Visualizing GCode on the web

Octocat example file

Quick viewing without installing software

Octocat example file

Processing a model for 3D printing on a hobbyist device does not always go smoothly. There are a variety of toolchains, each with their own quirks. Sometimes it’s necessary to double-check the final GCode output before sending it off to the printer.

The most popular tool for doing so is Pleasant3D for the Mac. Unfortunately, even though cross-platform tools do exist, there hasn’t been one with a similar ease of use. That’s where Joe Walnes’ web-based GCode viewer comes in.

With a simple drag-and-drop interface, Joe’s web app works in any WebGL-compatible browser. Once loaded, the models can be zoomed and rotated for inspection.

Here are some example visualizations:

Yoda (with support material)
Yoda with support material

“Okay” hand
"Okay" hand


I had a little bit of trouble with GCode files that contained comments, but it was easy to make them work by removing a file’s header/footer in notepad before uploading.

If you’d like to give it a try, just open this URL in Firefox or Chrome:

And if you’re a developer, the complete source code is available on GitHub here:

Derek Quenneville is a 3D printing evangelist who posts weekly on the Ponoko blog. Follow him on Twitter @techknight.