I am working with several printers. A few of them are the same model, however, a couple have different size nozzles and the other is setup to print ABS exclusively (enclosure, etc.). I am trying to understand how to use Process and Profiles in the context of running these machines as well as tuning them.
Machine A is a new custom built printer with a 0.8 mm nozzle printing PLA and PETG.
Machine B is the same design but with a 0.4 mm nozzle, also printing PLA and PETG.
Machine C, same hardware, 0.8 mm nozzle, ABS only
Machine D, Original Prusa Mk3, 0.4 mm, PLA only
Machine E, Off-brand Prusa clone, 0.4 mm, PLA only
...and so on
I have watched several videos and also read through posts on this forum. I am still not very clear on how to use Profiles and Process to manage the above. Yes, I understand that you can assign a bunch of profiles to print the same part in order to exercise better control. I get that part. What confuses me is probably better explained with an example:
Let's say I take machine A above (custom, 0.8 mm, PLA). I just finished building it and I need to tune it. All firmware settings are done (steps/mm, acceleration, etc.) but I now need to setup S3D so I can print with it. I will need to print several test parts, measure, tune, adjust, etc. until the machine performs well enough.
The first step is to use the Configuration Assistant, select "Other" and setup the basics. Got that.
What I get in return is "Process 1", with a profile I named during configuration. Let's say I called it "A 0.8 PLA - v001"
I check this profile, load a part, slice and print.
Now, after evaluating the part, I want to make adjustments. Let's say I am working on fine-tuning the Retraction Distance.
I don't want to edit settings at random and lose track of what was done. So, I change Retraction Distance and save a new profile: "A 0.8 PLA - v002". I keep a simple text document tracking my changes and notes.
I continue to adjust the settings until I arrive at a configuration that works for me. Let's say that is "A 0.8 PLA - v043"
OK, so now I have this Machine A with a profile optimized for 0.8 mm PLA, a given speed, etc.
Now I decide to create a new setup, same machine, this time I want to print in PETG. This will require a calibration process just like before. I save my last profile as "A 0.8 PETG - v001" and make a few changes to deal with PETG. After the test print this becomes "A 0.8 PETG - v002", and so on. At the end of the process I end up with:
Machine A, optimized for PLA: Profile "A 0.8 PLA - v043"
Machine A, optimized for PETG: Profile "A 0.8 PETG - v021"
I repeat this process for machines A through E and the various configurations each machine might have (nozzle size, material, speeds, etc.). This results in dozens of profiles.
If I want to print on any given printer I simply create a Process, select the relevant Profile and go.
OK, this is, so far, how I think Process and Profile are intended to be used in Simplify3D. Further to that, it seems that it is advisable to save "Factory Files" in order to be able to bring back a part with all of the relevant settings exactly as printed.
Did I get this right? Is this how you are supposed to use Profiles and Process in the context of multiple printers, each with multiple possible printing configurations?
I guess what's a bit confusing is that I can't find a way to save a Process. All you can save are Profiles and Factory Files. Is the theory that a Process only makes sense in the context of a part and, therefore, you save them by saving the Factory File which contains both the part and the Process details used to make it?