Jul 20, 2023

Controller and GCode generator for RepRap 3D printers

RepSnapper is a host software for controlling a RepRap 3D printer. It has a 3D OpenGL interface, slices objects and calculates the extrusion toolpath. It can manipulate 3D objects and save constellations in STL and AMF format.


In the world of 3D printing, having the right software to drive your hardware is crucial. Complete control, ease of use and compatibility with your existing system are some of the factors that are considered while choosing CAD software. Repsnapper is an open-source software for 3D printers that checks off these attributes. This program runs on various operating systems, and one such is FreeBSD. In this blog post, we’re going to specifically focus on Repsnapper, a CAD software found in the FreeBSD ports collection.

If you’re not familiar with FreeBSD, it is a free and open-source Unix-like operating system descended from the Berkeley Software Distribution BSD. One highlight of FreeBSD is its ports collection — a vast library of over 27,000 applications and libraries which can easily be installed onto your system.

Installing Repsnapper

Before we dive in, make sure FreeBSD is up to date on your machine. If not, you might want to run the update command pkg update && pkg upgrade -y. Once your system is all set, you can go ahead and install Repsnapper. Like all software in FreeBSD’s ports collection, you can easily install Repsnapper using FreeBSD’s package manager ‘pkg’. Here’s how

pkg install cad/repsnapper

Once installed, you can confirm the installation by running

repsnapper --version

This command should display the installed version of Repsnapper.

Using Repsnapper

Repsnapper is grouped under the CAD Computer-Aided Design category in the FreeBSD ports collection. It is predominantly used to control 3D printers. Within the Repsnapper environment, you have total control over printing configuration including slicer control, extruder control, and printer control settings.

Start the Repsnapper interface using the terminal


Upon launching Repsnapper, you’ll notice its user-friendly, GUI interface. You will be greeted with two primary tabs ‘Build’ and ‘Config’. Let’s understand how to operate on these tabs.

Build Tab

Here, you can load STL Stereolithography format files. You can click on the ‘Open’ button, navigate to your desired STL file, and select ‘Open’. You could alter the position, size or orientation of your model using options available in ‘Move’, ‘Scale’, and ‘Rotate’ sections within the Build tab.

Config Tab

This space is where you define the behaviour of your 3D printer. You can set various parameters like printer, filament type, and speed settings ensuring optimal configuration of your 3D printer.


Repsnapper qualifies as an ideal 3D printer software for FreeBSD users. It combines simplicity and flexibility and makes use of the robustness of FreeBSD as an operating system. If you like getting your hands dirty in coding, being an open-source project, you could also contribute and make your version of Repsnapper.

This blog post scratches the surface of the sea of possibilities that Repsnapper brings onto the table. Play around with the software, experiment with different configurations, and the results might surprise you. Compared to other CAD software, it is less resource-intensive and compatible with multiple operating systems.

In the field of IT security for FreeBSD, we’d recommend another impressive port - [nmap]https// Similar to Repsnapper in the ease it brings to the user, nmap is an acclaimed security scanner that finds a direct place in every FreeBSD user’s toolkit.

Let’s embrace the open-source culture and continue learning and exploring. Happy FreeBSD computing!

Checkout these related ports:
  • Zcad - Simple CAD program
  • Z88 - Compact Finite Element Analysis System
  • Yosys - Yosys Open SYnthesis Suite
  • Yosys-systemverilog - SystemVerilog support for Yosys
  • Xyce - Xyce electronic simulator
  • Xcircuit - X11 circuit schematics drawing program
  • Veryl - Veryl A modern Hardware Description Language (HDL)
  • Veroroute - PCB (printed circuit board) design software
  • Verilog-mode.el - Emacs lisp modules for the Verilog language
  • Verilator - Synthesizable Verilog to C++ compiler
  • Uranium - Python framework for 3D printing applications
  • Uhdm - Universal Hardware Data Model
  • Tochnog - Free explicit/implicit Finite Element Program
  • Tkgate - Event driven digital circuit simulator
  • Sweethome3d - Free interior 3D design application