It’s no secret that the way you develop things in your garage is rarely how large corporations build things. However, new approaches on the factory floor can sometimes leak over to the hobby builder and vice versa, so it pays to keep an eye on what the other side is doing. Perhaps that was the inspiration behind [Carolyn Schwaar’s] All3DP piece headlined “Beyond Cura Slicer: 3D Printing Build Prep Software for Pros.” In it, she examines a few slicing programs used by commercial-grade 3D printers.
The differences between the applications we regularly use and those designed to function with a specialized high-end system are significant, but perhaps not in the way you might anticipate. While you could anticipate them to be tightly integrated with their target machine, you might not expect them to have less parameter control than a product like Cura. Cura includes nearly 400 parameters, as stated in the text. Commercial 3D printers do not have the time to continually modify those parameters. As a result, the emphasis is on ready-made profiles that just work.
However, not all of the programs are linked to machines. Commercial CAD solutions are becoming more capable with 3D printers, and can occasionally slice and transmit tasks directly to printers. Everyone, regardless of software type, need certain functions: design, repair, simulation, build plate layout, and so on.
If you’re searching for a hobby-grade slicer that isn’t Cura, we’ve recently started utilizing SuperSlicer, a fork of PrusaSlicer, which is a fork of Slic3r.