User avatar
BaronWilliams
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:30 pm

Feature Request: Custom External Infill Patterns

Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:53 pm

The external infill pattern can really affect the beauty of your 3D print's top surfaces.

Using the current system in Simplify3D, we have a few options on how to create external infill. Concentric infill can be quite beautiful in some cases. The other option, Rectilinear, is adjustable by angles defined in the "Infill Angles" section. That's about the limit of our control. The Rectilinear external infill pattern is unfortunately tightly tied to the internal infill pattern. They can't be decoupled. It's the same pattern, but with 100% infill. If you're using 0 and 90 angles for your internal infill, that's what the external will use as well. What works best for the internal infill doesn't always look nice as external infill.

We currently can either have concentric, or rectilinear external infill. Concentric is nice as is, and shouldn't be changed. Rectilinear needs to be decoupled from the internal infill. For external infill, the infill percent is always 100%. This is as it should be.

I would like the ability to make custom external infill patterns. I'm not sure what the proper way to do this is.

If the pattern could be totally customized by the user, that would be fantastic. You could provide a few defaults built-in, but allow the user to really go crazy with the patterns.

I've often thought that it would be nice to have an external infill pattern that mimics wood grain. Another nice one would be a cloth-like stitched pattern. Maybe some concentric cubes. A triangle pattern maybe. I'm sure lots of people will have very interesting ideas for custom infill patterns.

The difficult thing I see in this is how to allow these patterns to be defined. That will really take some thought. Maybe there already exists a file format that has such patterns defined that could be used? The patterns need to be 100% infill, so they can't have empty spots in them. Maybe someone else has a good idea on how to specify the custom pattern?

User avatar
KeyboardWarrior
Posts: 478
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:02 pm

Re: Feature Request: Custom External Infill Patterns

Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:07 am

External shell is just an outline, I'm pretty sure external infill isn't even a thing. The external shell is filled in with the infill pattern.

User avatar
BaronWilliams
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:30 pm

Re: Feature Request: Custom External Infill Patterns

Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:02 pm

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 9.31.24 AM.jpg
Infill Settings Screen Shot
KeyboardWarrior, in the image above you can see that in Simplify3D there is indeed EXTERNAL INFILL. In the attached image, on the Infill properties page, the EXTERNAL INFILL is specified by the External Fill Pattern option. You can select two options, either rectilinear or concentric. Concentric makes a circular pattern, while the other simply uses the INTERNAL INFILL pattern set at 100%.

In FFF (or FDM, same thing) 3D printing each object is composed of 1 or more layers. When the 3D printer is printing a layer, it's divided into shells and infill. That's the terminology used by slicing software. If the layer is the top or bottom layer, then the infill is called EXTERNAL INFILL. The only time you call infill INTERNAL INFILL is when the infill is not seen in the final print. All other infill is called EXTERNAL INFILL.

A solid cube for example can be composed of any number of layers. The first layer, the bottom layer, for a cube will contain 1 or more shells (outlines at the perimeter of the layer), and EXTERNAL INFILL of 100% to fill in any space between the shells. The top layer will be the same. The layers between the top and bottom layers could contain 1 or more shells with INTERNAL INFILL that's from 0% to 100% to fill in any space between the shells.

Note that it is possible to make an object that's 100% shells, without infill, but this is very slow and takes a lot of plastic, so most people use internal and external infill and just a few shells.

You cannot call the external infill a shell unless its drawn using shells. The external fill patterns is not a shell. Shells are outlines of a layer and are typically the outermost portion of a layer and are typically drawn without patterns, just outlines. Infill is typically drawn with patterns, whether external or not. However, you can have an object drawn without EXTERNAL INFILL, and just shells, like I said above, it's slow and wastes plastic.

Do you see the difference of EXTERNAL INFILL vs INTERNAL INFILL vs SHELLS?

User avatar
KeyboardWarrior
Posts: 478
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:02 pm

Re: Feature Request: Custom External Infill Patterns

Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:12 pm

Yea, thanks for the clarification

mushoo
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:34 pm

Re: Feature Request: Custom External Infill Patterns

Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:07 pm

I'll just chime in and mention that it'd be fantastic if we could have alternating external infill - IE, bottommost layer is concentric, next is rectilinear, then rectilinear, then concentric, etc etc. I tend to print with 4 bottom/top layers - and while Concentric is great for bridging and other such things, it tends to get a little ribbony in spots (especially near edges)

User avatar
BaronWilliams
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:30 pm

Re: Feature Request: Custom External Infill Patterns

Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:56 pm

Hi Mushoo,

I definitely see the usefulness of having alternating external infill patterns available. Certain patterns are great for some things. There's no perfect infill pattern that works best for all parts of a print.

I think the infill is a weak point in Simplify3D, and it shouldn't be. Infill is very important both structurally and aesthetically.

I would like to be able to use a beautiful infill pattern for the outermost top and bottom layers, even if it suffers structurally because of it, while using a very strong infill pattern for the layers just under/below the outermost layers. In other words, even if using alternating infill patterns, I would like to have an option to specify exactly which pattern the top and bottom outermost layers are made with. So that when viewing a print from the top or bottom, I see the same infill pattern all throughout the print surface, even if the non-visible exterior infill patterns alternate between different patterns.

Essentially, I would like like an "Outermost External Infill" option that's independent of all other infill patterns used for internal and external infill.

In total, something like this:
  1. Outermost External Infill - User selects 1 infill pattern and it's used for all outermost infill
  2. External Infill - User selects from an array of patterns to alternate
  3. Internal Infill - User select from an array of patterns to alternate (and can specify infill percent)
  4. Custom Patterns - User can create or load a list of infill patterns that can be used by the above 3 options

tri-lite
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:08 am

Re: Feature Request: Custom External Infill Patterns

Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:40 pm

I wonder if the technique of using multiple settings within one model would help you?
http://www.simplify3d.com/support/tutor ... f-a-model/

For example, I build the Colonel model with 4 settings: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:108867
I changed the external infill in each section - not with any real purpose, but just to see if I could vary the settings easily. I'll attach my Factory File.

I might not have figured out everything you wanted to achieve, but I wanted to pass along the idea.

Also, if the software offered 3 settings, we would want 5. If it offered 5 settings, we would want 7, right? :)
Attachments
Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 9.38.25 PM.png
Colonel_w4_Settings.factory
4 settings applied to one part
(2.36 MiB) Downloaded 196 times

User avatar
BaronWilliams
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:30 pm

Re: Feature Request: Custom External Infill Patterns

Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:59 am

Tri-lite, you give a good example of one of the great features of Simplify3D. No doubt, that's one of it's strong points. That layer profile trick does some of what we're talking about for sure.

With that trick I can even insert custom G-code at the start of a specific layer, and only have the custom code happen 1 time. It's a great feature.
tri-lite wrote:Also, if the software offered 3 settings, we would want 5. If it offered 5 settings, we would want 7, right? :)
That's why you make the patterns customizable. That way the patterns are unlimited. Having preset patterns, you get into this situation where everyone wants their favorite pattern supported. No one can agree on the "best" patterns to use. So break out of the box, and make the patterns customizable.

The same holds true for G-code. All G-code should be customizable.

For example, the fan functions in Simplify3D only work for certain printers. You can't change the G-code Simplify3D uses for the fan functions. So the entire cooling section in Simplify3D is useless for certain printers. But if they broke out of the box and let users define the G-code for the fan, then the cooling section could work for a lot more printers.

The more stuff you allow users to control, the better the software will be.

Another example of this, all speed parameters in Simplify3D are given in mm/min. Most people use mm/sec, not mm/min. But SOME people use mm/min. If Simplify3D makes speed parameters customizable, then users could make them anything they wanted. Simplify3D could internally store the values are mm/min, but give the user their own preferred speed values. For example, in the profile code, have a variable that gives the name of speed in text, called "SpeedName" and another variable that gives the conversion amount called "SpeedConversion". So if I wanted everything in "mm/sec" I would make my profile use "mm/sec" as the "SpeedName", and a value of 0.016667 as the "SpeedConversion". Or if I wanted inches per sec, I would give "inches/sec" as the "SpeedName", and a value of 0.423333 as the "SpeedConversion". Or if I wanted the default I would not specify these variables or give "mm/min" as the "SpeedName" and a value of 1.0 as the "SpeedConversion". That would satisfy everyone. But instead, Simplify3D forces everyone to use mm/min.

I like to break out of the box. I don't like black box designs. I think most people using 3D printers are not much interested in black box designs. They want to tinker with things, customize things, invent new things. That's why they own 3D printers in the first place.

Give more customization to the user. Don't have so many rigid things. The main reason I don't like other slicers is because they are so rigid. It's the flexibility of Simplify3D that makes it so great.

tmreith
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:01 am

re: Feature Request: Custom External Infill Patterns

Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:08 am

It has been mentioned in previous posts. I would like to see a tool that allows the ability to create or edit infill patterns.
Last edited by S3D-Jake on Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: merged with existing thread

Return to “Feature Requests”