What is a slicer? As the name suggests, it reads your mesh model and then proceeds to slice it up into contours with a height matching the selected layer height. Each layer then gets a toolpath generated with various settings and a g-code is produced for the 3D printer to read and execute the printing process.
Slicing diagram from Ozeki
While PrusaSlicer is the recommended default slicer, there are other freely available slicers out there such as Cura, Ideamaker and SuperSlicer. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Compared to the Makerbot Print, these slicers also tend to provide more control and settings for the user to manipulate. For this section of the knowledge base, PrusaSlicer will be the main focus, but its general structure and features are similar with other slicers across the board.
The model workspace in PrusaSlicer is called the Plater and has a virtual print bed where you can drop your model into to visualise it. Read more about it here:
The Print Settings tab contains settings such as speed, layer height, perimeters, infill, extrusion width and many more. You can read more about it here:
PrusaSlicer has a dedicated Filament Settings tab which houses the extrusion multiplier, extrusion and bed temperatures, cooling and other filament related settings. Find out more here:
The Printer Settings tab contains the physical printer settings such as retraction length as well as start and end g-code among others. Read about it here: