5 Best Free G-Code Editors for 3D Printing
Many 3D printing enthusiasts often want to edit their 3D printer G-Code, to customize the way their printer works. But in most cases, they do not know or have the proper software to do so.
There are different ways to edit G-Code such as using your slicer to insert G-Code commands at the start and end of your 3D print. You can also insert post-processing scripts in software like Cura. You also have dedicated G-Code editors such as Notepad++, NC Viewer or gCode Editor.
This is the basic answer, so keep on reading for a more detailed guide. In this article, we will explore the best free G-Code editors, how they work, and the features they offer.
Best Free G-Code Editors for 3D Printing
G-Code is a programming language containing a set of commands for controlling virtually all the printer’s print functions. It controls the movements of the 3D printer, extrusion speed, fan speed, heated bed temperature, etc.
Here is a list of the best free G-Code editors for 3D printing:
Notepad++ is a common open-source code editor with great features. It is available offline, making it easily accessible. On Notepad++, you have standard code editor features like find, replace, search, and so on, with the option of unlocking additional features.
Notepad++ may not be the most sophisticated G-Code editor out there, but it gets the job done. Another important perk of Notepad++ is that it is lightweight, making it easy to run smoothly even on low-end computers.
To edit the G-Code on Notepad++, click on “File” in the top-left corner and select “Open” to open the G-Code file that you want to edit. Once you open the file, you can start editing the code.
Once you have finished editing the code, save the file by clicking on “File” and selecting “Save” or “Save As” if you want to save a copy with a different name.
Additionally, you can use the “Language” menu to select “G-Code” to apply syntax highlighting to your code. This will make it easier to read and identify different commands.
One thing to keep in mind is to always keep a duplicate of the original G-Code file to fall back on. This is to ensure you can revert the changes just in case the edit doesn’t go as planned.
One user stated that Notepad++ is a great software for editing G-Code.
Another user stated that he uses Notepad++ to edit G-Code and was able to save it as a G-Code file. He also stated that it is free and saves the file in the same format as the original.
Check out this video from Christian Amit for more information on how to edit G-Code with Notepad++.
2. NC Viewer
Another software to edit G-Code is NC Viewer. This is also a simple and user-friendly tool to edit G-Code. It can also perform more complex tasks like visualizing the G-Code, either in 2D or 3D, with the GUI interface embedded.
NC viewer also allows you to edit your G-Code line by line and highlight blocks of code. To edit the G-Code on NC viewer, simply upload the G-Code file onto the software by selecting “File” from the top Menu Bar or drag and drop the file on the software’s window.
Then you should be able to view the G-Code and edit it as you deem fit, by adding or removing commands, changing coordinates or parameters, or adjusting the feed rate or spindle speed. Once you’re done editing, you can save the file.
It is important to note that this software was not developed with 3D printers in mind. It is geared toward CNC machines, so some commands might not function well.
3. gCode Viewer
You can edit gCode using the gCode Viewer software. The gCode Viewer software is an online editor for editing and visualizing gCode.
It works on any operating system and almost any modern browser (Chrome, Safari., Firefox). Its user interface is over-simplified, as you won’t be needing any tutorial to get started.
The gCode viewer was designed mainly for 3D printers, so its features are well-optimized for 3D printing G-Code. Asides from editing, it can also help analyze your prints and give out vital information about them like print time, layer height, filament used, and so on.
Also, you can generate and compare different cost estimates for various G-Codes to determine the optimal version.
To get started, simply upload your G-Code file to the software and start editing.
One user who used gCode Viewer stated that he was able to do exactly what he wanted. He said that it worked great and he could see the exact line producing each layout on the printed model.
4. G-Code Q’n’Dirty
Code Q’n’Dirty is another code editor for G-Code. It is an open-source online tool for editing and visualizing G-Codes for your 3D printer with its very simple user interface.
While likely not the most robust editor on the list, G-Code Q’n’dirty is purpose-built to simulate and visualize the path of your machine head through your internet browser.
Code Q’n’Dirty is very easy to use, simply paste your G-Code into the left-hand window or drop a file on the page and see the preview of your tool path on the right.
Cura is another software for editing G-Code, it is a slicer software for 3D printing. While it is not a text editor, it has the capabilities (limited) to edit your printer’s G-Code.
Like other slicer software, Cura allows you to edit your printer’s G-Code, either at the beginning, during, or after printing the model.
To edit your G-Code using Cura, simply launch the Cura software if you already have it installed. Then click on “settings” from the top menu bar and select a printer. Select “Manage Printers”, and a window pops up where you can edit the start and end G-Code for your printer.
Alternatively, you can go to the printer’s settings, click machine settings then enter your G-Code manually.
Check out this video from Technivorous 3D Printing on how to edit G-Code on Cura.