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Slic3r is mainly a toolpath generator for 3D printers: it reads 3D models (STL, OBJ, AMF, 3MF) and it converts them into G-code instructions for 3D printers. But it does much more than that, see the features list below.
Slic3r was born in 2011 within the RepRap community and thanks to its high configurability became the swiss-army knife for 3D printing. It served as a platform for implementing several new (experimental) ideas that later became technology standards, such as multiple extruders, brim, variable-height layers, per-object settings, modifiers, post-processing scripts, G-code macros and more. Despite being based on volunteer efforts, Slic3r is still pushing the boundaries of 3D printing.
See the project homepage at slic3r.org for more information.
(Most of these are also available in the command line interface.)
The core parts of Slic3r are written in C++11, with multithreading. The graphical interface is in the process of being ported to C++14.
If you want to compile the source yourself follow the instructions on one of these wiki pages:
Sure, but please read the CONTRIBUTING document first!
package/: the scripts used for packaging the executables
src/: the C++ source of the
slic3rexecutable and the CMake definition file for compiling it
src/GUI: The C++ GUI.
src/test: New test suite for libslic3r and the GUI. Implemented with Catch2
t/: the test suite (deprecated)
utils/: various useful scripts
xs/src/libslic3r/: C++ sources for libslic3r
xs/t/: test suite for libslic3r (deprecated)
xs/xsp/: bindings for calling libslic3r from Perl (XS) (deprecated)
The main author of Slic3r is Alessandro Ranellucci (@alranel, Sound in IRC, @alranel on Twitter), who started the project in 2011.
Joseph Lenox (@lordofhyphens, LoH in IRC, @LenoxPlay on Twitter) is the current co-maintainer.
Contributions by Henrik Brix Andersen, Vojtech Bubnik, Nicolas Dandrimont, Mark Hindess, Petr Ledvina, Y. Sapir, Mike Sheldrake, Kliment Yanev and numerous others. Original manual by Gary Hodgson. Slic3r logo designed by Corey Daniels, Silk Icon Set designed by Mark James, stl and gcode file icons designed by Akira Yasuda.
The command line is documented in the relevant manual page.