Simplify3D vs Cura vs Slic3r vs Prusa vs Whatever showdown!

Hi All,

Obviously lets not get crazy or mean about this, and keep it relatively civil, but what do you think are the advantages of your favorite slicing software, and what do you dislike about the alternatives?

For me, I really like Simplify3d. I find it really easy to manually tweak whatever I want about the print, I love how you can can define multiple profiles for printing within the same job (e.g. layers 1-300 print at 230C, layers 101-200 print at 190C), and my favorite part is how easy it is to add manual supports to any portion of the model. I’ve never used Prusa, but I know with Cura it generates a ton of supports by default, which I’ve had problems with getting caught and mucking up the print, so the ability to manually go and add supports to the part that need it is pretty great.

I like Cura, mostly because it’s free, but I’ve had issues with its supports (as stated), and also its performance on some of my weaker computers. It’s definitely not a bad product by any stretch of the imagination, and I suspect I could configure my way out of most of my issues, but to me, $150 really isn’t a ton of money.

Cura does have manual supports. It also has support blockers. You can also specify options to take effect at specific layers or heights (your choice). The manual supports & blockers can be resized in the same way models themselves can be resized.

There are some things I would change about Cura. Here’s just a few: [LIST=1]

  • the way it often does [I]infill. [/I]For example, the infill for top & bottom layers. Let's say I choose [I]concentric[/I] infill for the bottom layer. Cura will often draw the outer wall of the model, then jump to the center to begin the concentric infill. I think this is stupid. It's already started going around the perimeter of the model; why not just continue going around and around toward the center? It would help with adhesion, and be faster. .
  • it can take an inordinate amount of time for Cura to connect to the printer over USB. Pronterface is much faster. There is also no [I]Connect to Printer[/I] button. .
  • quite often, when I'm in the [I]Monitor [/I]window, I click the [I]Cancel[/I] button for hotend pre-heating & it doesn't work... really annoying. It doesn't happen with the printbed pre-heating; only the hotend. .
  • a number of features are difficult to locate & non-intuitive. [/LIST]
  • I’m a cheapskate I would never spend $150 on a slicer when there are slicers like Prusa and Cura. I only have one cheap printer.

    From what I’ve read (I do not own S3D and only passing experience with PS), Simplify3D was the industry standard a few years ago, but with the lack up updates Cura and Prusa Slicer have caught up and in some areas surpassed S3D (e.g., tree supports and ironing). I have the impression that S3D has a better user interface, as @Ender5r notes above Cura seems do what S3D does–only it is clumsy or awkward (at least as far as the examples above go).

    I’d love to hear from Prusa Slicer users. Other slicers I’d like to learn more about include: Mattercontrol, Ideamaker, KISSlicer, SuperSlicer (a fork of Prusa Slicer), and Slicer3r-nonplanar (basically a master thesis to print in X,Y,Z simultaneously). Thank you for this thread! It is something I’ve been meaning ask.


    Who has use successfully Slic3r nonplanar?

    I’ve been collecting material about nonplanar printing since I first saw Teaching Tech’s video. I’m not aware of a consumer-grade machine that uses it.


    You need an old Slic3r version and compile successfully nonplanar script.

    …plus to set up Linux on a Windows 10 pc via Virtual box!! No thanks!

    Or see this: GitHub - mfx-inria/curvislicer: CurviSlicer: Slightly curved slicing for 3-axis printers