Hi I have had my 3d printer for a number of years now, with little or no real success or satisfaction from the prints I made.

I have decided I would have more use out of the machine if I fitted a dremil type tool to it for routing simple 3d logos and engravings etc.

The dremil is set to run on the fan controller.

I believe there are ways to set up Slic3r to run as a router instead of a 3d printer, but searches of the interwebs has revealed nothing to me.

Any suggestions where I could look? Who to have a chat to?

Would be very much appreciated.


1 Like

Me. When you say routing do you mean flat sheet cutting of acrylics or do you actually wont the facility of a Z axis? You may be making the process far too difficult for yourself. If you require only the flat cutting facility it would be easier to make your own cnc machine bed and mount a dremil type router to cut with. A dremil is not satisfactory as the bit hoever, as its revolve axis is not well enough supported to withstand the side loads reqd to operate the cut. As far as the software, the slc3 is way too complicated to be efficient as a compiler for the machine. You can either learn G code from scratch and use an NC format to input code to the machine or there are quite a lot of CAD type packages that are available depending on the drive you wish to achieve. I make and sell the machines or can teach you on a consultancy basis how to start your own mini factory. Look for me in 3d hubs or find me on facebook under ACIS TECH 3D LTD. Welcome to the weird world of the home hobbiest. Steve the buddist.

Hi Steve thanks for the reply.

I am looking for x,y & z axis motion, I was hoping it would be as simple as giving the z axis a minus value in slic3r, and starting at the top of the “print run” but have been told that that’s not an option with the combination of my machine and software.

As for feeds and speeds, not really too bothered if it takes a few thou off per pass and takes all day to complete, would still be better use for the hulk of tech scrap i have at the moment.

I use sketchup, AutoCAD, Revit, and run them through netfabb (to check for issues) and then to Slic3r to create the G-code for Pronterface to drive the machine.



Sorry but I am still unsure of what sort of machine you want to generate. I thought you originally wanted a router, but from your last post it sounds more like you want a mill. Please ask if you need to define. it does make an acute difference to the excecuter head, its feeds and speeds. These machines are cheap to build but are VERY specific in their nature so as to be able to use the cheapest available parts. You must understand this or you will spend 6 months building a pile of junk, not fit to do any meaningful work apart from move along the axis provided. This is why I offer the service that I do. It comes from 40 years of experience in CNC. and cannot be learned at no cost. I can tell your ok with 3d printing techniques but there are no resistant forces to be overcome on these machines, have fun trying and you may be able to get somethin g out of a 3d printer but I doubt it will be satisfactory without the background in mechanics. Have fun trying tho. Wish you well. Steve the buddistXXXXXX

Thanks Steve, i am just trying to get some kind of meaningful use out of the 3d Printing machine i have, but dont use.

I used G-code 30 odd years ago when it was punch tape and used to be called M-Code, so i have a little “historical” knowledge of general 2d machining. If this fix doesnt work the POS is going in the bin.

no problem, by the way, I was around and machine coding when it was just nc and a fanuc paper tape reader in the machine. G codes always been called G-code the M instruction sets where genrally calls to do standard eprom board instructions like the M instructions in modern day code. M – heat extruder to preset temp, when progging this way we called it assembly calls and in fact g code became known as an assembly lauguage, assembly language today could be calls to HTML,VRML,DESCANT( one I made up) COSMO, PYTHON, in fact most of the modern day languages derive from what was called the ACIS kernel of Java SDK, which in early 90s I was writing the fore runner of Apps in (midlets) to run on ARM structured (windows) machines. May I enquire what you mean by “meaningful use out of your 3d printer” as I may definatly be able to help you in that field. Cheers and no problem. Steve the buddist XXXXX

The machine (400Lx200Wx200D mm bed) has never reliably replicated any model, flow has always been intermittent, too fussy with the ambient temp of the room and the air-con, Humidity of the plastic being extruded, the temps used to melt the pla/abs, also weakened the hot end support which caused sinking and caused the subsequent layers to not lay accurately over the previous layers. the hot bed when it stuck (i used tape, and even tried a weak mixture of the extrusion material and acetone as a kind of adhesive) was not reliable.

All this made the model finishing too difficult to be feasible for the type of models i intended to make (1/200 - ish scale architectural models).

I have tried “standard” settings and surfed for answers on the net, trying a myriad of tweaks. My conclusion is that it really is a hobbyist venture and not one i have time for.



I think you are right, but the fact remains that even this “hobbiest” approach is accessable to all or should I say affordable to all. This means with correct training and little funds we can all become our own manufacturers. This is an art & I think a will that we have ( or most of us) have lost, and therefore put ourselves at the mercy of the manufacturer, if he dosent make it or we cant afford it… we cant have it. I say ask the peasent farmer whether he would sooner wear the rough and itchy sackcloth shirt, or go naked exposing his skin to the brambles stinging nettles of the hedgerows. You seem to be decrying the whole 3d printing industry, because you cannot get a print to meet your ( very high) expectations. No doubt you are a master in mechanics and want to test yourself, but please do not assume that the 3d print industry is just a “hobbiest” phase. I think it will surprise you if allowed to flourish at what can be achieved and how it can enable the individual to bring his own ideas and conseptualisations to fruition. All the best in your future ventures. Steve the buddist.

Thanks for the insight Steve. Far from decrying the “industry” i see nothing but good in the future for it. Just as a relatively early adopter, the machine i settled on under-performed to my expectations, which may or may not have been biased by advertising and promises of what the future holds.

I agree that the industry needs to flourish to allow for these amazing opportunities to be realised to the mass public, but i do stand by my hobbiest statement, with the clarification that most of the affordable (<$2k machines) are still hobbiest pieces of equipment, with regard to time put into it verses cost of component, (thats how i define a hobby, where the cost of making it cannot be recouped when selling the item) where unless the item is not physically possible to be manufactured, due to its geometry or complexity, it is generally, still more economic to use traditional prototyping methods where presentation is a key factor.

Just to clarify, my initial expectations on finish and material performance were based a “rapid prototype” we had made on a machine at our local university back in the mid nineties. (I had to book time on the machine and the project had to be deemed worthy). My current expectations would be to be able to get one serviceable part off the machine at all, then hopefully be able to replicate this feat again would be nice. I am not looking for injection molded, smooth plastic finish straight off the machine.

I liked the analogy of the sack cloth, but i think, for the time being, i will go naked, keep out of the brambles and just scare the natives, until they come up with the felted wool.

Thanks for the discourse.


No problem my good man, but please don’t scare the natives too much. But I get repeating good finishes, high yield stresses, and no abhorted runs from the machines that I make and supply so you will have to forgive me for being the other side of the fence. I believe in one offs as a means of production. I think they satisfy demand and create a culture where if somebody wants something they have to put time and money into getting it. That way it is worth keeping and does not immediately upon receipt need to be “junked” and people told about all the things it wont do rather than the one it is good at. That’s why I promote not just buying a machine but how to get the best out of it. Knowing how to design helps a lot with failed bridgework, even just knowing just by looking what will run without modification and what wont. Anyway, its been a nice discussion and its good to have the failures pointed out because that’s how we learn. If I never have an incident I’m never going to learn how to stop it happening again. Walk with peace at your side ,my brother, and let not your worst enemy be thineself. Steve the buddistXXXXXXX