Derrick
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:15 am

Profiles saved in the form of .ini files or similar

Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:39 pm

I have posted about this before, and talked with a tech support person about it. I am well aware of how S3D organizes its profiles - and it's retarded. Slic3r by far has the easiest way to do this. They have a folder in %appdata% where all the profiles are saved. Smartly, they are organized by filament (not all colors are equal!), printer, and settings (aka - specific part settings). So when a gcode is generated, it draws from one of each of the 3 categories. I have multiple printers at work, and there is NO WAY to use S3D on one computer for multiple printers. You WILL make mistakes ALL THE TIME. And it wastes time and money. I actually had to purchase new machines to try to alleviate my frustrations. Even at home, printing with multiple materials is still a PITA. I have one "profile" with multiple processes - basically a unique one for each combination of part+material+extruder(s) I'm using. I have about 40 processes currently. And I know I'm not the only one who works this way. In fact, I don't know anyone who uses the factory files, which is what S3D is trying to push.

What would help A LOT is using a normal file folder system, instead of the registry or whatever is used now. I'd like to see separate files for each "profile", and separately each "process" (even better: a 3rd separated-out option for filament settings). That way, I can set my save folder to a dropbox or network folder. This will allow for much easier manipulation, and also allow for much easier sharing between multiple computers.

Just another bout of frustration after restarting my computer and all of my processes disappeared... and I have to start all over again. Yay. If only they were saved in an accessible Windows folder for me to conveniently reopen without having to save every f'n time I make a change...

dorsai3d
Posts: 237
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:01 am

Re: Profiles saved in the form of .ini files or similar

Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:17 am

I really don't think you get it, despite your claims. The processes that you see on the left of your Simplify3D screen are the processes for THIS PRINT ONLY (approximately, there are some cases where you split it up, but it's rare). You save profiles for your different machines/ machine configurations. The profiles have different auto-configures for different material, quality, and extruder arrangements.

So to create a print, you:
  • Create a new print (new factory file)
  • Import model(s)
  • Add process
  • Select your machine from the profile list for the process
  • Select your material from your machine's profile auto-configures
  • Select your quality from your machine's profile auto-configures
  • Repeat for additional processes
Now - autoconfigures are tricky and the way they are set up now is obscure, since you can't see what's saved for each autoconfigure column (relevant), but that's something that everyone can ride the devs about without asking them to rewrite the whole profile scheme based on an incorrect understanding of how to work with it.

Derrick
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Profiles saved in the form of .ini files or similar

Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:25 pm

I don't think you get it. We're not in the 1990s anymore. How S3D works currently is not how forefront software operates. I don't want to save a new factory file for every f'n change I make on a part - emphasis on "I have to MANUALLY save". I want my generic processes - which are based on part geometry/extruder #/material - automatically updated in a folder system that is readily accessible to drag and drop over to another printer - to apply to a new part. The work flow on keeping part iterations on various printer is ridiculously time consuming and error-prone. If you're a hobbyist that uses one printer at home for one print each night, then you probably won't care about this.

As a side note, I have never used an "auto config" for any print I have ever done. They do not work well unless you're printing something in ABS or PLA with very few to no fine features. I only have to look at the settings for 5 seconds to see they will suck. My go-to is PETG, which the auto config files utterly fail at. When I print something that has fine features, I usually use PLA, also for which the auto settings are not very good. If you don't know what you're doing, they can be a good starting point to learning your printer. But they are just starting points - no one is going to actually just use them as is unless they don't really care about part quality. And thus, tedious workflow for every new part you print, changing the same settings over and over each time... welcome back to the 1990s.

dorsai3d
Posts: 237
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:01 am

Re: Profiles saved in the form of .ini files or similar

Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:22 am

If you're having to make different profiles or fine-tune processes for every part that you make, you're probably not doing something right.

The profiles are saved within the software settings. If you need to make permanent changes to a machine's profile, you click Update Profile after making the change. I mess with lots of different printers on a regular basis and this works fine. The autoconfigures allow you to change any setting that you would change manually, so I don't see how you think they don't work, unless you just have no idea what they're doing.

Your note about the autoconfigs not working well at all is bunk, since I use straight stock config on an Ultimaker 2 regularly and can print in as much detail as you're able to get from FDM printing, with reliable tolerances.

If there's not a configuration for your material (like PETG) you just have to make one...then once it's added, you click update profile. Et voila! Now you can easily switch between PETG and whatever other materials you're printing with.

I'm not even sure what you're talking about with saving a factory file with every change to a part - you don't even need to save factory files for the most part, that's just the easiest way to clear a workspace. You can save them if you're making a bunch of parts on a build plate, or you need to save a particular job to easily tweak it before running again later, but there's nothing to do with profiles that you need to manually save out - that's all stored in the settings (registry/plist).

Derrick
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Profiles saved in the form of .ini files or similar

Fri Aug 26, 2016 4:23 pm

Let's cut to the chase:

Situation:
- I have 8 different printers
- I have 4 computers at various locations (ie. office, one in each of 2 labs, and laptop)
- I need to document the changes for each print iteration - saving the gcode is OK, but saving a profile file such as in the form on an .ini would be greatly preferred
- I am actively using 3-6 printers at any given time, usually printing different parts on each
- Parts that have various overhangs and different threading pitches, for example, are not going to be using the same settings. I also switch out nozzle diameters a lot depending on if the part is one of the first prototypes and speed is more important, or it is one of the final prototypes and accuracy is more important.

Question:
What would you recommend for an efficient and error-free workflow to make changes to my print settings on one computer, and be able to switch to any of my other computers and continue the work - without having to backtrack and check what changes were already made to the last iteration.

dorsai3d
Posts: 237
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:01 am

Re: Profiles saved in the form of .ini files or similar

Fri Aug 26, 2016 4:54 pm

Derrick wrote:What would you recommend for an efficient and error-free workflow to make changes to my print settings on one computer, and be able to switch to any of my other computers and continue the work - without having to backtrack and check what changes were already made to the last iteration.
I'm definitely not arguing that the software is flawless - but there's definitely ways to work efficiently within it. Synchronizing things across multiple computers is definitely a weakness - it would be great if you could synchronize profiles using, say, the cloud account that you have to make and log into to use the software! Importing and exporting FFF profiles or using synchronized (by dropbox or similar) factory files is unfortunately the best way to go here.

- I need to document the changes for each print iteration
The gcode has essentially this; the profile is stored as a header and can be imported, but this doesn't capture all the processes, so it's not perfect. Fortunately, you can save factory files that contain all the information for a build, so if you need a portable record of all the build parameters, a factory file is pretty much ideal. It has the models, processes, and profiles saved as a snapshot. Doesn't get much more convenient than that (apart from the fact that it's not human readable, so you have to open it from within the software).

- Parts that have various overhangs and different threading pitches, for example, are not going to be using the same settings. I also switch out nozzle diameters a lot depending on if the part is one of the first prototypes and speed is more important, or it is one of the final prototypes and accuracy is more important.
I think you could build out a machine profile that has pretty much everything set up as either a material or quality setting. One example I've seen of a somewhat detailed configuration is this: http://www.zyyx3dprinter.com/wp-content ... rofile.zip where they have quality settings nested within material settings.

subnoize
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:48 am

Re: Profiles saved in the form of .ini files or similar

Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:16 pm

This topic is a real pain for me right now;

I have multiple printers, multiple clients, multiple projects per client and of course, multiple profiles for each combination of the former.

I have so many profiles in Simplify3D that they are confusing and cluttered despite my best efforts to organize them. I routinely overwrite by mistake other profiles and it is really frustrating.

Profiles in Simplify3D need to be plain text files in a directory somewhere where they can be managed by external tools like Git.

In fact, a profile should record every field in the settings, whether or not it was changed between different profiles, materials and quality settings.

Things like "First Layer Settings" absolutely are effected by "quality" AND material drop down so I end up making a whole new profile just to make these values change. This in turn drives up my profile count!!

Please, please make profiles plain text files in a library so I can version them in Git. Make every parameter recorded for both material and quality.

Thank you!

Derrick
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Profiles saved in the form of .ini files or similar

Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:15 am

YESS another person who actually has my problem! Anyone who even suggests using a factory file has no idea how much of a pain in the ass they are - and how much they don't work. And "Synchronizing across multiple computers is a weakness" - it's not a weakness... it's nonexistent!

.ini files please!!

Side note edit:
If to add in this feature, this needs to be a "Pro" version of the software, we'd buy it immediately even if it was extra, as long as less than $2k (ie. not a capital purchase for us). In the long run this would save us a lot of money via time, mistakes and reliability.

subnoize
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:48 am

Re: Profiles saved in the form of .ini files or similar

Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:53 am

Derrick wrote: And "Synchronizing across multiple computers is a weakness" - it's not a weakness... it's nonexistent!.
Yeah, sync'ing across machines my butt! I have two workstations for printing prep so that raises another problem;

If I delete the profile on one machine and load a factory file from the other with that profile, it shows up as "Default."

I did find I can export the profile as a *.fff file totally by mistake this morning so that is what I'm doing from here on out. I won't be saving the factory files any longer. I will export a *.fff and save it to the project in Git. Then I will purge all profiles between every print job. No more confusion but a ton of work.

The profile management need to be fixed though. Simplify3D is a great printer software. I really like it's quality and control. I just wish the the profiles were better thought out. As it stands today the profiles should be the defaults. They should be kept in a separate directory and much harder to change. Dialing in and changing things on the fly should only change those params in that factory file (hey, great use of a factory file!) and should go away when I clear the platform or say new.

I still can't stand the fact that the first layer options are not unique for material and quality. That has to change too. I have a different profile now for each material and quality setting so the select boxes for material and quality are never used.

CompoundCarl
Posts: 2005
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Profiles saved in the form of .ini files or similar

Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:03 am

subnoize wrote:I still can't stand the fact that the first layer options are not unique for material and quality. That has to change too. I have a different profile now for each material and quality setting so the select boxes for material and quality are never used.
If you want the first layer options to change when you select a different quality, then you just need to add that option to your auto configure settings. They already allow you to customize this and change any settings you want for the material or quality, so you can set it up however you like. Personally, I think it would be a big pain to have to customize my first layer position for every single material, so thankfully they allow us to all customize it however we want instead of forcing everyone to use the same preferences.

There's a bunch of posts already that talk about how to do this, but here's one to help: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5445&p=23576#p23576

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