Feedback needed, ToolPath addon prototype


I am working on a slicer capable of working from within Blender. I do all the coding myself, and will do it for myself anyhow, but as I go I realized others may be interested. The problem is everyone needs something a bit different.

My need is to slice objects using Bezier curves and to generate G-code for a 3-d printer digesting curves.

My question is whether you think that such or similar functionality would be generally appreciated enough for me to launch an Indiegogo campaign, to support me while I work on it.

well, I suppose that the main problem is that a tool that convert models from 3D to g-code is that need a lot of options like any other software. Is not a real big project?

One large problem with incorporating projects like these into Blender is the burden of maintenance after they are finished. If a feature becomes part of Blender master, then there is some expectation that bugs with it will be solved, and additional development will have to happen taking that functionality into consideration.

Personally I think having a slicer in Blender would be great. But I wonder if it might be more realistic and help solve some of the maintenance burden if instead of implementing a new slicer, you incorporated an existing library that was under active development. Take for example: Mantaflow, Quadriflow, OpenVDB, etc… which have all been added to Blender recently, but are projects used actively outside of Blender too.

Thank you for timely replies.

I am willing to put in all the options I need, but to fulfill all needs of slicers would indeed be a large project.

So far I am using no external libraries. I basically drive my Blender to do series of Boolean operations, clean up resulting meshes and operate on them using Scripting in Blender.

Relevant file with very beginning is here. It slices mesh of your choice with series of Z planes, with some parameters in the boxed section.

Do you need the tool for personal use?

Yes, I have many meshes to print. But it can be open to everyone. I can work on it alone, but I can’t do the whole package alone and unsupported. One or the other at least, support preferably. Not from you and here. I would only like to know if there may be interest in the addon in the first place.

As always, anything else in blender is welcome. If you can’t get out of blender to do things, so much the better. And surely there will be people interested (especially in previewing in blender the cuts and splines without having to go to other software)

Now, although I don’t usually print much, the truth is that it would be strange to have to use a limited version of these systems when I have apps completely prepared for it and free (and that the gcode depends on the printer model and the size of this, the number of extruders,…). So probably the final version would be done in another one in my case, unless you made a great plugin.

I say this in case you are interested in developing in blender, in general, there are more areas perhaps more rewarding. Especially if you are interested in spline tools

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Thank you, Alberto.

My motivation is a 3d printer I want build and drive from sketch. I am using Blender for convenience, it is my main modeler. I am not aware of any free software that would use splines for slicing, hence I am working on my own. As far as I know these kinds of tools are available in Autocad and perhaps few more.

I would surely love to work on something more rewarding if possible.

I just got an email with progress and thought I could as well post mine. I still have at least one bug to go, and some extra functionality ahead. It is coming out quite nicely. Debugging is a bit of a nightmare, I resort to pretty printing thousands of lines and searching within. I am at creating duplicate model of structure suited for conversion to Bezier curves, my main objective.