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Can You Use Adaptive Layers in Simplify3D?

Do you make use of 3D printing station management software? If so, there's a good chance you know about Simplify3D. This software isn't just for Windows but also has a Mac version.

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Do you make use of 3D printing station management software? If so, there’s a good chance you know about Simplify3D. This software isn’t just for Windows but also has a Mac version.

You can use adaptive layers in Simplify3D. However, it is crucial to understand how to create the code for each layer so that the printer doesn’t need to pause, wait for files to transfer, or even shift its x-axis position.

So, let’s discuss adaptive layers and how to use them in Simplify3D. I’ll tell you about when to use them and walk you through the steps so that you can always end up with the best print possible!

When Should You Use Adaptive Layers in Simplify3D?

Adaptive layers control the printing process to produce higher-quality prints. Because it’s a highly technical method of 3D printing, it can be unclear for novice users. 

You should use adaptive layers in Simplify3D when you’re looking for a way to print swiftly while maintaining quality. Using adaptive layers will slow down the speed at which your printer extrudes filament. It’ll also increase the overall speed of your job. 

So, if you’re looking for high print quality but want to print quickly, then using adaptive layers could be a solution to your problem.

Print speed can be set independently in Simplify3D regardless of whether you use adaptive layers or not. 

Use the preview feature to check out how each setting on an adaptive layer affects the look of your print before committing to it. To balance print speed and quality, you can set different adaptive layers to different print speeds and layer heights.

How To Use Adaptive Layers in Simplify3D

Adaptive layers allow you to print different model parts at specific layers to streamline the print process. With Simplify3D’s automatic tower fan control, you can use adaptive layers or print PySnip.

You can apply adaptive layers below the brim of a part or at the same layer as the brim, just above the raft. You can change the properties of an adaptive layer by clicking on it and choosing from various presets in the menu that appears.

You can change how airflow is applied to an adaptive layer by clicking on it and choosing from various presets in the menu that appears. Click “preview” when printing a part with adaptive layers, and adjust your settings to see how the print will turn out.

How Do I Create a Custom Adaptive Layer?

Creating custom adaptive layers allows you to choose where you want thicker layers. So, whether you want a thick first layer or a tall middle layer for a complicated print, Simplify3D has you covered. 

So, let’s look at the steps: 

  1. The first thing you need to do is add a protocol that conforms to the <AdaptiveProtocol>.
  2. Next, create a new class that implements the <AdaptiveProtocol> protocol. This will be your custom adaptive layer. Remember to call this class whatever you named your <AdaptiveProtocol> protocol. 
  3. After this, associate your custom adaptive layer with your view controller. 
  4. Then, when your view controller’s view comes onto the screen, it’ll automatically use your custom adaptive layer instead of the built-in adaptive layer.
  5. Finally, set up some properties for the built-in adaptive layer. Doing so allows you to activate and deactivate your custom adaptive layer programmatically instead of fixing a device orientation into place and forgetting about it later on.

The Usefulness of Adaptive Layers

An Adaptive Layer is a feature for layer groups of a Pixmap or Window. It allows the layers to have different levels of transparency and alpha channels.

The feature makes it easy to build applications that support transparency. It just takes care of what you need to do to allow layering with complete transparency.

This information allows us to create a new application type, called an adaptive or translucent application.

Maximize the Print Quality of Your 3D Prints by Using Adaptive Layers

3D printing is an exciting way to create objects you can hold in your hands. However, all too often, prints are of poor quality. 

Errors aren’t the fault of the printer– they usually occur when you have neglected to calibrate your printer or misdesigned your model. However, there are several things you can do to ensure the best possible print quality.

  • Understand that there’s more than one type of 3D printer.
  • FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printers are all about layers. These are called “stacked” or “adaptive” layers.
  • If you want a high-quality print, you should select a layer thickness that’ll provide the crucial and necessary support for your object.
  • You should pay attention to the support mesh created by the printer when it builds up layers.
  • The printer creates support material that you can easily remove from the model after printing by sanding or filing.
  • Use an S3D slicer software like Slic3r that supports adaptive layers for the smoothest results.

New Features in Simplify3D Software

Simplify3D Software has new features that give more options to users. If you want to print with flexible filament, you can use the new fill pattern feature to give your model the ultimate strength while keeping it bendy. Adaptive layers is not a feature you would use every time, but it is beneficial in cases where you need it.

In addition, you can now import Slic3r topology. That’s a very nice improvement for those who have models made with Slic3r and would like to print them in Simplify3D. The advantage here is that you won’t have to go back and forth changing the STL file between slicers.

You can import the STL from Slic3r into Simplify3D and start printing. 3D Printer Toolkit allows you to check if your printer is calibrated correctly and perform basic maintenance tasks such as clearing drive jams.


Adaptive layers are one of the most powerful and beneficial features that Simplify3D offers to help your 3D printing goals. The process is easy, effective, and can lead to stunning prints when appropriately used.

What Simplify3D does is take an existing model and break it down into flat surfaces. These surfaces then get incorporated into a lattice along with the needed supports, which are handled automatically.

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About Ben

I started 3D printing since 2013 and have learned a lot since then. Because of this I want to share my knowledge of what I have learned in the past years with the community. Currently I own 2 Bambulab X1 Carbon, Prusa SL1S and a Prusa MK3S+. Hope you learn something from my blog after my years of experience in 3D printing.