This section deals with the software tools used to print with Moai. This includes Software for generating supports, hollow object, and slicing model into gcode. While firmware is technically a software, it is covered in the hardware section.
STL - this is the file that contains model from design software. It is universally supported by most if not all 3D design and printing software. You can manipulate this type of file such as adding support and then export back out as STL file. You can also feed STL file to Cura (slicing) for converting to GCode
GCode - GCode is a universal text file used in many forms computer-aided manufacturing, including 3D printing. GCode tells Moai where and when to take actions.
General Software workflow
There are 2 processes in following order needed to print a STL file 1. Preparation - Manipulate the original model STL so that it can be printed successfully. 2. Slicing - Convert the model file exported from processing into GCode for Moai to print.
There are multiple ways to manipulate the original model so that it can be printed on a SLA printer. This topic will be covered in detail in printing section. Modifications include:
Rotate, placement, scale, generate support/base, hollow object, add holes, repair, and others
Recommended Preparation Software to use with Moai:
Meshmixer has all the tools an user would need, so it is required. Zenith3D and XYZWare Noble are the easiest to use with its automatic support generation so new users can use them to help with support generation B9Creator has the best manual support generation functions and often preferred by experienced use when used injunction of Meshmixer
Our recommendation is to use XYZWare for Noble for new users and printing large item. Its cross pattern support is rigid. For advanced users, B9Creator offers the best manual support control.
a more detailed comparison can be found here https://peopoly.net/blogs/news/software-tools-for-resin-3d-printing
B9 Moai buildplate
Slicing is the step to convert model STL file to GCode for printing. It is called slicing because the slicer cuts the model to many thin layers and then calculates required printer actions to recreate layer by layer.
For many FDM printer workflows, slicing is often done together with preparation, and that led many users to believe slicing includes actions such as support generation or rotation. For Moai workflow, Slicing is just for converting STL file into GCode, all other activities are done in preparation software.
We use a modified version Cura 2.6 for Moai. It has Moai settings, profiles and tweaks built-in to make users get better results quicker.
You can download the latest here: Cura Moai Edition Windows X64
For Windows users, it is best to uninstall the previous version, delete all the files in
OSX version of Cura requires an extra step to work, please see this post.