why not STEP files ?

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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2020 10:55 pm

why not STEP files ?

Postby Chuck15 » Wed Jun 16, 2021 2:11 am

I was wondering why no slicer is made to slice STEP files ? I don't really know what exactly is a STEP file, but I assume that it's the same as DXF for 2D but here in 3D. If that's the case then it would be way better for a slicer to slice from a STEP file instead of a STL file because for example where there is a hole the hole would be understood by the slicer as an actual hole instead of just a shape without knowing which shape it is with the STL. So the slicing could be way more intelligent by the possibility to set it to slice more as we actually want instead of what we actually hope.
I won't be surprised if there were a good reason for not slicing STEP files but I would like to understand it.

Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:39 am

Re: why not STEP files ?

Postby angrycockles » Sat Jun 26, 2021 12:31 am

Even though most 3d printer firmwares support g2/g3 arcs, it still breaks those arcs into many straight sections that approximate a curve. Most models with a lot of detail are better suited for mesh based formats like stl, obj, or 3mf. Another issue is fillets, lofts and sweeps would be very hard to calculate when slicing the model into multiple layers. Mesh formats are just better at this. I believe a slicer would have to convert the step file to a mesh anyways.

AM Dreamer
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:38 am

Re: why not STEP files ?

Postby AM Dreamer » Tue Jun 29, 2021 2:17 pm

Hi Chuck15,
Yes, there are reasons today for the lack of STEP slicing: laziness and habit.
Firmware are waiting for slicers, and slicers are waiting for firmwares, resulting in pure stagnation.

STEP slicing involve a lot of non-trivial mathematical problems; anyway our team has identified efficient solutions after years of studies and I can say you that STEP slicing is able to produce G-code tailored for each printer model, working with G1/G2-G3/G5 at will, varying slicing resolution as you like, producing truly better results, not to mention the benefits of handling light 3D files, and more.

Go even further and look at STEP-NC! ;-)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 8920300020

So expect juicy news and happy printing!

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