Home Software QuickCurve: New approach for non-planar 3D printing reduces step effects

QuickCurve: New approach for non-planar 3D printing reduces step effects

A team of researchers has developed QuickCurve, an experimental slicer for non-planar 3D printing. The software promises to reduce the typical step effects in FFF printing without exceeding the hardware limitations of conventional 3D printers.

Conventional slicers work with flat layers, which leads to visible steps, especially with flat slopes. Although FFF printers can, in principle, move in three dimensions, the calculation of curved paths is complex. Previous attempts at non-planar slicing often failed due to the geometry of the print head, which collides with the model at steep angles.

QuickCurve avoids this problem with an innovative approach. Instead of curving the entire model at once, the software breaks it down into segments that can be printed one after the other. Areas that exceed the maximum possible angle are still layered conventionally.

Comparative prints show the effectiveness of the method. QuickCurve achieves a significantly smoother surface than conventional layer-by-layer processes, particularly on slightly curved surfaces.

The researchers also see potential in their approach for multi-axis 3D printers. It is currently still an experimental process. Integration into existing slicer programmes such as UltiMaker Cura or PrusaSlicer would be conceivable, provided the algorithms are made available.

You can find out more about this in the paper “QuickCurve: revisiting slightly non-planar 3D printing“.

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