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


Why I love KISSlicer: Reason #6

By Michael Hackney Thursday, November 2, 2017
Adaptive Layer Heights is a new feature in KISSlicer 1.6 and it's, well, it's sublime as you are about to learn – and why I love KISSlicer: Reason #6!

When Slic3r Prusa Edition 1.33.3 introduced its Variable Layer Height feature earlier this year, it was very well received. Now, those steppy looking top layers on curved parts could finally be smoothed out by decreasing the layer heights in only those areas. So, you get the advantage of thinner layers where they are needed without paying a big penalty in much slower print speed.

Little did the world know that KISSlicer had a new feature up its sleeve! KISSlicer 1.6's Adaptive Layer Heights feature is conceptually similar but completely different! In Slic3r's implementation, the user has to manually create the layer height changes and gradients – a bit of a pain and the user has to have a lot of knowledge to know when they get it right. KISSlicer completely automates the process of smoothing out these curved areas with thinner layer heights – that's why it's called adaptive layer heights.

Here is a screenshot that shows a part sliced using typical .2mm fixed-height layers on the left and with the new Adaptive Layer Height feature from .1mm to .2mm on the right. If you zoom in and look at the very top of the hemisphere, you'll see the layers in the adaptive slicer are much closer spaced and the curvature is much smoother.
But don't take a screenshot's word (!?) for it, here's a photo of the parts that were printed from the slice shown above. (By the way, KISSlicer's Lock Paths feature let me slice these parts using different slicing parameters and then save a single g-code file to print.)
As you can see, the layers on the right are thinner and the curvature is much less stepped in appearance. That's Variable Layer Heights at work.

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