Vandal Forge Printer Software

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  • Dr. Michael Maughan
Team Name Vulcan
Duration Fall 2017 - Spring 2018
  • Jonathan Buch
  • Tim Clemans
  • Michael Madsen
  • James Young


Our team is customizing existing 3D plastic printing software for 3D Metal Printers. The goal of this project is updating the graphical user interface (GUI), reworking open source for use with the Vandal Forge printer, and increasing expandability of the project for future teams.

Problem Definition[edit]

Current printing software is not customized for a 3D metal printer. Print instructions created by default slicer software contains extra unused commands and does not provide custom commands needed to run a 3D Metal printer. OctoPrint, the interface between the print instructions and the printer, was originally designed for plastic printers and does not have the necessary features for metal printing.


The Mark I 3D Metal Printer requires a custom print instructions file. Currently users must manually modify the printer instructions file that is created by the Slicer software.

Vulcan_3dprinter1.JPG Mark I Printer


Customized Slicer Program

Slic3r software customized to produce 3D metal printer instructions. Slic3r takes a 3D model, "slices" it into print layers and creates printing instructions for the Printer. In addition to creating a custom metal printer printer instructions file we will be updating and streamlining the GUI.

GCode Before

GCode before removing unused Plastic Printer Instructions.

Vulcan 2018 Gcodebefore.png
GCode After

GCode after removing the superfluous print commands.

Vulcan 2018 Gcodeafter.png
Customized OctoPrint Program

OctoPrint software customized for 3D metal printing. Octoprint is the interface between the Printer and the printing instructions created by Slic3r.

File:Vulcan 2018 octoprint updated.png
Example of Updated OctoPrint GUI

Added University of Idaho colors, rearranged UI to put GCode upload section at top of the left column.

Printing Process[edit]


  1. Slic3r Program slices up a 3D model (the STL file) into many layers and creates GCODE printing instructions for each Layer
  2. OctoPrint takes the GCode instructions provided by Slicer and sends the instructions to the actual 3D Metal Printer. OctoPrint can adjust print instructions during a print.
  3. The Printer prints an object based on the original 3D model.

Vulcan 2018 Whatslicerdoes.png

Team Goals and Objectives[edit]

To improve the quality of the VandalForge Software while extending usability to allow further customization for future project endeavors.

Goals for Slicing Software

  • Easy to use
  • Integrates with OctoPrint
  • Modify the GCode output for immediate use with Forgeware
  • Can remove horizontal shells, infill, and interaction
  • Modify Slic3r with the ability to store temperature data from an active
  • Add additional options for heat and temperature control
  • Add Real time slicing

Goals for Hosting Software

  • Have convenient GUI for ease of use
  • Updates with print info in real time
  • Remove the plastic printer exclusive options from GUI
  • Add functionality using a regular and infrared camera
  • Add a real time temperature display of the active print




Fall 2017

  • Gather Specifications and Research Software
  • Research OctoPrint Host Software
  • Customize GCode File output via Slic3r Software
  • Design Review

Spring 2018

  • Make Modifications to OctoPrint Software
  • Custom GCode commands
  • GCode file analyzer
  • Preview of print path via OctoPrint
  • Add Mark II commands to OctoPrint UI
  • Integrate with the Mark I Metal Printer
  • Add Features specific for the Mark II Metal Printer
  • Documentation


  • New Print Path Algorithm
  • Print temperature readout on 3D model in OctoPrint

Team Information[edit]

Vulcan 2018 team picture.jpg

From the left: Jonathan Buch, Tim Clemans, Michael Madsen, James Young,

Contact Info

  • Jonathan Buch:
  • Tim Clemans:
  • Michael Madsen:
  • James Young:

Document Archive[edit]