A universal non-planar slicer for 3D printing is worth considering
You might think that when it comes to 3D printing, slicing software is pretty much a problem solved. Take a 3D model, slice it into flat layers equal to the layer height, and create a toolpath so that the nozzle can create these layers one by one. However, as 3D printing becomes more complex and more capable, this “flat planar slicing” approach will eventually become a limitation as a series of flat slices will not necessarily be the best way to handle all objects (nor any materials or tool heads, for that matter.)
[René K. Müller] works to re-imagine slicing itself and shows the results of slicing 3D models using non-planar geometries. There are plenty of images of a sliced 20mm cube with a variety of different geometries, so be sure to give it a look. There is an embedded video below the page break that covers the main points.
Everything is avant-garde, and [René] certainly makes a compelling case for a universal clipping need; a system capable of handling any geometry, with the freedom to process along any path or direction. It’s a concept that also raises other interesting questions. For example, when slicing a 20mm cube with non-planar geometries, the resulting slices often look odd. What is the best way to create a toolpath for such a slice? After all, some slicing geometries are clearly better for the object, but cannot be supported by normal hot ends (this is where an angled rotating nozzle comes in).
Such hassles might not be an issue for most users right now, but it’s worth trying to get a head start on something like this. And lest anyone think that non-planar slicing has no practical purpose, we’ve already covered [René]of how non-planar slicing can reliably create 90° overhangs without any supports.