I’m working on slicer software for my (still in mechanical progress) powder bed printer, and though I’d share my design ideas:
* Uses an OpenSCAD file as the input (a trivial .scad wrapper allows importing STL files, rescaling/placing multiple STLs, etc)
* Generates a piped stream of commands to a ‘print controller’ (host side)
** start – Start of print, home all mechanicals
** layer 0.10 – Do a powder layering/SLA Z movement operation for 0.10mm
** render filename.png – Print controller takes ‘filename.png’ and renders it to the current layer
** … continues the layer/render operations until complete
** pause – Stop printing
** resume – Resume printing
** unload – Execute powder/SLA item unload movements (printer no longer takes commands will a ‘start’)
The print controller then renders the PNG file into GCode, PlanB optimized GCode, or (for people like me then will be trying to re-use inkjet printer controller parts) directly ‘print’ it.
Interest? Suggestions? Major design flaws I’m missing?
The basics necessary for printing seem to be there. Some manual movements might be nice. An outside way of moving pistons and the gantry. Also a fill procedure if the design of the printer allows for it would make life incredibly easy (for instance, keep adding a layer without lowering the build piston until a button is pushed). These are all features that are nice, not necessary. My knowledge of scad is very limited, so on that side I can’t help you.
Also the render function could be split into smaller subfunctions, but that also happens when you work on it more.
Mechanics is my speciality, if you have any problems on that part, I might be able to help.