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FullControl - unconstrained design

fullcontrol allows you to control 3D printers, or other cnc systems, in ways that are not possible using conventional software

you design everything about the print path and print settings, giving you the design freedom to do anything you want

get started without installing anything: go through the interactive tutorial notebooks then use the design template - or install and run things locally as described below

(youtube playlist)

think beyond 'normal' 3D printing


the conventional method to generate gcode is: create cad model -> export stl -> slice into layers -> create paths for each layer -> output path as gcode

FullControl offers a different approach where the print path is explicitly designed. imagine being given a hotmelt glue-gun and told to move it around to 'print' layers resulting in a 30-mm cube. you could design lots of different paths that would achieve the cube. FullControl allows you to design and preview print paths and convert them to machine-code instructions for a 3D printer (a gcode file)

the overall printing procedure may be considered to be predominantly a stream of points. then a few extra things are sprinkled in occasionally, like changes to speed, temperature, fans, etc.

all of these things together (points and the extra things) are referred to as state in FullControl. state is basically any property of interest that can change

FullControl allows designs to be created that control changes the state of things, where things are anything with state - this initial release of FullControl is focused on the thing being an extrusion 3D printer that is instructed by gcode. however, things really could be anything (laser cutters, assembly lines, non-physical things like a 3D visualization, etc.)

FullControl history

"FullControl gcode designer" (2020) (website, github, journal paper)

  • users generate gcode by directly designing geometric 'features' and custom gcode 'features'
  • microsoft excel used as the user interface for design creation. FullControl algorithms written in visual basic. gcode previewed in other software (e.g. repetier host)
  • targeted researchers and people experimenting with printers and other gcode-based hardware, who need to explicitly design print paths with 'full control'

"www.fullcontrol.xyz" (2022):

  • users generate and download gcode parametrically for pre-created designs directly from a website
  • no need for experience of printing, gcode, CAD, toolpath design, python, etc.
  • demo models created with the python implementation of FullControl (i.e. this repository)

"FullControl" (2023) - this repository:

  • users design, preview, and export gcode for custom print paths for extrusion 3D printing, all in a python environment
  • 'designs' are python scripts or jupyter notebooks
  • the initial release (March 2023) is a gcode-focused implementation of the broader FullControl concept to design changes to the state of things

using FullControl

jupyter notebooks are provided in the docs folder of this github repository (repo) to introduce FullControl and demonstrate its use - browse tutorials: github / colab

a future update of this repo will give more details about the python code


new to python? don't install - just use the colab design template and get designing straight away online

alternatively, to run locally, install miniconda/anaconda/python and git - if you run into any installation problems, update your versions of python/git/pip

pip install git+https://github.com/FullControlXYZ/fullcontrol

you can also clone this git repo and run "pip install ." from the repo directory


to use FullControl, create a python script or jupyter notebook and import the fullcontrol package

import fullcontrol as fc

structure of the repository

the FullControl repository is organized as follows:

  • docs: jupyter notebooks describing FullControl and its use. For more details, check the readme here or jump straight in to the 1-minute demo
  • fullcontrol: the FullControl python package. For more details, check the readme here
  • models: example models that use FullControl. For more details, check the readme here
  • lab: the FullControl lab python package for experimental features. For more details, check the readme here
  • bin: scripts for FullControl development activities

workflow for new content

the anticipated workflow for new content is:

  1. demosntrate new ideas with github gists (quick and dirty)
  2. gists inform new additions to the FullControl lab (a little more polished)
  3. lab informs new additions to the main fullcontrol package or models subdirectory


please use the github issues tab for this repository to give feedback.

pull requests

please submit pull requests for bugfixes, optimizations, documentation corrections/clarifications, etc., and for minor additions and new features such as functions, objects, and modules that fit into the existing package structure

for revisions that change the structure, behaviour, or usage of the software, please email us ([email protected]) prior to submitting a pull request. this is to ensure alignment between the changes and any planned/unpublished revisions already in progress. note that this version of FullControl is not targeted at developers - the structure of the repo may change and more information about the code structure will be provided at a later date to accommodate contribution more readily

note that the docs folder of this repo contains tutorial notebooks. executing cells in these notebooks leads to timestamp changes, even if the cell content remains unchanged. this may cause unexpected issues and complications for pull requests. until a more automated solution is implemented, consider two options before submitting a pull request:

  1. create a fresh clone of the FullControl repo and copy the relevant changes across (recommended)
  2. use the git stash operation on the docs folder (be careful not to unintentionally stash any of your proper changes though)


FullControl is released under the GPL v3 License.

FullControl, FullControlXYZ, copyright 2023 Andrew Gleadall and Dirk Leas


until the journal paper for FullControl is available, please cite the paper for 'FullControl GCode Designer':

Gleadall, A. (2021). FullControl GCode Designer: open-source software for unconstrained design in additive manufacturing. Additive Manufacturing, 46, 102109.


Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "Fullcontrol" Project. README Source: FullControlXYZ/fullcontrol
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