3D printers rely on the input of G-code to print CAD-based models layer by painstaking layer over what seems an inordinate period of time. These slicer apps are inherently ‘non-customizable,’ meaning you cannot manipulate the extrusion thickness of the material being deposited or vary the deposition path along the printer’s X, Y and Z-axis.
Simply put, G-code slicing does not allow for customizable input when printing objects.
Project Silkworm does away with those constraints by allowing users the ability to gain a more ‘free-form’ approach to the prints. Think of it like combining the freedom of a 3D printing pen like 3Doodler with the systematic non-feeling “drone” of a point-by-point G-code slicer.
Thick in some areas, fine in others, while retaining the precision of a vectored printing process.
Silkworm is an application that works in conjunction with the Grasshopper and Rhino design tools and translates the design data into, wait for it… G-code!
In essence, Silkworm allows users to manipulate the G-code printing movements while still in the CAD-based software. For example, according to Project Silkworm users could create a continuously extruded spiral with different thicknesses and speed of process, build a continuous structure upwards on the printers Z-axis or lay down a weave pattern using vector field geometry, among other things.
While Project Silkworm is still in development, those interested can download the application for free, however you’ll need a Windows-based system with Grasshopper and Rhino3D installed as well as a 3D printer.