D printer in real-time through OctoPrint. 

For using OctoPrint on your PC, it should necessarily be loaded with Raspberry Pi. Works with Mac, Windows, and Linux OS. The best part about using OctoPrint is you don’t have to hassle with SD cards to load your printing tasks on your 3D printer.

OctoPrint

Summarizing some of its features down below:

  • Control, monitor, stop and pause your 3D printer functioning in real-time remotely
  • Has an integrated 3D printing slicer software, CuraEngine
  • Most suited for intermediate and advanced 3D enthusiasts
  • Has a community forum and plugin Repository
  • Supported financially by Creality, Bigtreetech, Raise3D, and others

Pros

  • 100% free and open source
  • Full remote control over 3D printers
  • Create timelapse recordings of your prints
  • Allows to send G-code remotely

Cons

  • Not a great slicing software, comparatively

#5. PrusaSlicer

A must-have for Prusa 3D printer owners, PrusaSlicer is also a free and open-source best 3D print slicer. It has recently gained much popularity and has reached the same spots as Cura. With the regular release of new features and updates added, Prusa is a must-try slicer for 3D printers. Do you know Prusa slicer has its roots linked with Slic3r?

PrusaSlicer

With simple and clean UI, custom profiles, 250+ preset filaments and resins, built-in print profiles, and MSLA and MMU support, PrusaSlicer has paved its way up like a pro. 

Some of the key features include:

  • It has three user modes: Beginner, intermediate and Advanced 
  • The standalone G-code Viewer comes along with the PrusaSlicer installer package
  • Refined user interface with soluble interface support, linguistic support, etc
  • Smart background processing
  • Integration with Octoprint, Repetier Host, Cura, IdeaMaker, and more.

Pros

  • Breakdown of each printing feature time so you can fix what’s taking the most time
  • Supports a wide number of 3D printers + Prusa 3D printers
  • Compatible with Linux, windows, and Mac
  • The Prusa community keeps you connected with other 3D printer hobbyists

Cons

  • No major disadvantage of using Prusa found

FAQs about 3D printer slicer software

Q1. Can I use any slicer for 3D printing?

Yes, you can use any slicer for 3D printing if you are a beginner. Cura, Creality Cloud, and Prusa are the best for beginners. You can use them for advanced 3D printing as well. 

Q2. Is Cura and Creality slicer the same thing?

You can say both are cut from the same cloth, but currently, both are operating independently. Creality Cloud is a slicer by Creality, whereas Cura is a slicer software by Ultimaker. Recently, Creality Cloud introduced its integration on Cura slicer software so that users can easily integrate the two when slicing, importing STL files, and more. 

Conclusion

No matter which slicer software you choose, it's important to familiarize yourself with its features and capabilities to ensure that you are getting the most out of your 3D printing experience. With so many great free options available, there's no need to break the bank to get started with 3D printing.

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