jrw wrote:However, the big picture is, if the software is intelligent enough, there is no need for the user to waste time fiddling with every setting.
There is no software that is intelligent enough, not even for machines that are in the million us$ range (their slicer especially give you more advanced options to tweak stuff), how come you expect from software that have less then update per year and is missing some basic functionality to be "intelligent enough"
Let me give an example, instead of slowing the print speed for certain layers to print better overhangs, the software will automatically reduce the print speed for those local areas where the overhangs appear so that those overhangs get printed perfectly without the user having to spend hours trialing to get it right.
There is 20 different things you can do to make any part of the print "better" and which one of those 20 will work depends on the part section, material type, nozzle geometry, hotend assembly, extruder assembly, environment... making "one solution fit all" will fit your one use case and make everyone else suffer. Since software can't be smart enough, it should provide way for informed, educated, operator to make decisions himself. The "smart software" works only in situation where you have a 100% vendor lock (the printer, the extruder, hotend, nozzle, material and no mods) and then you can have the "3click print" like you have for e.g. with TearTime UP printers. If you get their printer and their ABS you can print anything perfectly using their slicer (that btw knows how to handle thin wall compared to Simplify3D that doesn't even after pages and pages of raging users begging for it) with perfect overhangs and support that almost remove itself
.. the only problem is you are limited to their material and you can't modify the printer at all. If you do mod the printer or, god forbid, use the material that's not provided by them, everything falls down like a card tower.... You, of course, understand, that ABS provided by them is 3 to 5 times more expensive then ABS you can get elsewhere and that other materials (hips, petg, pc, tpu...) are not supported..
To steer the focus slightly back to the original topic, which might have been phrased too simplistic, what I'm proposing is changing the concept of top/bottom + outline shells to a simple "offset" scheme where the speed of filament is determined by the offset distance from the outer visible surface. Of course, on top of this there can be additional settings at the user's discretion to modify the filament properties (speed, width etc), at which offset distance, and location (bottom, top, side, which angle etc).
that's making things more complicated then they have to be ... look at temperature tab "layer1 xC, layer 5 yC ..." you have 5-6 perimeters, I doubt you will have more, having settings for each of them is simple "outtermost perimeter - settings x, 2nd inside (up to 5th) settings y, 6th inside settings z ... same with top and bottom layers (and yes, you want top and bottom layers to be handled differently) and solid layers after/before them... same as interface layers for support, same with overhangs, same with outside slanted surfaces, same with inside support, same with ....
The problem is, ppl are begging for thin wall for ages and what we got is few additional default configs for some new printers and 5 new interface languages.. asking them to remove *anything* is dangerous! It is easy to remove and call that feature!