5 Axis Slicer

The first true multi-axis slicing software

The 5 Axis Slicer is a slicer tailoired specifically for additive manufacturing machines having 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 without overhangs or printing on top of existing objects (using a welding robot, for example)

Examples of objects sliced with the 5 Axis Slicer

5 Axis Slicing of a simple coil

Example 1: A coil

The example of the coil shows how the toolpaths are calculated for a coil. The coil can be printed without overhangs, and without support structures.

Example 2: T-Shape

In the T-shaped object shown below we show that the automatic layer generation works even when there is multiple features in a part. Another slicing strategie would be to print the center piece first, and then print the T-pieces on the object.

Example 3: An impeller

The example of the impeller shows how the 5 Axis Slicer can be used for practical prints. The curved layers make sure the blades are printed without any overhang.


Modeling using the 5 axis slicer

Slicing of complex 3D Models

The 5 Axis Slicer requires two .STL models to generate a toolpath. The first model is the print itself, while the second model is the ‘base’ layer, e.g. for a normal 3d-printer this would simply be a flat bed. In our case the ‘base’ can be anything as long as it is a suitable printing surface and an .stl is available for it.

Examples of a ‘base’ layer:

  • A 3d-scanned car body panel
  • A 3d-scanned face

Generate advanced infill

The infill generation algorithm is focused on adding strength to the object. The infill is laid down alternating per layer, creating the same type of infill used in normal (2D) slicers.
The infill has the following options:

  • The orientation of the infill
  • The density of the infill
  • The overlap of the infill with the perimeters.
  • Speed of the infill
  • Temperature of the infill
  • Material of the infill

Create a g-code for your machine

The 5 Axis Slicer generates G-Code in the absolute coordinate system, where the direction of the nozzle is defined by a normal vector. Using our g-code postprocessor the g-code can be expressed in the g-code required by your machine (e.g. a rotating bed, or a Kuka robot arm)

Create beautifull top layers

The 5 Axis Slicers makes sure that the toolpaths of solid (e.g. top/bottom layers) are perfectly aligned. To make sure the top layers are printed as good as possible we have the following options:

  • Keep the speed of the printhead constant, despite rotations of the extruder.
  • Ironing. The extruder does additional passes along the top layer, while no material is extruded. This ‘irons’ out any visible print lines.

Calibration of the surface to print on

The 5 Axis Slicer is designed to print on top of an excisting surface. Determining the exact location of this surface is done in a same way used in multi-axis CNC routers.

A touchoff procedure is designed by the slicer. A G-code is made in which the printhead moves to uniformly distributed points on the surface. The offset at which the printhead is located is measured, and entered in the 5 Axis Slicer. The 5 Axis Slicer than automatically takes into account translations, rotations, and even a possible scaling when creating the toolpaths.

Real world applications

The videos below show real world applications. The first shows how to go from design to print, where the object is finally printed with an industrial robot (in plastic).

What will you make?

The 5 Axis Slicer is not a slicer you will use or need on a consumer desktop printer. We focus on industrial machines where our software really gives additional value to your machine.

Therefore we would love to work with you, to:

  • Make sure the slicer works for your specific machine.
  • Add features that you would like to see for your machine.

Please note that we are currently focussing on professional users (not students). If you are professionally interested, please contact us through email.