CREAT3D handy 3D printing tips: Using Simplify3D
Monday, 19 October 2015 | Sabina Gonzalez-George
Simplify3D printing software: our review
The advanced 3D printing software, Simplify3D has a number of features that truly make it a great piece of 3D printing software. There's also a few more hidden gems that we enjoy, as they add an even stronger practical application to the software, particularly for business users.
Core Simplify3D features
Firstly, Simplify3D have recently upgraded their software to version 3.0, adding and enhancing their features further. You can read about the upgrade in our previous Simplify3D upgrade blog. Our review is based on this latest software, v3.0.
In short, some of our favourite functionalities are:
Other Simplify3D features we use regularly
.factory & .fff files.
You can create and export .factory files. Why are these useful? Because the file includes the scale, orientation and position you had the STL on your print pad, and it also includes all of your print settings. This is particularly useful for saving a file, especially if you have an STL that is difficult to orientate. Once you've oriented the STL and selected your settings once, you can export the .factory file, containing every detail in there. When you then come to re-print at a later date, you have the flexibility to change the settings, but maintain the specific orientation you set.
With Simplify3D you can also export .fff files which contain the specific print settings. Ideal if you want to share this information with a colleague.
Multiple objects, same pad, different settings
One of the great features of Simplify3D is that you can assign different settings to individual objects, printed on the same print bed. So you could have 4 objects, all with slight variations in the print settings. For example, if you were testing different strength properties of your part, you could run one object at 10% infill and another on the same bed, printed at the same time, at 50% infill.
Other 3D printing aids
Simplify3D offers an in-built file checking and repair function for simple file repairs. This is ideal as a quick sanity check tool.
There is also a "place surface on bed function" which in essence is easy/automated rotation of the part. You can select which surface of your part you want on the bed and it will automatically orientate to that position.
And finally, we love the improved G-code visualisation. In the print preview, you can now see the different features of the print such as infill, solid layers, support material, raft etc which are all colour coded. Great visualisation of your part.
Overall, Simplify3D is well thought-out software, providing the right level of control from beginners through to highly advanced users, and it is also has a good user interface and visualisation tools. One thing we'd definitely suggest that if you're using Simplify3D for the first time, don't go crazy and change every setting! Work through different options so you understand the impact changing print settings has on your print result.
For those new to Simplify3D or if you would like a top-up, we offer 1 hour phone / video training for £99 plus VAT.