Musings and Experiments on the Art and Science of 3D Printing


Recent Posts

KISSlicer Tutorial: Getting Loopy - All About Perimeters and Loops

By Michael Hackney → Thursday, September 21, 2017
Just posted this new tutorial. I recorded this one in one take to get this published quickly. I had at least 6 forum and Facebook followers ask about blobbing and stringing in the last 24 hours. So I wanted to get this out quickly to help them (and you!)

Duet3D Filament Monitor

By Michael Hackney →
I'm beta testing the new filament monitor from Duet3D. It's a nice compact device that monitors filament feeding into your extruder and if the filament runs out or jams in the hot end, the monitor will tell Duet to pause printing. Here it is mounted on the Micro extruder on my UltiBots D300VS delta printer. I modified the printed case so I could attach a short length of 2mm ID PTFE to the bottom of the monitor. This short tube fits into a mating hole on the top of the extruder.

I'm calibrating the monitor now and then it will be ready to watch my filament. I'll report back as I gain more experiance.

KISSlicer Tutorial: All About Speeds

By Michael Hackney → Wednesday, September 20, 2017
In this KISSlicer 1.6 Tutorial I show how the Speed Slider control works and how to set it up for your printer. You'll wonder how you got along without it.

Plan B

By Michael Hackney → Monday, September 11, 2017
I've been struggling thinking about how to encourage folks to support my work while simultaneously producing content that they'll find invaluable. My original plan (A) was to release a couple of public introductory teaser KISSlicer 1.6 tutorial videos and then keep additional tutorials private, only viewable to my patrons, until I reach 50 subscribers. I didn't like this idea as it takes away the very thing I want to provide to my followers and subscribers - great information on 3D printing! So I've devised a plan B that I think is much better...
Plan B
I'm going to make ALL of my KISSlicer 1.6 tutorial videos publicly available! And there are lots of them in the works. The list is up to 50 topics already and I'm going to try to release 2-3 tutorials a week. Everyone will benefit from this.

So, how am I going to encourage you, gentle reader/viewer, to support my work so I can continue to improve my production quality (you might notice that the audio quality in the tutorial I posted earlier today is much better than the pervious one) and continue to inspire me to create great content? Simple! I am going to start a Slicer Master Class series where I'll focus on advanced slicing techniques for challenging parts and to produce the most beautiful prints imaginable. And, I'll host live streaming events so supporters can ask questions about their slicing challenges.

I'll use KISSlicer 1.6 for the examples in the Slicer Master Class but the vast majority of these slicing techniques - techniques I've developed over five years of dedicated experimentation and work - apply to any slicer including Slic3r, Slic3r Prusa Edition, Cura, Matter Slice, Craftware, and Simplify3D. This content and live streaming events are targeted at more sophisticated users and will only be available to my Patreon supporters until I reach 100 members, then I'll release them publicly.

EDITED 9/15/2017
As discussed in the comment section, my goal here is to get a critical mass of supporters (at least 100) to help keep me motivated to produce great 3D Printing related content. I understand that some folks prefer one-time donations and I've always treated these as first-class supporters (because you/they are!). So, I've created a PayPal donate button that anyone can use to support my work. $10 or greater contributions through this button will also count towards my goal of 100 supporters.

If you'd like to support my work as a one-time donation, here's your chance:

Now you have two ways to hop on board, support my work and get access to great content that you won't find anywhere else.

KISSlicer 1.6: "My crown is called content, a crown that seldom kings enjoy." (1)

By Michael Hackney →
(1) William Shakespere - but in this case "content" is "content", not "content"!

Ok, now that I've got your attention, what is this post all about you might ask? This is, of course, another in my series of tutorials to help you get great prints with the new KISSlicer 1.6, this time using the Crown feature found on the Style settings panel.

Crown used to be a PRO feature but is now included in standard KISS for all users to take advantage of. Thank-you Jonathan! The following screenshots show a part sliced without Crown (top) and with Crown enabled (bottom). Notice the short pink segments filling the gaps in each of the part's teeth - those are crown paths and they help you create stronger and nicer looking parts.
Layer Detail with Crown Disabled
Layer Detail with 1mm Crown
Watch the Crown tutorial video on YouTube to learn how to use it.

KISSlicer 1.6: Fractional Loops - Lunacy or Brilliance?

By Michael Hackney → Saturday, September 9, 2017
Now that you have the new KISSlicer 1.6, did you notice the tool tip when you mouse over the Num Loops field on the Style panel? If not, here it is:

Fractional loops!!? "What the heck is that?" you might be asking yourself. You're in luck, I'm going to tell you what it is and explain why this is a brilliant and powerful new feature unique to KISSlicer 1.6!

As the tool tip says, if you enter a fractional value for number of loops (aka perimeters), KISS will add an additional loop "periodically". Here's how it works...

Let's take a simple case and enter 3.5 for fractional loops. This tells KISS to generate 3 loops but 50% (the .5) of the time, add a 4th loop. So, on average, you'll get 3.5 loops in your print. Here's a cut-away drawing to show what this looks like:
The upper drawing labeled 3 Loops illustrates a part sliced with a normal 3 loops - this is what other slicers and KISS 1.6's ancestors do. Now look at the lower drawing labeled 3.5 Loops. See what's happening? See why this is a brilliant new feature? With fractional loops, the resulting overlap with the infill significantly improves bonding of the infill to the perimeter - similar to a finger joint in woodworking. The simple butt joint shown in the upper drawing is a weaker joint by comparison. Here is what the g-code paths look like for a part sliced with 3.5 loops. If you look carefully, you'll see the alternating 3-4-3-4 loops (medium blue paths):
Of course, you can enter other fractions like .25, .33, .75 too. Using 3.x loops as an example, these would create the following patterns:

  • 3.25 loops: 3-3-3-4
  • 3.33 loops: 3-3-4
  • 3.75 loops: 3-4-4-4 

Fractional loops - especially .5 fractional loops - is such a useful feature, all of my default styles have .5 fractional loops.

Now you know about this great new KISS 1.6 feature and how it can create stronger printed parts. It's a brilliant feature, use it with your prints!

EDIT 8/20/2017
A few readers have commented that slicers already support an infill overlap feature and that this is functionally the same thing. Here's a short description in the difference and why fractional loops is a more useful and powerful feature:

Infill overlap actually increases the amount of filament that needs to be squeezed into the same volume. Fractional infill does not. For example, if you used a 50% infill overlap - depending on slicer of course since they each handle this differently - you end up with two times more filament in the area of overlap. This excess filament can create other issues - especially on the first layer and top surfaces. The infill overlap feature was originailly intended to compensate for printer mechanical issues and differences and hysterysis in an effort to reduce/eliminate gaps. In a perfect world, the infill would perfectly connect right at the perimeter interface but mechanical slop and a number of other factors prevent this. KISS supports infill overlap too, for exactly this reason. The fractional loops feature provides a more consistent and reproduceable mechanism for increasing the strength of this critical loop-infill interface that works over all infill percentages.

KISSlicer Tutorial: Getting Started with the Wizards

By Michael Hackney → Friday, September 8, 2017
Here's a detailed tutorial on how to get started with KISSlicer 1.6 using the new profile Wizards to create a printer, material, style and support profile. I then slice one of my fly fishing reel parts and print it to show how good the Wizards really are!
Note, this will be the last public tutorial until I reach 50 supporters on my Patreon account ( I will be using the proceeds to upgrade my recording studio with a new camera, microphone and lighting so I can step up the production quality. So here's you chance to get some great tutorials before everyone else AND help me make even better content!

KISSlicer 1.6 Release and KISSlicer 1.6 PRO give-away drawing!

By Michael Hackney → Wednesday, September 6, 2017

KISSlicer 1.6 goes final today!

Most of my supporters and followers know that I'm a big fan of KISSlicer. Over the last 9+ months I've been a tester for the new KISSlicer 1.6 release that is going live today. Don't let the version number fool you, this ain't no minor update to the previous 1.5 release!

KISSlicer 1.6 is a major feature and bug release and also creates the foundation for the next big thing - I'll call it KISS 2.0 here but it will actually have a very cool name!

I always look for that one "killer feature" in any new product release but with KISS 1.6 there are many killer features! Some are so sophisticated and unique that you'll wonder how you lived without them (PRELOAD, FRACTIONAL LOOPS, STEPOVER CONTROL, JOIN-LOOPS) and others are just extremely useful (TUNING WIZARD, INDIVIDUAL SETTINGS FILES, REFERENCE SETTINGS, CELLULAR INFILLS, ENHANCED SUPPORTS, BRIM LATCH, and many others). I'd call 1.6 a "Killer Release".

The new KISS web site is planned to go live later today. It will have links to downloads, profiles for a few printers (and the list will grow), a Showcase and many more features. The new site will allow Jonathan to make more frequent updates. The URL will remain but until that goes live with the new content, you can use the interim development site at

Over the next few months, I'll be creating a series of videos on how to use KISS - both old familiar features as well as new features - to help you learn how to use KISS to get superior prints (like mine). As I mentioned a few days ago, I'll release these videos to my supporters on Patreon first, until I reach a total of 50 patrons supporting my work. Now, there's even more reason to become a supporter!


KISS's creator, Jonathan, has given me a few PRO licenses to use for rewards, perks, and give-aways. The first one will be a GIVE-AWAY to one lucky Patreon supporter. The drawing will be held on Friday Sept, 15th at 5pm EST. All patrons will be entered into the drawing and one randomly selected.

If you already have KISS PRO, it is up to you if you'd like a second key to give to a friend or if you'd like me to draw the next winner.