Non-Planar Slicing

This project was run online during the lockdown of 2020-2021. To expand printing capabilities in more than just hardware, the team looked into experimental slicing software to produce final layers that follow part contours. Such software had been produced by researchers, and was available as an open-source branch of the Slic3r software. This version could only run on Linux, so to make it more accessible we attempted to run it on a virtual machine. Various versions of Ubuntu and Debian were tested and the former eventually produced G-code of models with non-planar layers. These challenges were a good test of our slicer programming and linux knowledge, and much was learned about implementing open-source code. We also found out the non-planar layers were very sensitive to angle, layer thickness and nozzle taper. Going forwards, this project will require more extensive searching of literature to optimise print parameters, and development of custom nozzles/hot-ends to avoid collisions and improve possibilities.