May 20, 2015 | By Simon

While many 3D printer users are used to hitting a “print” button and watching an STL file get slowly printed, many may be unfamiliar with what is actually telling that extruder where to place itself while building up the three-dimensional object.  

G-Code is the language used by automated machines to determine sets of commands for creating a physical object.  For most desktop 3D printers such as those made by MakerBot and Ultimaker, this includes the printer’s nozzle movement, speed, position and the amount of filament that is being used in each sequence.    

A G-Code file is produced by 3D printing software that generates “slices” - or horizontal layers - from an original STL 3D model such as one those that are created in SolidWorks or MODO.  Once these commands have been written, the printer is then able to create a 3D print based on the final parameter settings.  Because the commands are generated with user and printer-specific settings however, this makes it near-impossible to modify the G-Code in order to retarget different printers or even modify the original model itself.  

A new tool by MakePrintable however, is capable of collecting details and data needed from G-Code commands and then uses that data to regenerate the 3D model, which ultimately represents the outcome of the printing process using the original G-Code file.  

MakePrintable, which was founded by MXD3D, a gaming studio that was founded in 2009 and has since been focusing on more maker-friendly technologies, is an online 3D file repair service that helps users optimize their 3D files for 3D printing using an easy four-step process.   

The company’s new G-Code Reverser features allows users to reuse their G-Code through a process that involves regenerating the G-Code using the Reverser’s outcome, and simply changing the settings, or even target other printers that weren’t used with the original G-Code file.  

According to the company, power users and 3D designers will have the opportunity to modify a model once more, as the outcome of the Reverser would be in .OBJ or .STL formats, which means they can import it into their 3D software of choice for further editing.  

While the tool may not be necessary for every 3D printer user, it will certainly come in handy for a select few who require the extended capabilities from their 3D files and workflows - especially now that we’re seeing an influx of new filament types.

To find out more about the G-Code Reverser, you can head over to the MakePrintable blog.  



Posted in 3D Software


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Andreas wrote at 5/21/2015 10:23:10 AM:

Interesting! This could be a really handy tool to analyze and improve a G-CODE file if you run into trouble/errors while printing. Depending on the slicer you use there are some g-code-previews available, but they usually only show you the nozzle trace, and not the acutally predicted plastic worms piling up. Beeing able to pull that model out of the slicer-preview and back into your 3D-CAD tool could open up new ways of improving your complex models before you waste a lot of time and material with your printer only to find out that it did not turn out the way you intended it to be (loosing small details with low Z-resolution for example) Definately have to check it out and see how good/accurate the 'virtually printed files' compare to real world prints.

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