The total picture should be coming together now. In order to tie the computer programs to the actual printing, we need to understand gcode and the firmware. Gcode are direct instructions for moving the motors, heating the nozzle, and performing the tasks required to print. Gcode has lines that tell the printer “move in x direction 3 mm” “Heat to 210 degrees” or “Extrude 5mm of material”.
For the 3D printer, the firmware is responsible for understanding the G-Code sent by the slicer and translating it to the stepper drivers. These control the motors, temperature, flow, acceleration, speed, and other aspects necessary to successfully print.