Almost all modern 3D printers, whether they use FDM or resin technology, work by creating thin layers of material and stacking them on top of each other to build a model. These layers are created by slicing the input model into horizontal, parallel planes, a process known as planar slicing. This method has several benefits, including simplicity in printer construction and a lack of collision concerns during the slicing process. FDM printers only need three axes of motion to build models using planar slicing, while resin printers only require one axis. While planar slicing has come a long way and has been greatly improved over the years, thanks in part to software such as Cura and Prusa Slicer, it does have some limitations, particularly when it comes to printing overhangs.
This is why people have proposed various non-planar slicing techniques to overcome these issues. These techniques pop-up more and more in the community. There are concepts of 5-axis 3D printers (such as Open 5x). However, we struggle with slicing that would unleash the full potential of such machines. People are experimenting with hand-crafted G-codes (such as those by FullControl XYZ) or with using cones or free path as the slicing geometry, for example. While these methods show promise, they still require a lot of development before they are ready for widespread use.
In this blog post, I would like to introduce (at least I hope) a new technique called “multi-planar slicing” as a possible solution to the limitations of traditional planar slicing. This method can be used with both resin and FDM 3D printers and has the potential to enable support-less resin printing of complex geometries. While this is just a concept at the moment and has not yet been implemented, I believe it could be a simpler alternative to other non-planar slicing techniques. Before diving into the implementation, however, I want to hear your thoughts on this idea.Continue reading “Multi-planar Slicing for 3D Printers – For Both FDM and Resin”