cdub
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:39 pm

questions about settings, helpfile?

Tue May 28, 2013 12:12 am

I've been doing some troubleshooting on my issues with filling in the top surfaces of small walls, and determined it would be really beneficial to get some actual mathematical definitions of what all of these settings are. Basically, I've grown tired of guessing at what some of these things really mean and working through trial and error.

1) What exactly is the "extrusion diameter"? Is it just the diameter of the hole in the nozzle? Is it something else? Is there a reason one would enter a value other than the hole diameter in the nozzle?

2) What does the "auto extrusion width" check box do? How is it related to the extrusion diameter? If I put some value in this box what happens with that value?

3) How is the "minimum infill length" evaluated? If I crank that number way up (say 25) or way down (to say 0.1) what will happen?

4) When I check the box for "generate support material" in the FFF settings does that interfere in some way with "manual supports" that I defined prior to this point?

5) Is there a difference between selection 100% infill and going to the "other" tab and selecting "include solid diaphragm every 1 layers"?

6) Based on all of these settings, how wide of a "bead" of material is actually being applied with each pass of the head? How is this width calculated? This is apparently somewhat critical, as if I have too many "outline/perimeter shells" called for, then I get voids in my part.

I've carefully looked at the "tooltips", and googled a bunch of stuff, and installed Slic3r now to try and get a better handle on the terminology, but I guess I'd like to see some of this more spelled out directly from the Simplify3D folks, as I suspect I'm either assuming what things mean incorrectly or just flat out not understanding how some of these settings are related and it is causing me to get unusable parts.

Simplify3D
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Re: questions about settings, helpfile?

Fri May 31, 2013 10:04 pm

As you mentioned, each of the settings in the FFF window includes a tooltip that can be viewed by hovering your mouse over that setting. A lot of these questions are answered with those tooltips, but I can try to add a bit more information here.

1) The "extrusion" refers to the plastic spaghetti coming out of your nozzle. The extrusion diameter is technically the cold measured diameter of this plastic extrusion after it has been extruded from the nozzle, but many times this is nearly identical to the nozzle diameter. You usually don't need to tweak this setting further than setting it equal to your nozzle tip size.

2) The auto extrusion width option is used to automatically calculate your extrusion width based on the choice of layer height, nozzle diameter, etc. This width is the width of the plastic after being squished into each individual layer. If you need to manually define this width, you can uncheck the automatic extrusion width checkbox and then enter a value in the box beside it. The automatic calculations are very good though and we rarely need to do this unless we are using very extreme layer heights.

3) The minimum infill length is used to avoid printing lots of very tiny infill segments. Many times these small infill segments are not critical to the part so they can be neglected to save printing time. It's usually safe to use a value between 5-10mm without adverse effects.

4) When you enable the generate support material option, you are just telling the program to include the G-Code to support the model. If you define manually define support for the model, but do not enable this option, it should warn you that you probably intended to have it enabled. The automatic support material is only generated if no manual supports have been defined. You can use them together if you want by combining the different option in the Support Generation dialog (for example click the "Apply based on overhang angle" button to begin with automatic support and then use the "Add new support structures" button to add some extra support in addition to the automatically placed regions).

5) There should be no difference in these options, but using the diaphragm for this is very unconventional. That is typically used to add spaced horizontal ribs into a part (usually only once every 50 or so layers). I would also advise against using 100% infill since this can create serious problems with warping and rarely produces good looking parts. An infill percentage around 60% will usually be solid enough for most purposes.

6) After you click the Prepare button, the program will evaluate all of the detail extrusion width calculations based on your FFF settings. If you open up your FFF settings after you Prepare the file, you can see the extrusion width that was used (it will be overwritten in the textbox).

Hope that helps!

Lateralg
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:10 am
Location: Green Valley, AZ (Winter), Howell, MI (Summer)

Re: questions about settings, helpfile?

Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:52 pm

Simplify3D wrote:As you mentioned, each of the settings in the FFF window includes a tooltip that can be viewed by hovering your mouse over that setting. A lot of these questions are answered with those tooltips, but I can try to add a bit more information here.

1) The "extrusion" refers to the plastic spaghetti coming out of your nozzle. The extrusion diameter is technically the cold measured diameter of this plastic extrusion after it has been extruded from the nozzle, but many times this is nearly identical to the nozzle diameter. You usually don't need to tweak this setting further than setting it equal to your nozzle tip size.

2) The auto extrusion width option is used to automatically calculate your extrusion width based on the choice of layer height, nozzle diameter, etc. This width is the width of the plastic after being squished into each individual layer. If you need to manually define this width, you can uncheck the automatic extrusion width checkbox and then enter a value in the box beside it. The automatic calculations are very good though and we rarely need to do this unless we are using very extreme layer heights.

3) The minimum infill length is used to avoid printing lots of very tiny infill segments. Many times these small infill segments are not critical to the part so they can be neglected to save printing time. It's usually safe to use a value between 5-10mm without adverse effects.

4) When you enable the generate support material option, you are just telling the program to include the G-Code to support the model. If you define manually define support for the model, but do not enable this option, it should warn you that you probably intended to have it enabled. The automatic support material is only generated if no manual supports have been defined. You can use them together if you want by combining the different option in the Support Generation dialog (for example click the "Apply based on overhang angle" button to begin with automatic support and then use the "Add new support structures" button to add some extra support in addition to the automatically placed regions).

5) There should be no difference in these options, but using the diaphragm for this is very unconventional. That is typically used to add spaced horizontal ribs into a part (usually only once every 50 or so layers). I would also advise against using 100% infill since this can create serious problems with warping and rarely produces good looking parts. An infill percentage around 60% will usually be solid enough for most purposes.

6) After you click the Prepare button, the program will evaluate all of the detail extrusion width calculations based on your FFF settings. If you open up your FFF settings after you Prepare the file, you can see the extrusion width that was used (it will be overwritten in the textbox).

Hope that helps!

This is excellent. Will there be user's manual that includes this?
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Lateralg
Posts: 30
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Location: Green Valley, AZ (Winter), Howell, MI (Summer)

Re: questions about settings, helpfile?

Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:21 pm

Posted 4 months ago ... might be time to reply.
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Clayton
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:55 pm

Re: questions about settings, helpfile?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:41 am

The manual is not done yet, but there are people being hired in specifically to help with that. Our programmers have their hands full with some of the new features we are trying to add.

In case anyone didn't know this, they have done a great job of making sure that every setting in the program has a tooltip included with it. So if you aren't sure what a particular setting does, just hover your mouse over it and you will get a few sentences explaining it. It isn't all in one place like a manual but it makes it very quick to find what you're looking for.

tmccafferty
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:35 pm

Re: questions about settings, helpfile?

Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:22 am

For a purchased product like this, it would be much better to have a quality manual. The cool features are not valuable unless you know how to use them. On quite a few of the hover tips, the sentences are just a more complete sentence of the title. They still don't tell you the effects of that feature.

I would suggest that you gather a few people that are not newbees, but do not know your product and watch them use it and enhance the tips until they understand what the function does and when to use it. Having the person that is writing the code evaluate the tips or manual is not usually a good result.

Ok, enough rant.... Do you have a target date for full documentation?

Lateralg
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:10 am
Location: Green Valley, AZ (Winter), Howell, MI (Summer)

Re: questions about settings, helpfile?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:59 pm

How about a "Sticky" post by Simplify3D requesting user suggestions for subjects to be covered in the manual?
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jimc
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Re: questions about settings, helpfile?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:44 pm

i think a sticky with the definitions, explanations of the individual functions and settings is a great idea. while hovering the mouse and reading the little pop up is great it doesnt give the user the full explanation of function and what they are usually looking for. what most people i think are wanting is definitions like the developer gave in post #2. im sure everyone at simplify is busy and these things take time......hopefully not too long. in the mean time i did go on slic3r's website and they have a real good manual. this may help some people. some options are the same as in creator and some are different but its worth a read anyway. here is a link.


http://manual.slic3r.org

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