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ideaMaker Features Review: Slicing Preview

Since the first release of ideaMaker in Jan 3rd, 2016, ideaMaker has been evolving for almost seven years till now. Along the whole time, ideaMaker always officially keeps free to public and open to profile customization, rather than limited to Raise3D printer only. By today, the history of ideaMaker maybe longer than some veterans’ experience in 3D printing community. Support structures related features are also the most discussed among the ideaMaker’s classic features.



Preview is an excellent inspection tool for users to check for any errors in the printed model. It will show a visualization of the actual print path of the model as it prints on an FFF printer. ideaMaker is committed to displaying the preview content that users are most concerned about in more detail, such as speed, layer height, infill, support, and Rafts, etc. Users can view layer by layer, making it easy to make any changes to the model and structures such as supports after the preview is finished.

Since ideaMaker developed the Preview function, its features have been continuously iterated. ideaMaker adds a variety of display methods for model previews as well as more functions for third-party management software. The following will introduce several wonderful Preview features in ideaMaker.


1. Extruder Color Preview, from Version 1.3.7-May 28th, 2014

ideaMaker has provided users with different display methods in Preview. At early stages, users can preview the slicing result by Extruder Color. Different parts of the model printed by the left and right nozzles will be displayed in different colors.


2. Retraction Preview, Version 2.0.5-January 12th, 2016

Retraction Preview allows users to check the path and retraction point of the nozzle movement. In the Preview, the blue line indicates the rapid movement trace of the nozzle, and the orange cross indicates the retraction point.


3. Print Speed Preview, from Version 3.0.0-October 23rd, 2017

There are many ways to preview models in Preview. Users can preview the model by Speed in Preview. Different printing speeds are displayed in different colors. Users can view the printing speed (mm/s) of each structure of the model layer by layer.


4. Layer Height Preview, from Version 3.4.0 Beta-Mar 29th, 2019

Users can also preview the model by Layer Height. Different layer heights are displayed in different colors. Users can view the layer height (mm) of the model layer by layer intuitively.

In particular, users can customize the layer height of different layers through Pre-Layer Settings and view them in Preview.


5. Cross Section Preview, from Version 4.0.1-Nov 23rd, 2020

Cross Section makes it possible that users can observe the internal section of the model from X direction, Y direction, top Z direction, and bottom Z direction. Users can observe the internal structure more intuitively and from multiple angles to check the slicing results.


6. Optimized Display Colors for Steps Preview, from Version 4.2.2-Nov 26th, 2021

ideaMaker optimizes the color of the model when users check the Steps in Preview. When the user drags the Steps slider to view the printing path of the model step by step, the front layer will be displayed in dark color, so that users can view the path of the printed model more concisely and intuitively.


7. Outer Shell Z Seam Preview, from Version 4.2.2-Nov 26th, 2021

ideaMaker has added the function of viewing the Z seams of the Outer Shell. Users can see where Z Seam is on the model before printing. Users can adjust parameters or change the starting point in advance, without having to re-modify and print again after the model is printed.


8. Isometric Preview for Third-party Softwares, from Version 4.2.2-Nov 26th, 2021

ideaMaker has updated the way users preview in OctoPrint and Mainsail. OctoPrint is a third-party app for managing 3D printers; Mainsail is a lightweight responsive web UI that makes Klipper more accessible. When users using G-Code Thumbnails features for OctoPrint and Mainsail, Isometric View will be updated to be default preview way.



Preview allows users to more intuitively observe the model printing path in a realistic way. Users can observe the parameters of the model they are most concerned about, such as infill, printing speed, Rafts, etc., Users can modify and customize according to their needs. In the future, ideaMaker will pay more attention to the most urgent needs of users and develop more practical and convenient functions.