Here are a few more software resources to check out. They may be particularly useful for those who can’t get MakerWare to run on their computers.
- Skeinforge is an alternative to makerware. It converts .stl files into gcode files. Gcode is the instruction set for the printer itself. You can download Skeinforge and learn more about it here.
- Skeinforge is open source, so those with an interest in the computer science side of this project may be able to dig into the program to understand a bit more about how the design –> printer pipeline works. In particular, it appears that we can be more detailed about the instructions we give the printer via Skeinforge than we can from Makerware. Anyone who wants to take on the task of becoming a Skeinforge expert is heartily encouraged to do so!
- You will need Python to run Skeinforge. You can get it here.
- In Skeinforge you can view the step-by-step printing process of your model via it’s gcode viewer. Another way to do this is via the online gcode viewer at gcode.ws. Once you have gcode you can upload it directly to his site and see how the printing process will proceed. We should do this with each of our models so we can detect and fix any potential problems.