This tutorial will explain how to slice your STL files with Skeinforge. Slicing is neccessary in order to extract G-code, which is what your Solidoodle 3D printer needs in order to print.
Here’s how to “slice” your .STL file with Skeinforge
1. Open Skeinforge. Skeinforge is acessed from within Pronterface in the settings->slicing settings folder. The default Solidoodle profile should already be loaded.
2. Click the “Skeinforge” button on the bottom left corner of the window
3. Select the 3D file (in .stl format) that you want to use and click “Open”. In this case we’re using the Mini Solidoodle model (solidoodle_110928.stl) that we downloaded from Thingiverse.
4. Wait for Skeinforge to convert the .STL file into G-code. This may take several minutes depending on the size of the file.
5. Two windows will pop up after Skeinforge finishes converting the .STL file. These windows show the path that will be taken by the printhead as it creates the part. One window shows the 3D part and the other window shows each layer. Skeinforge creates a G-code file in the same directory as the original .STL file. This file will usually have an _export.gcode extension. Close both of these windows – they are just FYI and you don’t need them.