3D printing as an industry has drastically changed over the last 40 years. What started as a groundbreaking new technology with very few scalable applications has over time grown into the present day additive manufacturing landscape. Lost are the years of enormous, expensive, and dangerous machines of the 80s, which have since been replaced by powerful desktop printers, not much bigger than a standard office fax machine.
There are many printers to choose from, all of which solve a wide variety of problems, but at their core they all operate off of various types of 3D printing software called slicers. In order to convert a digital model into 3D prints, slicing software has to deliver the print instructions.
What is a Slicer?
A slicer is a software application that turns digital 3D models into G-code, or a control language, which tells the printer how to form the model in 3-dimensional space. Without a slicer, all 3D printers would be a very fancy paper weight. No 3D printer on the market today has the ability to print without some form of slicing software. Many hobbyist printers on the market require an additional slicing software subscription in order to use them. Similar to all kinds of software there are many available on the market that can run on different printers; PrusaSlicer, Cura, Netfabb Standard, and Simplify3d to name a few. These tools can be useful for hobbyist applications or for specific industrial printer models. However these pieces of software have their drawbacks. Many are inaccurate, unreliable, require paid subscriptions, and can be difficult to use. While those software applications can be suitable for a more simple machine, industrial 3D printers require a higher level software to ensure the accuracy of the prints.
Benefits of Eiger Slicing Software
Eiger is the Markforged proprietary slicing software that drives the cloud based infrastructure of our 3D printers. Eiger divides an STL file into digestible slices that can then finish a print with industry leading accuracy and precision. While all printers work off some sort of slicing software, Eiger stands out against the competition. Originally designed to be one of the key building blocks of the Markforged platform, the power of Eiger has set the standard for slicing software throughout the industry. Eiger has successfully powered over 10 million end use parts, used in endless applications, by manufacturing entities around the globe. So what exactly sets Eiger apart from the competition?
1. Impeccable Print Quality
Print quality is the top priority for anyone using a 3D printer, regardless of the application. Eiger ensures accuracy with each and every print. Many competing slicers will render a print that is oftentimes flawed and has the surface finish of a jigsaw puzzle. These rough around the edges prints will work just fine for a hobbyist working on a personal project but, the demands of the industrial landscape require micron levels of accuracy in order to pass the strictest of quality control standards. Eiger creates end use prints with flawless print quality and impeccable surface finish with a fine polished exterior.
2. Real Time Updates
Running a manufacturing operation is hard. The demands of industrial manufacturing require an agile landscape designed to change with the influx of needs from the global economy. As the variables to run your business operation evolve, you need to rely on tools that deliver consistent results and little maintenance. All Markforged printers are connected to Eiger through the cloud and update over-the-air (OTA). When a new update is available simply press update. No down time, no hidden fees, ever. Eiger will also update in real time, meaning that if a new material is available to print on your machine, all you need to do is order the spools. It’s just that easy.
Most lower quality slicing software has little to no emphasis on the secure storage of your STL files. Most likely your parts are backed by patented intellectual property that is enormously valuable to your business. Eiger’s cloud based architecture was built with security as one of the core pillars of its construction. Curious about the details? Check out our cyber security page for more information.
Eiger comes free with every Markforged printer. No user costs, no additional printer costs, ever. Pay for seats? Not with us.
Slicing software is just one of the components that make up the 3D printing landscape. Without it printers won’t be able to function and the parts you need will remain within the confines of your preferred CAD software.
Not only can Eiger print beautiful parts with impeccable surface finish, it can be used by even the most novice of users. Simply upload a STL file, select your print materials, and press enter. With a few button clicks a Markforged 3D Printer can make whatever you imagine from anywhere in the world.
Written by Markforged
Markforged is transforming manufacturing by addressing 3D printing as a holistic problem. Their process innovations are only possible by a combined effort in advanced cloud computing, cutting-edge materials science, and industrial design.