Frequently Asked Questions
Simplify3D Software is an electronic download. Following your purchase, a verification email will be sent to you from firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow the instructions in this email to download and install the software. If you do not see this email within 30 minutes, please check your spam folders. Please Contact Us if you need additional help locating the verification email. If you ever need to download the software again in the future, you can do this by logging in to your Simplify3D account on our website and then proceeding to the Downloads page.
During the checkout process, please select that the license is “for someone else” and enter the name and email address of the person who will be using the software. After completing the purchase, the invoice will be sent directly to you, while the software download instructions will be sent to the licensee.
Multiple licenses can be purchased from the Special Order Checkout page. Please note that all of these licenses will be assigned to the same email address. If you need to assign licenses to different individuals, please use the normal checkout process and make sure to enter the appropriate licensee information.
If you need to add an additional license to your account, please complete the normal checkout process making sure that you enter the same email address that is currently associated with your account. If the same email address is used, the new license will be automatically merged into your existing account.
Yes, we currently offer several different educational discount programs for faculty or organizations that are teaching 3D printing to others. Please review our Education page for more details. Once you are ready to place your order, please select the “Education programs” option on our Contact Form and include details about how you will be using the software in your organization, and how many licenses you would need to purchase. Please contact us prior to placing your order, as this discount cannot be applied after the purchase has been submitted.
Yes, we currently offer a 10% educational discount for all enrolled university students. This discount is for the same professional version of Simplify3D that we offer to all other customers, so you will have access to all of the great features and performance that our software is known for. Once you are ready to purchase, please select the “Education” option on our Contact Form and include your university email address, graduation date, and information about how many licenses you need to purchase. Please contact us prior to placing your order, as this discount cannot be applied after the purchase has been submitted.
Yes, we offer bulk discounts for organizations that need to purchase many licenses at once. Please Contact Us for additional details.
Installation: The software can be installed on up to 2 computers that you personally own and use.
Usage: You can use the software on 1 computer at a time.
For example, if you had a laptop and a desktop, you could install the software in both locations, but you should only use the software in 1 location at a time.
Please note: Simplify3D licenses are sold as individual user licenses. A single user license should never be shared by multiple individuals.
Yes, you may install the software on different operating systems as long as you do not exceed the number of allowed installations permitted by your license.
Yes, even if you only have a single software license, you may use the software with multiple 3D printers that you own and operate. If you need to configure the software for a new 3D printer, you can do this by going to Help > Configuration Assistant and selecting your printer from the list. In the future, if you need to switch between different 3D printers, just click “Edit Process Settings” and select the printer you want to use from the “Select Profile” drop-down list. Please watch this video for more information about how to manage your settings for multiple 3D printers.
Note: If you need to use the software with an exceptionally large number of 3D printers, please contact us in advance to discuss options.
You can continue using the version of the software that you purchased for as long as you like without any additional payments, however, each software version is only officially supported for up to 1 year after its original release date. To receive the latest updates and support, we recommend upgrading to the latest version of the software.
Simplify3D includes 1 year of free software upgrades along with your license purchase. This means that if you purchase the software now, you can still upgrade to any new version that is released within the next 12 months.
After that time, there may be a small upgrade fee required to continue receiving the latest updates and support. Information about features and pricing will be provided in advance so that you can make decisions about upgrade needs.
Simplify3D provides 1 year of complimentary email technical support along with each license that you purchase.
Simplify3D customers also have access to an extensive list of articles, troubleshooting guides, video tutorials, FAQs, and our amazing user community. Visit our support page to learn more.
Simplify3D offers a bulk license that allows you to easily manage multiple computers from one single interface. This also makes it quite easy to automate the installation process, since each computer will use the exact same license information. Please Contact Us if you need additional assistance with these options.
In extreme circumstances such as a hardware failure, re-imaged operating system, or a crashed hard drive, it may be impossible to uninstall the software from its previous location. In this case, you can remotely remove the installation by logging in to your Simplify3D account on our website and then choosing the “Software Installations” menu option. Follow the instructions on that screen to remotely deactivate your license.
If you cannot remember your Simplify3D account information, please use the self-help tools at the bottom of the login form. You can use these options to reset your password or retrieve your username using only your email address.
- Forgot username: https://cloud.simplify3d.com/account/username/forgot
- Forgot password: https://cloud.simplify3d.com/account/password/forgot
Please review the Technical Specifications page for more information on supported operating systems and system requirements.
Simplify3D requires an internet connection for the initial installation and for future use of the software, however, the program can be used temporarily without an internet connection such as when traveling or during a power outage. While these short-term outages won’t cause any issues, please keep in mind that the software cannot be installed on a computer that is permanently disconnected from the internet.
The software is fully touch screen compatible and has already been successfully used with dozens of different tablet computers. The only requirement is that the tablet must run a desktop operating system such as the Surface Book or Surface Pro. The software cannot be installed on tablets that run a mobile operating system such as Android or iOS.
We know that many people use Simplify3D in a production environment where reliability is incredibly important. For this reason, each new version of the software will be installed into a unique folder so that you can test and use multiple versions of the software at the same time. You can wait to remove older versions of the program until you have successfully started using a newer version.
New software updates are installed the same way as previous software updates. Login to your Simplify3D account and proceed to the Downloads page. Follow the instructions to unzip and install the latest version. The new version will be installed into a separate folder, so there is no requirement to uninstall previous versions of the software. For more information please see this question.
Factory files contain everything you need to re-create your current session in Simplify3D. These files include the 3D models, orientation details, custom support structures, process settings, and best of all, the final file is compressed to save space on your hard drive. This file is ideal for sharing with others if you want them to be able to re-create your exact print in Simplify3D. To save a factory file, just go to File > Save Factory File As.
You can manually control the extruders on your printer by going to Tools > Machine Control Panel. First, make sure the extruder is properly heated by using the preheat options on the right-hand side. If you have more than one extruder, make sure to select the correct extruder from the “Active Toolhead” drop down list first. Once the extruder is fully heated, you can use the Retract and Extrude options on the Jog Controls tab to manually unload or reload the filament. For example, if you click the orange “-10” square below the Retract heading, it will retract 10mm of filament out of the extruder.
If you are printing from the SD card, you can unplug the USB cable from your printer after the print has started. The firmware will continue printing the file on the SD card. In addition, if you are using a machine that transfers the entire print file before starting the print, you may also unplug the USB cable after the print has started since there is no more information to transfer.
You can control multiple printers at the same time by opening multiple instances of the software. This allows each instance to be dedicated to a specific printer with full control over that machine. Another common option is to copy files onto an SD card so that prints can be started remotely without the software being attached to the printer.
Simplify3D can be configured to work with many different types of printers, even if your specific machine is not listed in the Configuration Assistant. To setup the software for your custom machine, go to Help > Configuration Assistant and then select “Other” from the bottom of the list. The software will ask for several basic printer parameters and then it will configure a custom profile that has been customized for your printer. This allows you to quickly find a good starting point for your custom machine.
The profiles that you create in the software are already saved locally within Simplify3D, however, if you wish to create a second backup for these profiles, you can do so by going to File > Export FFF Profile. This will save the profile to your hard drive which can be easily re-loaded into the software by going to File > Import FFF Profile.
Many of the profiles provided by Simplify3D already include a default model that represents the build platform of the printer. This can be very useful for quickly recognizing the orientation of your parts relative to the print bed. If you wish to change or disable the model that is used, please go to Tools > Options (or Simplify3D > Preferences on the Mac) and then go to the Machine tab. The printer models can be modified at the bottom of this window.
Please note that if your profile is set to override the printer model each time it is loaded (as is the case with many of the profiles from Simplify3D), then you will need to export the profile and make the change directly in the profile XML.
Yes, Simplify3D already supports many printers using an auto-leveling probe. The software allows you to customize the starting script that is used at the beginning of each print, so if you wish to add auto-leveling to this script, go to the Scripts tab of your process settings and make sure you have a G28 and then a G29 command at the beginning of this script. Please note that the G28 command needs to come before the G29 to ensure that you have properly homed your axes before attempting to probe the bed surface.
Simplify3D allows you to customize the ending script that is run at the very end of each print. If you wish to move the nozzle away from the part, simply add a command such as “G28 X0” to the beginning of this script to move the X-axis towards the homing endstop switch and away from the finished part. For more information about these G-Code commands, please refer to our 3D Printing G-Code Tutorial.
NOTE: If you recently installed the Sailfish firmware on your printer, this issue is most likely due to incorrect homing offsets. Please refer to the Sailfish configuration page for instructions on how to property restore these offsets. Otherwise, please continue reading.
If your prints are not centered, then there are 2 settings you should check within Simplify3D – build volume and origin offsets. The build volume determines the maximum print size possible on your machine, while the origin offset determines the location of the X=0, Y=0, Z=0 position. Both of these settings need to be correct so that the software can correctly control the position of the parts on the print bed.
To check the build volume, measure the usable print area on your print bed, and ensure these values match the X and Y build volume values on the G-Code tab of your process settings. Once you have verified that the build volume is correct, you can move on to verifying the origin location of your printer.
The origin is the location that the printer will move to when it is told to go to X=0, Y=0, Z=0. The origin offset defines the origin location relative to the bottom left corner of your print bed. For many Cartesian printers that accept gcode files, the origin offset is 0,0,0, which means that the origin is in the bottom left corner of the bed. For Cartesian printers that use x3g files or for most delta printers, the origin is in the center of the bed, which means the X and Y origin offsets are half of the X and Y build volume. For example, if the build volume was 200x200x500, then the origin offset would be 100x100x0. These are the most common values, but there are other possibilities.
For many printers that print using normal .gcode files, you can easily find the origin location by homing all axes in the Machine Control Panel, and then sending “G1 X0 Y0 F1200” in the Communication tab. The distance that the toolhead moves after sending this command is equal to the X and Y origin offsets. For example, if the head moves 10mm to the right after sending this command, then the origin offset should be 10,0,0. Once the build volume and origin offsets are properly configured, the location of your prints should match the location of the parts in Simplify3D.
If the preview you are seeing in Simplify3D looks drastically different than the original part, you should first verify that there are no issues with the mesh. You can do this using the Repair menu in Simplify3D. If the software identifies non-manifold or self-intersecting surfaces, you will need to repair your model before slicing. Many users have had great success using free online repair sites such as Netfabb or MakePrintable, so this may be a useful thing to try first. For more information about identifying and repairing these issues, please see the Identifying and Repairing Common Mesh Errors tutorial.
Once you have verified that your model does not contain any errors, another setting you may want to check is the “merge all outlines into a single solid model” option on the Advanced tab of your process settings. If this setting is enabled, it will turn your entire model into a solid object, removing all holes and internal features from the part. This can be a very useful for working with models that contain errors or are not completely water-tight, but if it is enabled by accident, it will also fill in all the holes in your model. Make sure this option is disabled and then try to slice the file a second time.
Please refer to the following section in the Simplify3D print quality guide: Small Features Not Printed.
This typically means that the toolhead offsets in the firmware are not properly configured. Each extruder has different toolhead offsets, which define the position of that extruder relative to the others. If one of these offsets is not correct, it means that whenever you print with this extruder, the toolhead will not be properly positioned. Please consult with your printer manufacturer for instructions on changing and saving the toolhead offsets in the firmware.
Please refer to the following section in the Simplify3D print quality guide: Not Sticking To The Bed
Please refer to the following section in the Simplify3D print quality guide: Not Extruding at Start of Print
Please refer to the following section in the Simplify3D print quality guide: Dimensional Accuracy
Your printer already includes an internal setting known as the toolhead offsets, which defines the position of each extruder relative to one another. In most cases, this setting is already correctly configured in the printer’s firmware, so you can start printing right away. However, if this setting was not configured correctly by the manufacturer, you will need to correct this error first before your extruders can be properly aligned.
So how do you determine the correct value for your toolhead offsets? The toolhead offset tells the printer how far each extruder will need to move along the X and Y axes before it ends up in the same spot as the primary extruder (Tool 0). You can look on the Extruder tab of your Simplify3D process settings to verify the toolhead number for each extruder. So if your primary extruder is on the right, and your second extruder is 34mm to the left of this extruder, then you know the second extruder would need to move 34mm to the right before it ends up in the same position as the primary extruder. So the correct offset would be an X offset of +34mm, and a Y offset of 0mm. You can go to Tools > Machine Control Panel in Simplify3D, and use the Job Controls tab to simulate this movement to confirm the correct values.
Now that you know the correct toolhead offsets, we will explain how to update the printer with the new values. We always recommend trying to update this setting directly on the printer’s firmware first. There are 3 different ways this can be accomplished depending on what printer you have:
Some machines include an option on the printer’s LCD menu to calibrate this nozzle offset, or enter the offset distance directly. So if your printer has an LCD menu, check for this option first.
If your machine uses the Marlin firmware, then you also have the option of sending gcode commands directly to the printer to update this setting. To do this, go to Tools > Machine Control Panel, and then click on the Communication tab. Send the command “M218” to the printer. The machine should respond by listing the current toolhead offsets.
Hotend offsets: 0,0 20,0
The example reply above indicates that the toolhead offset for the second extruder is +20mm in the X-axis and 0mm in the Y-axis. To update this value, send the following command:
M218 T1 X34 Y0
That tells the printer to change the X-axis offset to 34mm for the second extruder (Tool 1). The machine should reply confirming the change. You can then send the “M500” command to save these setting to the printer’s internal EEPROM memory (more information about these EEPROM commands can be found here). This ensures that this setting will be maintained even after the printer is turned off. If your machine does not support EEPROM storage, you can also place the correct M218 command at the very top of your Simplify3D starting script so that it gets sent to the machine before each print.
If you were not able to update the toolhead offsets using either of the options above, you also have the option of editing the Configuration.h file for your printer’s firmware, and then re-compiling and re-uploading this new firmware directly to the printer. Please contact the printer manufacturer for instructions on this process.
If you were able to update the toolhead offsets on the printer’s firmware, then your extruders should now be properly aligned and you can go back to printing. If you were not able to update the toolhead offsets using the instructions above, then the software includes one other option you can use to account for the misconfigured firmware. Click on “Edit Process Settings” and go to the G-Code tab. Enter your toolhead offsets in the “Update Machine Definition” section. Be sure to select “Tool 1” from the drop down list before entering the X and Y offsets to ensure these values are correctly applied to the second extruder. You can then enable the checkbox on the left side labeled “apply toolhead offsets to G-Code coordinates”. After enabling this option, the software will actually shift all of the coordinates in your gcode files anytime you are printing with the second extruder. To verify this setting, setup a Dual Extrusion print in Simplify3D, click “Prepare to Print”, and then change the preview coloring mode to “Active Toolhead”. You should notice that all of the extrusions for Tool 1 have now been shifted by the amount you entered. This verifies that the setting is working correctly.
By default, the preview used in Simplify3D is very detailed, so if you are running on a machine with limited resources, you may want to alter these settings. First, go to Tools > Options (or Simplify3D > Preferences on a Mac), then click on the Visualization tab and change the preview type to “Low Detail” mode. This will render a much simpler preview that will use fewer system resources.
If this still causes problems, another option would be to disable the “automatically load preview after slicing” option on that same tab. That will export the toolpath files right away so that you don’t have to wait for the preview to render.
The easiest way to open Simplify3D on your Linux machine is to open a Terminal and cd to the installation directory. Then type the following command:
This ensures that Simplify3D will be able to correctly access the serial port for your printer and will have the necessary permissions for saving your application preferences.
This usually means that there is a permissions issue where the software does not have sufficient access to save and restore your settings. On Windows, you may want to try right-clicking and choosing Run As Administrator to see if this resolves the issue. If you are using a Linux machine, please see the recommended instructions in this question.
The process for removing the settings and files used by the software is different depending on which operating system you are using.
Open the Registry Editor and then go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software directory and delete the Simplify3D folder and all sub-keys.
Delete all files in the following directory: C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Simplify3D. This is a hidden directory, so you may need to enable viewing hidden files and folders to see it in an explorer window.
Open a Terminal window and type the following commands:
rm -rf /Users/$USER/Library/Application\ Support/Simplify3D
Open a Terminal window and type the following commands:
rm -rf $HOME/.local/share/Simplify3D
If you are able to open the software, the first thing you want to try is going to Help > Reset All Settings. This will revert the program back to it’s stock configuration, so be sure to export any profiles that you need first by going to File > Export FFF Profile. However, if you are unable to open the software at all, then this typically means that there is a problem with the system requirements or the settings that are saved and reloaded when the application starts. To verify the cause for this problem, it can be useful to look at the crash log generated by the software. On Windows, this can be found by opening the Event Viewer application and then navigating to Windows Logs > Application in the left menu. Look for the latest event with “Error” in the Level column and “Application Error” in the Source column. This should be the latest crash report for the software. Once you find this entry, check the “Faulting module path”. If this ends with something like ig4icd*.dll or atigkt*.dll, this typically means that the graphics driver on the computer does not have sufficient support for the application. Please try going to the manufacturer’s website (typically either ATI or Nvidia) and manually updating the graphics drivers to the latest possible version to see if this fixes the issue. On Mac OS X, you can typically view the crash log by clicking on “Report” when the application closes and the error message is displayed. Please copy this report in case you need to reference it later. If you are still unable to open the software after following the instructions above, then the next thing to try is clearing the settings and saved files that are loaded when the application starts. Please see this question for more details.
First of all, please keep in mind that you can only have one program connected to your 3D printer at any given time. Close any other programs that could be communicating with the printer. Some programs such as MakerBot Desktop have background services that need to be stopped from within the application by opening the software and going to Services > Stop Background Service.
If you are using the software on Windows, you will also need to make sure that you have installed the USB drivers required by your printer. If you are able to connect to the printer from a different software program, then you likely already have the necessary drivers installed. If you do not know which drivers to use, please consult with the printer manufacturer.
After completing the steps above, go ahead and turn on the printer and then plug it into your computer. Open Simplify3D and go to Tools > Machine Control Panel. If you click on the Communication tab, you can see all of the commands that are sent back and forth to the printer. In most cases, the software will automatically establish a connection with your printer. If the software does not automatically connect, make sure that you have selected the correct port and baud rate in the top-left of the Machine Control Panel. If either of these options are incorrect, the software will not be able to communicate with the printer. Most printers use a baud rate of 115200 or 250000 bps, but you can consult with your printer manufacturer for exact specifications. Click Connect to try to manually connect to the printer using your port and baud rate settings.
During the connection process, Simplify3D tries to exchange several different commands with your printer. Once it receives a successful response, it can verify that the printer is ready to proceed. However, if you are certain the port and baud rate for your printer are set correctly, you can also disable this option so that Simplify3D does not wait for a specific response during initialization. This can be useful if your printer is having trouble responding to the commands that Simplify3D sends during the connection process. To disable this option, go to Tools > Firmware Configuration, and then select the Communication tab and disable the “wait for startup command” option. Save the new settings and then go back to the Machine Control Panel to retry the connection.
When the software prints one layer of plastic on top of another layer, it runs several checks to make sure that these two layers will successfully bond together. One of the checks that is performed analyzes the shape of the plastic you are trying to extrude out of the nozzle. For example, if you are printing a 0.1mm thick layer with an extrusion width of 0.4mm, then you can imagine a long thin rectangular shape that is 0.1mm tall and 0.4mm wide. These long thin shapes provide great adhesion to the layer below. However, if you tried to print with a 0.6mm layer height and the same 0.4mm extrusion width, the shape now resembles a tall thin pillar that is 0.6mm tall and 0.4mm wide. This will have a much harder time bonding to the layer below.
For this reason, the software will give you a warning if you are trying to use an extrusion width that is less than 120% of your layer height. So if you receive this warning, you should increase your extrusion width or decrease your layer height.
Another common reason for this error message is when printing infill or supports that are multiple layers thick using the “print every X layers” options. For example, if you set the infill to print every 2 layers and you are using a layer height of 0.3mm, this means that your infill layers will actually be 0.6mm thick since they are only printed every other layer. If you were still using an extrusion width of 0.4mm, this would cause adhesion issues. You should either decrease your layer height, increase the extrusion width, or decrease the “print every X layers” option.
This error message means that you have installed the software on more computers that is allowed by your license. To install the software on another computer, you will first need to uninstall the software from one of the locations where it was previously installed. In the event that one of your previous installations is no longer accessible due to a hard drive failure or a re-imaged operating system, please see this question.
This error message means that something is preventing the application from reaching the internet. This is typically due to things such as a software firewall, a restrictive anti-virus program, incorrect proxy settings, or external network filters. Keep in mind that even if you are able to access the internet from your web browser, these items can still block the software from reaching the internet. Please be sure these items are configured correctly to allow an exception for the software before continuing. If you are using a corporate network, you may need to contact your IT team to make the appropriate changes. If you are using a proxy server to connect to the internet, click the Network Settings button at the bottom of the Simplify3D login and enter your proxy settings.
This error message means that one of the dependencies provided by Microsoft failed to install on your computer. The most common reason for this problem is that Windows is too far out-of-date. Please make sure that all of the latest recommended updates for your operating system have been installed (you may need to reboot your computer during this process). After the updates have been installed, go to Control Panel > Programs and Features, select Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable 2015 and click Repair. After this process is complete, you should be able to re-launch Simplify3D.
If this does not work, you may need to install the Visual C++ Redistributable manually to identify the cause of the issue. You can download the redistributable directly from Microsoft by clicking here. Most users should choose the vc_redist.x64.exe file for 64-bit operating systems, but you can also download vc_redist.x86.exe if you are using a 32-bit operating system.
Please see the reseller section of our website.