Prusa Introduces Binary G-code Format for Enhanced Space Efficiency

Prusa has introduced a new binary G-code format, .dubbed “bgcode”, aimed at improving space efficiency in 3D printing. Traditional G-code, though widely used in CNC operations, is not space-efficient, leading to large file sizes, especially in 3D printing applications. The new .bgcode format, detailed in Prusa’s latest specification, is an optional alternative designed to address this issue.

The latest PrusaSlicer supports .bgcode, including a utility for converting between ASCII and binary G-code. This conversion ensures data preservation while significantly reducing file sizes. The libbgcode repository provides the necessary tools for this conversion process. For manual editing, users can convert binary G-code to ASCII, edit, and revert to binary.

Prusa Introduces Binary G-code Format for Enhanced Space Efficiency
Prusaslicer, now with bgcode. (Image Credit: Prusa)

Prusa’s initiative is not unique in recognizing the limitations of G-code’s space efficiency. Other solutions like Heatshrink and MeatPack also exist, offering different advantages. The libgcode tool incorporates options for Heatshrink compression and MeatPack encoding during conversion.

G-code, is typically generated by slicing software from a 3D model. However, creating G-code directly can unlock additional capabilities. This new .bgcode format by Prusa represents a step towards more efficient file management in 3D printing, addressing a long-standing issue of file size bloat in traditional G-code usage.

This development could lead to wider adoption of binary G-code formats and inspire further advancements in file compression and efficiency within the industry.


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