ChiTubox was first introduced in 2017 and has become popular among the SLA community as one of the best slicing programs. It is a budget-friendly slicing software with a range of premium features in its free plan.
On the other hand, the lychee slicer has been available since 2019 and has become the best alternative to ChiTubox. The freemium software boasts advanced features and tools for paid plan users.
Slicing software plays a crucial role in 3D printing.
It converts CAD models into printable instructions (G-code) that 3D printers can understand.
They determine the layering and decide how each layer will be deposited while printing.
In the past, the manufacturer’s built-in slicing software was the main method of use. But sooner, the experts started looking for advanced options offering added features and support for various types of 3D printers.
In this article, let us discuss Lychee and ChiTubox, which are trending for simplifying and regulating the printing process.
We will compare these two popular slicing software to determine the best fit for you, depending on your needs. There are key features, pros and cons, pricing plans, use cases, and much more to discuss, so read this article until the end.
What is a Slicer?
A slicer is a 3d printing software that is the main link between a digital model and a 3D printed physical object. It slices the 3D model into layers and determines the best printing path for each layer.
The primary job of the slicer is to break down the 3d model into sequences of 3d slices and analyze each slice’s geometric and structural characteristics.
In technical terms, the slicer converts an STL file into a G-code to give printing commands to the 3D printer. The instructions include parameters such as layer height, speed, and support structure settings.
Additionally, slicer software is responsible for controlling the following things,
- Infill density
- Infill pattern
- Print head position
- Support placement
- Extrusion amount
Slicer plays a crucial role in 3D printing by controlling all of the above parameters. Thanks to its ability to translate each slice into step-by-step instructions sent to the 3D printer as individual steps in the printing process.
Is the print quality affected by the Slicer?
The differences in print quality obtained using different slicing software may not be noticeable in simple models.
However, complex designs reveal the importance of slicers in terms of print quality.
Note that the complexity of the sliced models and how they are sliced are important factors in selecting a suitable slicer for the best print quality.
Lychee vs ChiTubox
|Free and Paid Plans
Paid plans starts at $4.99/month
|Free and Paid Plans
Paid plans starts at $9.99/month
|Intuitive user interface with labeled icons and shortcuts
|Intuitive user interface but has some unlabeled icons
|3D printer support
|Supports nearly all types of Resin Printers including newer models such as Anycubic Photon Mono.
|Support for a huge number of Resin Printers. However, lacks support for few newer models
|FDM Printer Support
|Excellent print quality with smooth and detailed surfaces.
|High-quality prints with smooth and detailed surfaces.
Supports island detection in the basic version.
|Basic and advanced depending upon the subscription pan
|Yes (Limited to Pro plan users)
|Yes (Limited to Pro plan users)
|Yes (Limited to Pro plan users)
Lychee Quick Overview
Lychee is a user-friendly 3D slicer for resin 3D printing developed by Mango 3D. The company has created slicing software compatible with a wide range of LCD and DLP 3D printers.
The smooth and problem-free slicing makes this software the best fit for product design, jewelry design, dentistry, and orthodontics.
It offers freemium software that caters to both enthusiasts and professionals. The pricing starts at $4.99 per month.
It is compatible with Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
Lychee Slice boasts a wide range of premium features, such as changing the model’s orientation, adding 3D printing supports manually or automatically, and previewing the 3D model before printing.
Additionally, Lychee offers a few unique features to stand out in the competition, such as real-time cavity formation and automated preparation processes through the Magic Menu.
The user interface is easy to use and available in multiple languages to give users full control over printing. Also, Lychee Slicer has a powerful support algorithm that enables a wide range of application areas for resin 3D printing.
- Custom Printer Support & Resin Profiles: Users can set up their own free zone or custom SLA printer by simply entering the dimensions of the build plate. Users can create or import resin profiles that help fine-tune print settings like layer thicknesses and movement speed and specify cure times. Before printing, you need to export a 3d object from Lychee to the slicer. It is because Lychee Slicer itself cannot directly create a file compatible with the user’s printer.
- Automatic Supports: Lychee has features that intuitively add support in the correct areas. It is very helpful for people who struggle with manual support placement. It is a challenging task that has a huge impact on the success of the print. Also, it prevents the headaches associated with adding supports during resin printing.
- Scaling, Rotating, Moving, & Mirroring: Lychee software provides functions for object movement and printing, and it can be used for basic manipulations on imported objects. Users can easily correct mistakes and make adjustments with Undo and Redo.
- Magic Menu: Users can choose from automated and manual settings for adjusting and tweaking the printing instructions. Magic Menu lets you automate the adjustment settings for slicing the model using standard values. It provides a convenient and efficient way to print the model by eliminating manual changes.
- 3D Measurements: Paid plan users have access to this advanced feature that lets them conveniently measure the distance between supports. It is particularly useful when users must measure support distance to verify their work.
- Forever free plan
- Fully automated print orientation and media creation
- Supports a wide range of printers
- Extensive control over the operations of the software
- Automated recommendations for better print quality
- Slices may leave behind unwanted extra pieces
- A huge number of features may feel overwhelming in the beginning
ChiToBox Quick Overview
ChituBox is a popular slicer software for 3D printing, offering various functionalities within a single package. It was launched back in 2017 by CBD-Tech.
Many consider ChituBox to be the best slicer for resin 3D printers as it offers a balance between powerful features and intuitive design.
It is compatible with SLA, DLP, and LCD printers and supports formats like STL and MJF files.
ChiToBox is also available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
ChituBox has features that allow users to import models, add drain holes, create support structures, and export printable files.
ChituBox slicer has an easy-to-use interface that provides control over printing parameters.
It has a free version as well as a Pro version priced at $9.99 per month.
ChiTuBox offers a range of options for adjusting and optimizing print parameters according to the user’s specific needs, which helps achieve high-quality prints.
You will also have a preview of the printing process and material usage. Additionally, you can calculate the build time.
- Auto Layout: ChiTuBox automatically arranges different parts of the same model on the build plate to save time during the printing stage. You can rely on automatic placement’s support structure allocation and overall efficiency. It is useful for printing multiple duplicate models on the same build plate.
- Hollow Tool: The Hollow tool helps you save on material costs. It is an efficient and user-friendly tool for creating drainage holes and traditional placement. It allows you to hollow out areas of the model and give feedback if it has weakened or reduced the model’s structural integrity.
- Screen Recording: Record and save a video using ChiTuBox’s built-in screen recording tool. The video is automatically exported into a GIF file format. You can also take a screenshot and start editing it right away.
- Wireless File Sharing: ChiTuBox allows you to share your files wirelessly to the printer. For this feature to work, you need to ensure the printer is connected to the Local Area Network via a cable. You can send sliced files directly to the printer and eliminate the need to save the file.
- Preview Tool: The preview is a simulation of the actual print. You can have the preview of the print after configuring the settings and the slicing Process. The preview is displayed in a split-screen format, where The 3D model is shown on the left and A single 2D slice on the right. The vertical leveler controls the height and printing progress of the simulation.
- Forever free plan
- Separate menu for adding supports
- View and make changes to the slice before printing
- Supports almost all types of resin 3D printers
- Hollow tool for creating hollow structures
- The software doesn’t include an “Undo” function in edits.
- Expensive pricing plans
- The preview doesn’t work properly in some cases
User Interface: Lychee vs ChiTubox
ChiTuBox has a user-friendly interface. It boasts object manipulation controls that are located on the left menu, general model operations can be accessed from the top menu bar, and a two-tab menu is available on the right-hand side.
You can check its rotate, transform, and mirror buttons for changing the object from the left-hand side of the screen. The top menu lets you add the model and perform important operations like hollowing, cutting, or duplicating.
Detailed slicer settings can be found on two different tabs on the right-hand side. The first tab includes a list of uploaded files and the main slice button. The second tab is for adding and manipulating supports for the model.
You can open the preview screen after clicking the slice button, and it allows selecting and viewing specific model layers. Then the prepared file can be saved on a removable device from the preview screen.
Lychee Slicer has an organized user interface.
The “Magic Mode” button at the top allows easy setup using a one-click optimization algorithm. It can automatically orient, support, and hollow objects.
Additionally, manual control options are also available for users who prefer to do things manually.
Its UI is divided into different sections: object movement and manipulation controls on the left.
You can find the main menu at the top of the screen and context-sensitive settings on the right and bottom.
Lychee Slicer offers controls for loading, placing, and selecting objects. There is the next section for Pro users that you can access through a tab in the top menu which allows control over support settings.
Users can preview or simulate the model, as multiple preview options are available. After users are satisfied with the setup, they can click the “Export” button and open the Export menu, which provides options to export the model to a 3D printer.
3D Printer Support: Lychee vs ChiTubox
ChiTubox supports virtually every existing resin printer, including older or discontinued models.
Users can create a custom profile under the “Others” category if their specific printer is not listed.
Check out this page on their official website to know more about the supported printers
This slicer offers support for over 80+ SLA 3D printers. In contrast to the ChiTubox, the Lychee supports both resin and FDM printers.
Refer to this page on their website to know more about supported 3D printers.
You will notice that almost every brand is covered by the Lychee slicing software.
Customer Support: Lychee vs ChiTubox
ChiTubox offers extensive documentation for users, including Frequently asked questions, in-depth articles, video tutorials, and a user forum. Most importantly, their youtube videos have covered topics using ChiTubox with an SLA printer.
The resources provided by ChiTubox and the user community offer additional guidance and support to users. With all the information ChiTubox provides, a beginner has a good place to start.
Lychee Slicer offers support to paid customers through their email help desk. It is good for the users that Lychee provides efficient support, but they do not provide information about expected email response times.
Users can watch video tutorials on Lychee Slicer’s YouTube channel for guidance on using the software, as Lychee Slicer does not have official documentation on its website.
Apart from a few videos and tutorials available for users, the Lychee community is not very active on content-sharing platforms. But they host an official Discord chat room where users can ask questions, share prints, and discuss the software.
Print Quality: Lychee vs ChiTubox
Chitubox provides good-quality prints based on the settings you have applied in the software.
Similar to Lychee, it also has gained a reputation for offering excellent customer experience over time.
Every software has some issues, like mistakes in the printed model and undesirable artifacts that may show up. However, it can be improved with some changes; you only need to dig deep into the settings and configurations.
My advice for Chitubox will be the same: you should try different settings till you get a satisfactory result.
As a software program, it will perform well when you reach its full potential, obtained by trying different functionalities.
Lychee Slicer offers a wide range of parameters for customization.
Proper preparation and configuration of the settings is crucial for achieving the best results.
The Lychee has attracted lots of positive reviews when it comes to print quality.
We noticed some issues with reversed models. But the mirroring tool is the rescue here.
A pro tip for enhancing and improving the print quality is to tweak the settings and go through some trials and errors until you find that sweet spot. Tweaking the settings can have a huge impact on the print quality.
Use Cases: Lychee vs ChiTubox
If you wish to get rid of built-in slicing software provided by the manufacturer and streamline SLA printing workflows, then both Lychee and ChiTubox will work best.
It is possible to create custom profiles for various printers you own using Lychee and ChiTubox.
They both offer a range of tools for automatically configuring your next prints. You can create support structures, simplify infill, and hollow out models within minutes.
Moreover, the extensive controls over the slicing and print configurations are also worth mentioning here compared to the software offered by the manufacturers.
When it comes to free software and customization, ChiTubox is your next slicing software, as it provides a range of premium features in a free plan.
On the other hand, Lychee comes with advanced tools such as added support structure customization.
Q. What is a 3D Printer?
A 3d printer creates three-dimensional objects from a digital file. This technology is mainly used for rapid prototyping.
3D printing is an additive manufacturing process where the final products are created by adding materials layer by layer. Various materials are compatible with 3D printers, including polymers, plastics, metal alloys, and food ingredients.
3D printers are different from traditional printers that print on paper. A CAD (Computer-Aided Design) or STL (Standard Triangle Language) file is necessary to print objects using a 3d printer.
It builds 3D objects with the help of software like Lychee and ChiTubox that can convert CAD or STL files into G-code.
Q. How do 3D printers work?
You need a CAD file created by 3d modelling software to start printing. Note that 3D scanners can be used for creating 3D models.
And then comes the Slicing software that creates various layers using a CAD file. These new layers, along with instructions for printing, are sent to 3D printers.
The printer works in a layer by examining each 2D slice from the digital file and producing the final three-dimensional object.
Q. What are the Pros and Cons of 3D Printing Technology?
- Design freedom and easy modification
- Versatile designs
- Cost-effective for small-scale production
- Reduced material waste
- High-quality and accurate models
- Expensive filaments and other materials
- Time-consuming manufacturing method
- Increased energy consumption
- Safety measures associated with certain materials
Q. What Does Slicer Software Do?
It is a 3D printing software that helps in slicing the 3D model into layers to determine how each layer should be printed and which tool path needs to be followed.
Slicer is crucial for operating a 3D printer as it converts standard 3D model files into G-code, a language printers can understand.
Almost every 3d printer has its own built-in slicer software, but some third-party software can be used with most printers.
Q. Is the Lychee slicer free?
Lychee Slicer offers a forever free plan with limited features and ads before exporting.
For an ad-free experience and to enjoy advanced features such as inline support, accurate island detection, and technical support, you must choose one of their paid plans.
There are two paid plans: Pro and Premium. You can check their complete pricing plans and offerings by clicking here.
Q. Is ChiTubox better than Lychee?
Chitubox and Lychee both are slicers used for slicing 3D models in resin 3D printers. The best choice depends upon your specific needs and available budget.
Lychee offers few advanced features than ChiTubox in their Pro version.
However, when it comes to the free version, ChiTubox has more features and tools than Lychee.
Q. Is ChiTubox safe?
Yes, ChiTubox is safe.
You should follow the instructions provided in its documentation while installing the software.
Using their official site to download the software won’t harm your system. There are a few third-party sites where you will find a copy of this software, but check what you click.
Q. Is Lychee safe?
Yes, Lychee is safe.
Similar to ChiTubox, as we discussed earlier, make sure to use the official website to download the software.
Additionally, you must understand and follow all the instructions on their official website to avoid malware from any unknown links.
Conclusion: Which is Better – Lychee or ChiTubox
Choosing between Lychee and ChiTubox is challenging as both offer similar features and tools.
But they have their strengths and weaknesses.
It is completely dependent on your personal preferences, needs, and budget.
If you’re looking for a slicer with more features and fast performance, you may prefer Lychee. It has a Pro version that offers more features than ChituBox and is also cheaper than ChituBox.
You can always check if the features and specifications are compatible using the free version.
The plus point with ChituBox is that it offers various advanced functions in its free version that many other software programmes do not offer. If you don’t have the budget to buy the subscription, you can go with ChituBox.
Which software you use is your choice, but whatever you choose between them, you get a decent slicer with all the important tools needed to prepare your resin 3D print.