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Send a slice to laser printer for verification?

I’d like to download a .stl file from thingiverse.
I want to pick a z-position and send that slice to my laser printer
with accurate 1x dimensions.
That way, I can lay the print down on the hardware that
it mates with and verify that the holes and support structures
are in the right place
before I get it printed in 3D.

What FREE software do I need to do that?

“Printer” is a lousy keyword to search and I can’t think of
any way to google this without that word.

Just load the model into Slic3r then edit the gcode, deleting everything except the layer that you want. Slic3r is free and would be handy as the Gcode editor indicates which layer each line corresponds to.
You can then export the gcode if you like or may even be able to send directly to your laser engraver.

Have fun and good luck.

Thanks, but I don’t see how that helps.

I want to print the slice on paper with toner using an HP laserjet 4L
office printer…or any other windows-compatible printer.

Don’t think it supports Gcode. Even if it did support Gcode,
manually editing the file means that I introduce a set of possible errors
that may make the paper printout different from the part implemented in plastic.
I really don’t want to become a Gcode guru. I want to point/click/print
from the same file so what I see on paper is exactly what I will get in plastic.

Cura lets me use the GUI to select a slice and look at it.
Just need to print that X-Y plane image with accurate dimensions on a
HP laserjet 4L paper/toner printer.

Seems like this is a feature that everyone would need.

I have a circuit board from EBAY with unspecified dimensions.
I want my friend in a remote location to print a case for it.
Would be nice to be able to lay the printout of the slice
on the board to verify that I got the holes in the right
places without spending hours and wasting plastic
and shipping a case that won’t fit.

Oh ok… I misunderstood when you said laser printer, I thought you meant a laser etcher/engraver.

The best bet would to be to purchase inexpensive digital vernier calipers and get some accurate measurements of the board to pass onto your friend who is designing/printing this case. They go for about $15 to $25 bucks on ebay.

Or just ship your friend the board and they can work with it directly.

Yep, that’s the problem with communication. People see what they want
to see instead of what is described.

I’m the one designing the case.
I have measurement tools. I will use them to design the case.
The problem is that errors happen.
People often fail to recognize errors that they didn’t expect.
I want some physical VERIFICATION of my design without printing it in plastic
because the 3D printer is elsewhere.

You’d think EVERYONE would want this capability to get it right the first time.

Back in the day, I did write a Gcode interpreter that runs my pen plotter.
But the design software let me output only moves and draws in a rigid format,
so I only had to implement a few Gcode commands.
I’d rather not open that bucket of worms again.

I think you need to keep in mind that 3D printing got its start for the purpose of rapid prototyping. It IS the method of checking to make sure things are correct before larger scale production. If this is just for hobby then I believe you are expelling too much energy to get things right the first time instead of just getting things done.

Keep in mind just because you are able to print a layer on a piece of paper doesn’t mean that the size would be the same size on every ink printer. It would be similar to just holding it up to your screen which doesn’t really tell you anything. If you are doing the designing then have a little faith in yourself. You can model your board digitally to the exact measurements as well as your enclosure to make sure things fit. And just like any measurements, measure two, three, half a dozen times and reference your model for verification.

I intend to “keep in mind” my objective, which is to print a slice on my laser printer.
My request for “Accurate 1x dimensions” was part of my initial post.
Your experience is different from mine.
I’ve been making toner transfer circuit boards, and my laser printer prints to scale
just fine.

Seems odd that I’m the only person who thinks this capability would be beneficial.

I am getting the impression that you are a bit annoyed as I haven’t answered your original question. The main reason you are unable to find that answer you are looking for, is that, what you are looking to do isn’t necessary.

The design software that you’d be using to create this model should be infinitely accurate, beyond any paper printout or 3D printer for that matter. The best analogy I can think of is that you are attempting to construct a makeshift ruler to verify that your precision machinist ruler is accurate.

Vernier Calipers, 3D design software, and the know-how to use it, is all you should need to achieve accuracy.

As I am here to assist people in need and not start arguments, I hope my knowledge can help you in some way shape or form.

Must be nice to never make mistakes when you first attempt something.
I’ll take my necessity elsewhere.

Hello “Retired1”

I really was under the impression that you meant taking a thin slice of a 3D model, then sending it to a 3D laser printer, such as a Selective Laser Sintering Station. I read it carefully, and it really looked that way.

So you’re right about one thing; communication can be a problem. The way I read it, Neilblue was just trying to help you.

I can think of a few softwares that would help you, like Magics, but it’s not free. Rhino is free, at least for the first few saves, and it does work with stl files, but I have never edited them in Rhino. I don’t know if you could do a Boolean cut through the file, then another, to leave you with a thin slice. You might try downloading the software to explore the mesh tools.


Good instruction how to run engraving software