Introduction: 3.1. Slicer Interface | Learn SelfCAD

About: Student at the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the Silesian University of Technology

1.1. Introduction
1.2. Interface
1.3. Navigation
1.4. Preferences
1.5. Workspace Settings
1.6. Environment Settings
2.1. Dollhouse project, part 1
2.2. Dollhouse project, part 2
2.3. Windows
2.4. Beds
2.5. Armchair & Sofa
2.6. Chairs & Table
3.1. 3D Print - Slicer interface
3.2. 3D Print - Settings

Welcome to the third part of Learn SelfCAD series. In this part, I want to show you great SelfCAD advantage - the built-in slicer. First, you will learn where you can choose your printer or add a new one and what you should do to generate GCode - the final file that you import to your printer.


SelfCAD account

Step 1: Open the Slicer

First of all, you have to open the slicer. To do it, select object (or objects) you are about to print and press the 3D Print (Ctrl+P) icon in Toolbar.

Step 2: Choose Your Printer

If you haven't used the slicer yet, the first thing you see is a list of available printers. You can use the search tool to find your printer.

Step 3: Profile Editor

You can also create your own printer profile by pressing the Open profile editor button. There, you can set all default parameters of your printer and material you use.

Step 4: Interface: Preview

After you chose the printer, you should see the main slicer interface. The biggest part of the screen is taken by the preview, where you can see the results of your operations. In the top part of the preview, there is one of the most important buttons in slicer - Slice. Only after pressing this button the object is sliced into layers and only then you can see how the object will look like, what the path of the nozzle will be, how long the printing process will take. Also, only after pressing this button, when the object is sliced, you can save the GCode, a file that provides information about the object being printed to the printer.

Navigation is a little bit different than in the SelfCAD app - you also rotate the camera using the left mouse button, zoom in and out with the mouse wheel, but to pan, you have to use the right mouse button instead of the middle one. You can also reset the camera by pressing the button in the bottom left corner.

Step 5: Interface: Toolbar

Above the preview, there is the Toolbar that consists of 9 parts.

The first one is the logo of SelfCAD. Pressing this takes you to the SelfCAD home page.

The second one is the profile selection. Different objects require different settings, but if you want to use the same settings later, you can save them as a profile. Note that the profiles I was talking about two steps earlier were for the entire printer and the profiles here refer to the settings inside the printer profile.

The next button shows the chosen printer model. Pressing it takes you back to the list of printers.

Now we have the Open button, which allows you to import any 3D object from your computer directly to the slicer.

The next four buttons are for quick settings. You can use them to change some basic parameters.

The last button opens the settings.

Step 6: Interface: Object Settings

To open the object settings, you have to click on the object to select it. Then, in the right panel, you can change its position (useful when you print more objects), scale or rotation.

Look at the scale settings. Now, when you understand how units in SelfCAD work, you can change the size of the objects also there. The object's size decreased 5 times in the app and the scale set to 20% in slicer give the same result. It's also possible to change one of the dimensions, but remember that objects always keep the proportion here.

Place surface on plate is a very useful button. Press it and then click on the object's surface to rotate the object so that it lies on this surface. This operation can help you save the material and time because, for example, after the rotation the supports wouldn't be necessary.

Using the last button you can delete the object. It can be useful when you accidentally select too many objects to print.

Step 7: Interface: Printing Settings

The left panel is for settings. To open the settings press the last button in the Toolbar.

Look at the second picture. Each section consists of several basic settings, some of which contain additional settings (marked in red in the picture). What's more, in most sections you can also change the advanced settings (marked in blue in the picture).

There are hundreds of parameters that you can change and in the next lesson you will learn only about the most important of them. Most of the advanced settings you will probably never use, but there are also some that you need to know. You can read about every single parameter by hovering over the info symbol ("i") next to the label.

Step 8: Interface: Timeline

The timeline in the bottom part of the interface gives you some important information about the printing process. We use it to see how long the printing would last with current settings, what the path of the nozzle would be and also to see how the model would look like inside.

Step 9: Save GCode

To print an object you have to actually do 3 things: import the object to the slicer, slice it and save the GCode which says the printer what it should do. I've already told you about a very important Slice button, now it's time for the second one. When your object is sliced, the new button appears in the bottom right corner. The white text "Save GCode" on it suggests that it is this button that generates the file, which should be delivered to the printer.

Step 10: Next Lesson

Now you know how to use the slicer.

Click here to learn what settings you can change.