What is Smart Slice?

Before describing what Smart Slice is, it is helpful to understand the problem that it solves.

The problem

The job of a slicer is simple: convert part geometry to instructions for 3D printers. Modern slicers do a great job of accomplishing this while providing the user with near complete control over how a part is printed. However, while offering up these controls, slicers fail to provide any guidance into how these controls should be configured in order produce a part that must meet real-life performance requirements. This forces people into the tedious and time-consuming cycle of printing parts, testing them, then adjusting the print profile until they discover a part that meets the requirements. At this point, they have a part that works, but have wasted countless days or weeks of productivity, machine time, and material.

Our solution

Smart Slice addresses this gap in the design cycle by guiding the user as to which print parameters to use in order to meet performance requirements while minimizing print time and material usage. Smart Slice is currently integrated with Ultimaker Cura, one of the world’s most popular slicers for FFF parts. As a user, all you have to do is define end-use requirements, and then Smart Slice will either (a) validate that the current print settings meet the requirements or (b) optimize the print parameters and deliver a list of print profiles that the user can choose from. Since Smart Slice runs in the cloud, it can run many parallels simulations which result in quick solution times. The primary objective is to save the user time by eliminating print iterations, increasing productivity and machine throughput, and reducing material waste.

Who should use Smart Slice?

Most structural simulation tools on the market are “analyst-level” tools, and most people simply do not have the background and experience required to feel comfortable in analyst-level workflows. As such, Smart Slice is designed so that it can be used by anyone. This means that that most of the tasks that require an analyst skill set have been automated. The result is a simple workflow that allows new users to be up and running in minutes.

Smart Slice is a unique offering. Some additional benefits and features include:

  • Streamlined workflow – Smart Slice is integrated directly into slicing software. There is no need to transfer data from software to software.

  • Cloud based – All of the heavy lifting is done on our cloud-based servers enabling fast solutions while keeping your local computing resources free.

  • High-fidelity numerical simulations – Smart Slice uses sophisticated numerical methods to determine as-printed part performance.

  • Easy installation – Simply download the Smart Slice plugin from the Cura Marketplace and drag the file into the Cura workspace.

  • Focus on polymer FFF - Smart Slice is designed for the fused filament fabrication (FFF) additive manufacturing with an emphasis on unfilled and filled polymer materials.