5 Axis Slicer
The first true multi-axis slicing software
The 5 Axis Slicer is tailoired to additive manufacturing machines with 5 or more axis. The slicing process works the same as any other ‘normal’ slicer except that the layer generation allows for curved layers. This gives some unique opportunities such as:
- printing with zero overhang (where every layer of material is printed on a ‘previous’ layer with 100% overlap)
- printing on top of existing (curved) objects
- printing without supports
For the above reasons, the 5-Axis Slicer is used for metal repair, printing plastics on metal parts, and printing complex objects (in metal and/or plastic).
Examples of objects sliced with the 5 Axis Slicer
Example 1: A coil
The example of the coil shows a simulation of the toolhead motions (the ‘stick’) and the layer deposition (in yellow). The layers are deposited with zero overhang, and therefore, this coil can be printed without support structures.
Example 2: Panton Chair
This example shows how the Panton Chair can be printed in any material (plastic or metal) with zero overhang and without support structures. The nozzle is represented by the ‘stick’, while the deposited material is shown in yellow.
Example 3: Segmented toolpaths
The example shows how the 5 Axis Slicer can be used to generate toolpaths for segmented printing. This block can also be sliced in one piece, resulting in curved layers.
Example 4: Radial toolpaths
The 5 Axis Slicer can generate radial toolpaths as well, just by selecting a tubular base, allowing to print complex shapes with zero overhang and without supports.
Real world applications
The videos below show real world applications where our 5 Axis Slicer is applied. The first shows how to go from design to print, where the object is finally printed with an industrial robot (in plastic). The second video shows how the 5-Axis Slicer is used in metal repair. The third video shows how it is used to print polymer on a metal car part. The last video (most right) shows 3d metal printing of a ‘big’ elbow piece by a robot on a turn and tilt table. In all cases, there is no overhang and no supports are needed.
How it works
The 5 Axis Slicer requires two .STL models to generate a toolpath: a Print model and a Base model. The first model is the print itself. This should be a solid “waterttight” object with a realistic thickness. The Base model is the base on which you want to print.
Examples of a Base:
- a flat surface
- a 3d-scanned car body panel
- a segmented part of the object, printed previously
Simulate and create 3D printer commands
The 5-Axis Slicer allows you to simulate the printing process with any toolhead, by uploading a STL model of it. Once you are done, press the button for “Save gcode’, and use this file in your favourite postprocessor. For instance, use RoboDK, Robotmaster or Robotstudio to generate print comands (for both robot and print tool). For non robot printers, we can provide postprocessors (for instance for Duet control boards).
What will you make?
For those of you who are looking for a (not necessarily free, but) suitable slicer to print designs/models not open to the public: please contact us and send us a CAD model of something else what is representative for what you want to print; also, let us know what printer hardware (e.g. which robot cell) you intend to use.
For those of you who are looking for a free ride: you can try the 5 Axis Slicer software for free (the duration depends on what we agree), under the following conditions:
- You have a 5 or more axis 3D printer up and running.
- You are willing to share photos and videos on social media and create a link to our website and software.
It is not unlikely that you want some changes to the toolpaths, so as to suit your needs. We can adapt the software to your needs relatively quickly.
In any case, when you send us an email, or fill in the request form, make sure to fill in the required details as written above, and/or to repeat the requirements and confirm them. Also, state your name, company name (if applicable) and country of residence clearly.