Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A even more sharper knife!

They did it! Slic3r as a new version in the wild with the coolest features you can find, take look:
This is a very important update, grab it now and enjoy! I want to say thanks to the wonderful community that has been helping with feedback, early testing and nice ideas. A lot of people is involved in our open "quality assurance" process! 
New features:
  • graphical interface for composing multiple objects in one single print (with tools for rotation, scaling etc.)
  • new --merge switch to compose multiple object with auto-positioning from command line
  • new option to randomize starting points across layers
  • automatic detection of additional required perimeters for avoiding haps in domed/sloping objects (the perimeters settings means nowminimum perimeters as Slic3r could add more when needed)
  • sequential printing: print a complete object, then move onto next one, with automatic collision detection
  • ability to export STL files of composed plates, as well as a Splitcommand to turn multi-object files into individual objects
  • we can read OBJ files now
  • very large memory savings and speed boosts, allowing to process high-resolutions files without getting out of memory; also, the number of threads is customizable
  • very improved surface quality due to new smoothing algorithms
  • the GUI doesn't block while slicing and a Cancel button was added to stop the process
  • hole perimeters are extruded in reverse order (from the outermost to the innermost) to get better overhangs
  • a slight compensation is applied to avoid small hole shrinkage
  • support material now uses honeycomb pattern (much work is still needed on support material)
  • retract before changing tool for dual extrusion
  • SVG colors were inverted to better support DLP printing (next versions will carry more settings for SVG export)
  • fixed some GUI memory leaks
  • fixed some fatal errors
  • fixed a bug causing high memory consumption when infilling every 2 or more layers
  • some holes where filled
  • some nearly-thin walls were discarded
  • removed tiny dots/blobs that were generated sometimes
  • bottom layer speed ratio wasn't taken into account when estimating layer time
  • omit any G92 E0 when in relative mode

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I need tools!

Last tuesday I've managed to print some parts for the Prusa Air, but this kind of empirical tuning of Violeta it's giving me something to think about. There's a science behind this stuff, this shouldn't be all about empirical experiments, so I've googled around and found many theories how you should calibrate your 3d printer and/or setup your skeinforge configurations.

Skeinforge it's uglier than hell, but it's the most used slicing tool, there's a bazillion of knobs and values you can change, but apparently, if you suffer from a light OCD, you can get some decent prints by changing just 5 settings :)

At least this is the approach you can find in ProfileMaker.

Josef Prusa made a RepRap Calculator, a valuable tool for sure.

I can't wait to start making some printers. :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I've done it!

I've finally done it! These are the first 3 pieces for the Prusa Air. Last saturday I went to AltLab to print them, but as usual, Violeta (the resident cupcake... the 3D printer) said - "No you don't!", and after a couple of hours discussing with her, I went home :p

Mental note: If you need give a name to a machine, skip the chapter "Women", for some kind of strange reason, the machine catch their... let's call it "moods".

So, after licking my bruises, I've stumbled on Celso Martinho time lapse documenting his Ultimaker build, and after that he tweeted about some extruder problems, very similar Violeta. We've exchanged some tweets about 3D printing and he has found a post in the Ultimaker forum, suggesting to turn off the Temperature setting in Skeinforge.

This tuesday I went back to Violeta and tried to talk to "her" without mentioning "temperature", and it worked! I was able to print the support for the Y-axis motor and two clamps... and then it was getting late and I had another lady to go to ;)