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Best 3d Printing Software for Beginners



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I deserve shapiro with the dr. vex

channel and i am here today to tell you

about a hidden treasure a software

product that's been around completely

free for the last five years but is

really not discussed very much in the

hobbyist 3d printing community it's a

software product that can allow my

vision for 3d printing to really be

possible I believe that if you can use

an inkjet printer it should be able to

use a 3d printer should be that easy

this software product which is a

combination of design software a slicer

that converts your models into something

you can print and control software for

3d printers allows you to just plug your

3d printer into a USB port on your

computer and use it in many ways like

you use an inkjet printer so stay tuned

and let's learn something new we're

going to learn about version 2 of this

software product together

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[Applause]

let me interject here with a quick

viewer guide this is a relatively long

video so you will see as you're seeing

in the corner now you will see a table

of contents that will allow you to

navigate to various parts of the video

quickly thanks for watching

use the table of contents to go to the

areas you're interested in I'd encourage

you if possible to watch the full video

because they're various tips and ideas

throughout all of the commentary okay

let's get started the software we're

going to talk about is matter control

version 2 that was recently just

released a few weeks ago from matter

hackers now matter hackers is a very

interesting company their mission in

life is to I'm reading it right off

their website to turn the ideas they

have into the things they use to allow

people to make things my mission with

the doctor VAX channel is to introduce

the skills and technologies to people of

all ages and to say to them that these

technologies are accessible to you as

part of doing that I needed to find a

software component that works of 3d

printers and makes it as seamless as

printing to an inkjet printer I believe

that with matter control version 2 I

found that so we're going to do a

unboxing in essence we're going to

install the software onto a computer and

then I'm gonna walk you through the

software and show you how easy it is to

use and where it has the capabilities of

the better-known slicers cura slic3r

Prusa edition or the regular edition

simplified 3d and where it's not quite

as sophisticated perhaps as a trade off

today for ease of use so let's turn to

the computer and get started I'm going

to start on the home page and then go to

door and move over towards as software

and add-ons then I'm going to click on

matter control 3d software you'll see

it's available for both Windows and Mac

I would highly recommend you download

the version 2 software the version 2

software specifically has some very

interesting 3d modeling tools you could

think about it as an earlier version of

Tinkercad but with a bit more

sophistication because it has a model

history that's a bit like parametric

modeling I'll explain what I mean so I'm

on a Mac so I'm going to click download

2.0 I'll show you the installation on

Mac but I'll also talk through the

installation briefly on a PC so that you

can see the best of both so we're going

to click on download in the case of a

Mac that's going to download it right

here I'm gonna say show and finder and

then I'm going to just double click on

the file that it's downloaded and that

will open up the software installation

on a Mac software installation consists

of dragging your application to the

application folder I'll do that here

I'll wait for it to copy it over and we

are ready to go now on a PC the first

procedure is you download the software

in the same way then you click on the

exe file which is used to start the

installation and then you'll see a

series of screens which you will click

through there is the agreement screen

followed by the select destination

screen we're going to take all the

defaults followed by the option to add

it to the Start menu once again we're

going to take the defaults we do want it

to create a shortcut and this is very

important you need to select the option

to install the serial port drivers

on a windows-based machine treating a

USB is a serial port is not standard so

you have to install drivers once you've

done that you'll be given the option to

click on install we're going to go ahead

and install the software you will

receive a warning message making sure

that you agree to install a device

driver you want to click on install and

you'll click on finish and you'll be

ready to start the program

now that we've started the application

let's take a look at how to use it first

as a slicer because that's a traditional

use converting a 3d object into

something we can print then is a printer

control program and finally as a design

tool something that's very unusual to

have combined in one tool so let's get

started when it opens up to the screen

you'll see there are four tabs across

the top there is one for the store we're

going to skip that too now for now one

for the library and that will show you

give you access to all of the prints

that you've stored either locally or in

the cloud along with your matter control

application you do get a certain amount

of cloud storage the next is for

hardware we don't have a printer defined

and the next is a new design since we'd

like to use this with a particular

printer we're going to close the new

design tag go to the printer or the

hardware tab press the plus and set up a

printer I'm going to set this up for a

monoprice select mini so let me scroll

down here to monoprice select here I

have a select mini version to that name

seems fine so we're going to click Next

now it's telling me that I should

disconnect my printer I should then

press Continue and now I should power on

my printer and connect it I'll go ahead

and do that

and now we'll click the connect button

and we'll see that it immediately

connected to the printer without

difficulty this program is very well

crafted clearly well tested I think it's

a very good match for entry-level

printers such as a couple of the

monoprice printers and a couple of the

Cree ality Ender printers so now we'll

see that our print bed is displayed down

here we can use the scroll wheel to zoom

in or zoom out on our mouse we can use

the right mouse button to change the

orientation we can click on home to

reset two of you if I click on a

particular view double click on the

front double click in the middle on the

top when I click on the blue bars on the

sides or the angles I'll move in that

direction we could click on the side and

we can go back to the top view now the

typical use for a slicer is to take a

model that you've gotten off a finger

verse or some other location so we're

going to click on the open files dialog

here and I'm going to take a model that

I've gotten from some other location

let's say simple animals the cow and I'm

going to drag that to my work plane now

you'll see this is slightly big if I

hold the shift key will stay out scale

it uniformly which is what I'd want to

do because the Sassa fit together now I

can move it to the middle of my work

surface if I put it on the work surface

and I have not scaled it properly then

when I go to slice the model or convert

it for 3d printing it will not do

anything one other thing that's very

very interesting you'll notice my

copy of matter control has a white

background there's a little icon on the

bottom right called theme by default it

comes up I believe in classic dark I

happen to be old fashioned I know dark

backgrounds are in vogue right now I

prefer light white so we have our

printer selected I can verify that

because that's the name on this tab I

can now click on slice this is going to

use the defaults and it sliced our model

or converted it I can look at the

individual layers just as I would in any

other tool this is a relatively small

model it's a very flat surface if I

click on this icon here I can go to a 2d

view which I prefer and then I can see

how it's going to paint any individual

layer of the model and here's where the

magic happens when I am ready I can go

ahead and click on the down arrow here

verify my layer thickness my fill and I

can now click on setup to select my

material so I'm going to select PLA and

now I can print click on print to start

printing you'll notice there was an

option there to load filament it will

extrude filament for you in order to

load it now during this whole time it

will show me what's occurring here on

the screen as it works on the printer it

will show me the progress over here

right now it's hating the bed there's

also some other very interesting

information you can see that this print

will cost 17 cents it will use about 3

meters of filament and it will take 44

minutes at any point I could cancel the

print and I could start over let's see

what would be a

let's look at a bench II I could load

that drag that into my surface here

click slice this will take one hour and

three minutes in order to print this I

could look at the individual layers once

again over here

this will give us a more meaningful

layer display so in that way it's very

much like a regular select any other

slicer reviews let's look at some of the

slicer parameters if I click on the tab

on the right I can see the individual

areas that I can control on the slicer

you'll see very similar parameters to

any other slicer it does support a range

of adhered heejun capabilities it does

support the auto generation of supports

and all of the typical retraction

parameters under support it has some

very nice capabilities such as air gap

which give you the ability to ensure

your supports are easier to remove

overall I would say that this slicer

more than adequate for someone starting

in the in the field there are also the

abilities to manually control your

printer and one of the things that's

very interesting is that you can adjust

your Z offset that is in essence how

close your printhead is to the print

surface while the print is running so

you can do micro adjustments of your Z

offset while the print is running the

display while the print is running is

very very good you can also adjust

temperature so many of the things you

would do from the front panel of a

printer or from app to print you can do

here while the print is running you do

have complete capabilities for defining

what g-code is use

what codes are sent to the printer

before the print print after the print

and then the other thing that's very

interesting is it has a software bed

leveling capability so by taking manual

measurements using this as a tool you

can store those in this application and

it will adjust printhead measurements

dynamically in order to ensure it's able

to get a a good layer on your printer

that's a very very unusual capability so

that's basically it for the slicer

capabilities I would grade it as a good

solid slicer good for many typical

prints but not the most advanced slicer

in the industry now let's look at one

other capability that is absolutely

unique to this integrated tool we've

already seen that you can use it to

slice a print we've already seen you can

use it to control a printer that makes

it much easier than having to have

multiple tools well you also can use it

to create your prints it has a Tinkercad

light capability where you can drag a

primitive object on to the work surface

you can change its dimensions either by

typing in numbers let's make this 10 or

by clicking directly on the corners and

dragging it one way or the other

you have all of the capabilities for

rotating an object and in that regard

it's very much like Tinkercad what is

fundamentally different and very

intriguing it feels like it's only

partially fleshed out if you do get a

history you'll see here it says cube so

let's say I needed to make a particular

part let's say this is going to be some

type of shaft

we'll make this a diameter of 10 we'll

make it a little bit taller I'm gonna

drag it on to here you'll see the

cylinder and the cube are listed under

the workspace and I can select them by

clicking on their names that's also a

bit like a parametric environment now if

I select the two of them the icon over

here allows me to align it I can click

on a line and then say I want to align

them centered and align them on the

bottom or align the Z on the top and now

they're glued together now in order to

use that with another function I have to

flatten it that will leave it properly

aligned but it will remove the function

from the parameter list why do I need to

do that because perhaps I want to use

this in a boolean operation so let's

actually go and group these back

together again I can do that with the

group function over here so now there'll

be one object and let's say want to make

a hole all the way through this in order

to put a bolt through it so let's drag

another cylinder on here let's make this

a diameter of five let's make this a

little bit bigger um

let's change the color just so we can

see it a little easier how about this

color here I'm going to drag it more or

less into this area but then I'm going

to select everything I'm going to align

I'm going to line a center it that way

I'm gonna Center it that way I want to

actually not Center it on the Z I'm

going to leave that alone

if I go to make a modification now it's

all collapsed together so I have to

flatten it

then I can select an individual element

I'm going to push that down so now it's

moving through it now I'm going to

select this this and this all three

elements and then I can apply boolean

operators I can combine it together into

a single operation element I can

subtract one or more of these elements

from the others I can say show me only

the places where these individual

objects intersect or I can do subtract

and replace which I have not

experimented with yet so I'm not sure

exactly what that does we're going to do

a subtract and I'm going to subtract the

cylinder from the group click on update

it will show you over here what it's

doing and we now have a hole through our

object now you'll see now also that the

subtract function is in my history so

that means this is now glued together

until I go to subtract and flatten it

and now these individual components

could be selected individually once

again once I have a component like this

I can save it under give a name to

either my local computer or I can say if

it - which would be the local library or

I can slay save it up to the cloud which

is web storage provided by matter

control so this is a very very

interesting program in summary it has

the ability to slice objects will

actually take and slice this object now

once an object is sliced it has the

ability to control a printer I can click

on

print here start print and it that

object will now be printed and it has

the object to do modeling right within

the program finally a couple other

capabilities that are very interesting

you can load in G code that slice in

another slicer and still use the print

capability you can load in STL files

designed in another design environment

and slice them and then print them or as

we've just shown you can take and create

an object from scratch and take and

model it slice it and print it okay let

me summarize what we've learned together

matter controls a slicer is solid it is

not the most sophisticated slicer it

will not evolve as rapidly as a

sophisticated slicer

however matter control as a software

product is unique I believe it's the

Microsoft Office of the 3d printing

world I believe that matter control

should be the first software product

someone uses for 3d printing this vase

was modeled in matter control it was

sliced in Vaes mode in matter control it

was printed over USB cable from matter

control that is a unique capability and

I believe because of that it's a

wonderful way for someone to get started

with 3d printing so if you enjoyed this

video download manner control give it a

try leave comments let's begin a

dialogue I use multiple slicers multiple

software products let's talk about it

together if you enjoyed this video give

me a thumbs up subscribe to the channel

share with other people and most

importantly let's continue to learn

things together

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[Applause]