Easy Guide to Start with Non-Planar 3D Printing

by Mike Brooks | Last Updated: February 8, 2022

3D printing has taken the world by storm, and for a good reason! It is an amazing technology that allows you to create physical objects from a digital model.

Non-Planar 3D Printing

However, 3D printing can be a bit intimidating for beginners, especially those new to the concept of “printing in three dimensions”.

This blog post will provide an easy guide to start with nonplanar 3D printing. You will learn how to print in three dimensions exciting new technology! Let’s get started!

To understand how this technology works, it is vital to understand three terms; slicing, print head, and planar layers.

Non-planar Slicing

What is slicing? Slicing is the process of cutting a digital file into thin layers to be printed by the print head – where each layer has its own unique commands on how to move in order for it to build the desired object.

The slicing software will take the STL file of your design and slice it into hundreds or even thousands of layers, which is then passed to the printer’s firmware for printing.

Print Head

What is a print head? A print head is what prints each layer one at a time – heating up the filament to its melting point before laying down a line of plastic. The print head can move in any direction, which means you can print objects in any shape you want.

You’re no longer limited to printing objects that are rectangular or square. With non-planar slicing, you can print objects in any shape you desire.

Planar Layers

What are planar layers? Planar layers are the individual slices that make up your object. As the print head prints each layer, it moves in the X and Y directions to create a flat surface before beginning the next layer.

The process is repeated until your entire object has been printed! Non-planar slicing allows you to print objects with non-planar layers.

This means that you can print objects with curved surfaces, which wasn’t possible before. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for printing different types of objects.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at how non-planar printing works.

Non-planar 3D Printing

Non-planar 3D printing is a relatively new technology that produces smooth surfaces on nonplanar surfaces. This can be done by creating a digital model of the object you want to print and splitting it into many different layers.

It is important to note that this technology is still in its early stages, so some kinks may need to be worked out. However, it has the potential to revolutionize the way we print objects! Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting new technology!

What Does Non-planar Mean?

Non-planar means that the surface of the object is not flat. This can be done by printing layers on top of one another to create an object with varying heights.

Printing in three dimensions allows you to create all sorts of interesting objects, such as bowls, cylinders, and rounder shapes!

What Is Non-planar 3D Printing Good For?

What is non-planar 3D printing good for? You may be wondering that since this type of printing is still in its early stages.

Non-planar 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, makes objects with thickness. For example, you can print a cup with a handle that wasn’t possible before.

Non-planar 3D technology can change the way we make products, and it’s only going to get better!

Basics of 3D Printing: Nonplanar 3D Printing

A commonly used nonplanar 3D printer printing method is called extrusion nozzle printing. The printhead uses plastic filament, melts it, and then squirts the melted plastic onto a flat surface.

The melted plastic is squirted onto a build platform and another one or two flat, usually Z-axis parallel, surfaces. The Z-axis flat surfaces are attached to the build platform using Z-axis bearings. The Z-axis printing method is also called Z-stage.

Without support material, there would be nothing underneath printed plastic layers so they can freely droop down until they touch a previously printed layer that is still solid, not yet fully hardened after being squirted onto the Z stage(s).

One must therefore use support material.

Support materials are also used for printing nonplanar 3D objects using FDM printing. The support material is removed after the desired object has been printed, resulting in a final smooth planar surface.

There are various ways to use support material when printing with an extrusion nozzle. One way uses vertical PVA or other suitable water dissolvable support material.

Another way is to use different dissolvable support materials, such as dissolvable plastic filament, although it is more expensive than PVA.

Yet another way is to print the desired final object and the support material using separate extrusion nozzles on the same 3D printer.

The Non-planar 3D Printing Process

Non-planar 3D printing is a process that allows you to print three-dimensional objects with non-planar surfaces. This can be done by creating a code or file that tells the software how to print the object.

The software then creates a series of slices that are used to create the object. This process allows you to create complex three-dimensional objects with intricate details.

Non-planar printing is perfect for creating unique, one-of-a-kind objects. You can also create prototypes and models with this process.

Nonplanar 3D Printing Slicer. What Is It?

The nonplanar Slicer is a new feature that has been added to the latest version of the software. It allows you to print objects that are not in a plane.

This can be useful for printing complex shapes that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to print using traditional methods. It can be used to slice curved surfaces or separate an object into multiple parts.

One of the benefits of using non-planar slicing is that it can slice curved surfaces. This can be useful for segmenting a curve into multiple parts or creating a contour map from an image.

Nonplanar slicing can also be used to separate an object into multiple parts. Plus, it allows the slicing and production of non-polar printed G codes for printers that use the Cartesian coordinate system.

Nonplanar Slic3r Installation

If you are looking for a file that can be used to create nonplanar objects on your computer, look no further than Slic3r. This file is perfect for creating three-dimensional objects that don’t follow the traditional plane. To install Slic3r on your computer, follow these steps.

First, you will need to create a file on your computer. Once the file is created, you will need to open it in Slicer.

Once the file is open, you will see several options along the top toolbar. These options allow you to customize your object’s shape and size. To create a nonplanar object, click on the third option from the left (the one that looks like a three-dimensional cube).

This will activate the editing tools for your object. You can now change its shape by clicking and dragging the different points. When you have finalized editing your object, click on the green checkmark to save your changes.

You can now export your file as a .stl file or a .obj file. To export it as a .stl file, go to file> Export and select STL from the list of options. To export it as a .obj file, go to file> Export and select OBJ from the list of options.

Now that you have created a nonplanar object using Slicer, you can print it using any printer that you choose. Have fun experimenting with this unique file!

Non Planar Printing Test

Further testing is necessary to determine this method’s accuracy and explore other possible printing angles. The most important thing is to determine whether the printer can print nonplanar geometries.

This experiment opens up new possibilities for 3D printers. By experimenting with different angles, you can find out what works best and how it can be used successfully.

Immediately Slic3r is well configured, ensure you open the test file and start slicing it. Should you want to delete the existing nonplanar layer model on your plate to reimport, you can reboot it by exiting slic3r and restarting it.

Alternatively, you can use a 45c angle and 20c height to force a faulty slicer.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a way to start printing in three dimensions that doesn’t require too much tinkering, nonplanar 3D printing is a great place to start.

With just a few adjustments to your everyday printing process, you can be on your way to creating some truly unique and eye-catching prints. With just a few simple steps, you can start creating 3D prints that defy the traditional printing rules.

Go ahead and experiment with this easy guide to nonplanar printing, and see what unique creations you can come up with!

Michael Brooks is the founder of M3DZone.com. He sees a very bright future for 3D printing that's why his mission is to try and make this easy for everyone. Discover your hidden talent and creativity. You can follow here: Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.