ChairmanNow
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:53 pm

Many Questions

Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:06 pm

Simplify3D Creator looks very exciting, and I'd love nothing more than to just buy it right now, but the lack of information regarding its capabilities prevents me from doing that.

So, I've got some questions:
  • There are certain features that I use regularly in Slic3r. Are they in Creator? They are:
    • Multiple infill options - not just hatching, but things like hilbertcurve
    • Solid infills, and ability to configure where solid infills happen
    • Automatic extra perimeter generation - "generate extra perimeters when needed"
    • Skirts and Brim generation
    • Something like "extrusion multiplier" for Slic3r's Filament settings
    • Are there things that Creator does that current Open Source offerings do not? Are there (other) things that you can do in Slic3r that you cannot in Creator?
  • Will there be a trial version?
  • Will there be an actual manual? Will it be available for review before purchasing?
  • Can the software be installed on multiple machines? For example, I slice on my desktop (fast), and print from an old netbook
  • How downgrade can hardware be and still have Creator function adequately?
  • Which LInux distributions are supported?
I'm sure that I'll think of more, but that's a good start ;)

Thanks!

CM

Simplify3D
Site Admin
Posts: 304
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:28 pm

Re: Many Questions

Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:52 am

Hey CM, thanks for the interest! Let me try to answer a few of these questions for you. The Creator software was built from the ground up with a strong focus on simplicity of use and of course, speed. We want it to be as easy as possible for beginners while still offering all of the advanced options the pro users like you would be looking for. Concerning the specific features you had questions about:
  • Multiple infill options - We had infill options like hilbert curves and other sinusoidal patterns included in the past, but as you see in Slic3r, there can be a big performance penalty for those patterns. The can also increase print time and make big G-Code files. In the end we opted to omit those, but if there is a lot of user demand for it we'll be happy to add them back in :D
  • Solid infills - If you're talking about things like diaphragm layers, yes, that is included in the advanced options.
  • Extra perimeter generation - The intent of this setting is to avoid large gaps or holes in areas with steep slopes. The software accounts for this, but uses a slightly different method than Slic3r.
  • Skirts and Brim - Yup, we have these too. Skirts can even be configured to go through multiple layers since we talked to some users who were using this for thermal insulation of their parts
  • Extrusion multiplier - Yes, that's in there. You can even tweak the multiplier for different extruders (if you're lucky enough to have more than one). The machine control panel (the interface you use to send G-Code to the machine) also has knobs for changing the firmware-level extrusion multipliers in real-time, which is useful for on-the-spot tuning.
And yes, there are TONS of features in the Creator software that you won't find in other slicers. At a high level, the biggest improvement is the fact that Creator covers your entire 3D printing workflow. The term "toolchain" is non-existant now. You can use the same program to view, fix, slice, preview, and print. We have a best-in-class G-Code previewer as well as repair utilities and a fully-featured interface for controlling your machine. We've even started to add ways to create new digital models (like using a 2D photo for example or another neat feature that's in the works). Our goal is that you never have to touch another piece of 3D printing software ever again!

At a feature level, one particular area we've made big improvements on is support material. The software will show you where it plans to place support and you can add or subtract from that as needed. We saw so many models on Thingiverse where people had literally re-saved someone else's STL file with their CAD program solely to add a new support strut, we just knew there was a better way. There has also been a lot of time spent making this support as easy as possible to peel off from your models after printing. Another big advantage is that we've been collaborating a lot with MakerGear so that you're going to get incredible print quality out of the box using their hardware. The user interface is also a dream to use compared to some of the other programs out there. There's also things like adaptive cooling, intelligent bridging, complete control over per-layer temperatures (can create really neat effects with the wood filaments), improved toolpath optimization, mesh reduction, complete multi-extruder support, and other things I'm probably forgetting. In short, you should definitely give it a try! :D

As far as hardware requirements, I'd probably suggest something in the range of a Core 2 Duo with at least 2GB of RAM for ideal performance, but I've run it on hardware as low as a Pentium 4 with 1GB of RAM. The license can be installed on multiple personal machines so you should have no issue putting it on a desktop and netbook. For the Linux distribution, we're starting with Ubuntu, but others should follow shortly.

ChairmanNow
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:53 pm

Re: Many Questions

Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:15 pm

Simplify3D wrote:Hey CM, thanks for the interest! Let me try to answer a few of these questions for you.

Multiple infill options - We had infill options like hilbert curves and other sinusoidal patterns included in the past, but as you see in Slic3r, there can be a big performance penalty for those patterns. The can also increase print time and make big G-Code files. In the end we opted to omit those, but if there is a lot of user demand for it we'll be happy to add them back in :D
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all of my questions. Sounds just awesome. Please consider me a vote for adding the other infill patterns back in - even if it's something that's experimental, even unsupported (perhaps as an advanced option, or with a special startup flag).

It's shipping now through MakerGear, or is there a wait?

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