Our SLS 3D Printer solution attempts to flatten the learning curve for easy consumer 3D printing. Firstly, create a model using CAD or find any online 3D model that can be saved as an .stl file type. Because of the SLS-type 3D printer, powder acts as its own support structure. This means there are almost no geometrical restrictions unlike the overhangs and arches that plague FDM-type printing.
Our project leverages any of the many free 3D Printing G-code generating software packages available online. We’ve chosen to use the software Slic3r, seen below, due to its user friendly interface. Packages like Slic3r take in your freshly squeezed .stl file and output a G-code file; the operational language of any Numerically Controlled (NC) Machine! This G-code file contains all of the geometric information of your CAD model, as well as instructions on how to print it.
Simply load this or many G-code files onto the provided microSD, and insert into the printer. Upon start-up, the G-code file of choice can be selected with the slick LCD display and navigation menu, and the print shall begin. Our microSD solution removes the need for your laptop to be connected to the printer while printing!
Although G-Code contains many letters and literally hundreds of numbers, do not fret, our self-written G-code interpreter will eat them up like a summer ham. Within a few short hours, your 3D model is ready to be dug out of a cube of chocolate powder. Which is re-usable. Don’t eat it all in one place!