Variable Layer Thickness Slicing


#1

It would be so awesome if Zortrax could implement something like this. The script they use to create the variable slices is free and open source so it should be possible!

Thick layers where possible, thin layers where needed. This can save so much print time!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAmneiL5-jQ


#2

Been thinking of this for years, assumed it was under patent protection otherwise would be in common slicers......but guess not?  Going to be adopted quickly by other slicers if it's not in protection.  M200 is very good over a wide range of layer heights...hope Zortrax is one of the earlier ones to do it...


#3

I also think of that many times, it would be great if there were suites on Z-Suite


#4

This seems to be focussed on SLA printers as that is the type that the MIT team use.

I guess it would only take some clever software tweaking to get an FDM printer to do it, but there may be some kind of limitation that prevents it.

On the other hand, following the link to the instructibles there is a company who link their industrial level printer which is an ($30k) FDM which does this already: http://www.fleximatter.com/


#5

Stratasys incorporates this feature in the industrial grade slicers.

Generally, I would like more options all over in Z-Suite.


#6

I think The Zortrax Printers are very very good printers.

But, the bottle neck is the z-suite software. Its not for experienced users.


#7

Slic3r Prusa Edition features variable layer height now:

http://www.prusaprinters.org/smooth-variable-layer-height-awesome-supports-slic3r-prusa-edition/


#8

Hmmm, I am ever so tempted by the Original Prusa i3 Mk2...


#9

Well, yes. That or ....

4084

slic3r m200.png


#10

Nice to see Z-Suite doesn't reject the code!

But even still, there is a lot of other things to like about the i3, chief of which is a very open business model and a machine which is open to mods and changes. The only question would be wether the reliability of the Zortrax would be matched. 


#11

Well, actually it even displays the seam :)

I guess the reason for this is a certain similarity in the contour exit strategy...

And about the Prusa Mk2: yep, there's a lot to like about it. Actually I kinda was torn between the Mk2 and the m200 for a while. In the end I thought that a printer constructed from zipties and printed parts couldn't be quite as reliable as a solid metal construction like the m200. I still think the out of the box experience with the m200 is better as is the long term reliability. Anyway, I guess it would be a nice second printer to have to print raftless and with more exotic materials (without the need for modifications and/or trickery). Have neither the room nor the need for that at the moment though.


#12

I think thats perhaps an unfair characterisation of the Prusa, none of the printed parts deal with much stress or with the alignment. I do agree that a metal shell should give better rigidity and contribute to reliability but It's difficult to know how this plays out in practice without having one next to an M200.

I spoke at length to one of their staff members and although they are obviously biased they were waxing lyrical about how reliable their fleet of printers in a very hot room were, and how well they responded to ABS in this environment with their heated bed.

I might put one of my m200's up for sale and get an i3 at some stage when their lead time drops a bit, just to experiment with and see how it hold up. 


#13

Well, I didn't mean to be unfair. As I said, the Prusa Mk2 would still be my number two on the list. And I guess there are tons of people who will say the MK2 fits their needs better than an m200.

But let's be perfectly honest: you need a lot of force to break an m200 and it comes perfectly packaged so chances for it working out of the box is close to 100%.

Now the fully assembled MK2 that Tom Sanladerer got for a review did not work out of the box because of a broken (3D printed) part. He could only continue because he also received a kit.

And he could only build the kit because he could print the missing part. While that also goes to show how cool it is to have an Open Source printer, it would have also ruined the out of the box experience for anybody who would have received this broken printer as the 1st and only printer. Tom argues that this wouldn't be so bad because any user would have received a spare part for free. What he doesn't mention is that an inexperienced user might not have detected the broken part so easily and would have wasted days of his live to find out why his brand new printer was creating sub par prints.

Anyway, we got carried away. I actually just wanted to show that the Prusa guys implemented a simple yet elegant solution for variable layer height into Slic3r. It's not automatic but actually pretty easy to use.

And I guess it shouldn't be rocket science to implement something like this into Z-Suite. Well, at least the preview of Z-Suite already handles it perfectly well ;)


#14

Indeed, but most people would probably put up with a bit of annoyance out of the box for the best part of £800  ;)


#15

Well, I didn't mean to be unfair. As I said, the Prusa Mk2 would still be my number two on the list. And I guess there are tons of people who will say the MK2 fits their needs better than an m200.

But let's be perfectly honest: you need a lot of force to break an m200 and it comes perfectly packaged so chances for it working out of the box is close to 100%.

Now the fully assembled MK2 that Tom Sanladerer got for a review did not work out of the box because of a broken (3D printed) part. He could only continue because he also received a kit.

And he could only build the kit because he could print the missing part. While that also goes to show how cool it is to have an Open Source printer, it would have also ruined the out of the box experience for anybody who would have received this broken printer as the 1st and only printer. Tom argues that this wouldn't be so bad because any user would have received a spare part for free. What he doesn't mention is that an inexperienced user might not have detected the broken part so easily and would have wasted days of his live to find out why his brand new printer was creating sub par prints.

Anyway, we got carried away. I actually just wanted to show that the Prusa guys implemented a simple yet elegant solution for variable layer height into Slic3r. It's not automatic but actually pretty easy to use.

And I guess it shouldn't be rocket science to implement something like this into Z-Suite. Well, at least the preview of Z-Suite already handles it perfectly well ;)

I agree everything!

I can tell you that before buying my Zortrax M200, I bought a Prusa i3 MK2 (in kit) but, after only 3 working days, I had several issues: creaky linear bearings, warping printed parts (even with PLA) and the most important issue...the "never-leveled" heatbed!!!

I had to repeat the bed calibration EVERY time I wanted to print!!! It’s frustrating!!!

Luckly Prusa staff refunded me all money I spent for my 3D printer!

Then I bought my Zortrax M200...

Anyway, as deadbeef said, the Zortrax M200 is an amazing and reliable 3D printer but Z-Suite could be improved:

  • Variable Layer Thickness Slicing

  • Variable temperature for extruder and for bed (only in “Expert mode”)

- Infill pattern choosing

- And other stuff...

 

I hope that Zortrax staff people read all these pages...


#16

I hope that Zortrax staff people read all these pages...

We do, believe me. 


#17

I agree everything!

I can tell you that before buying my Zortrax M200, I bought a Prusa i3 MK2 (in kit) but, after only 3 working days, I had several issues: creaky linear bearings, warping printed parts (even with PLA) and the most important issue...the "never-leveled" heatbed!!!

I had to repeat the bed calibration EVERY time I wanted to print!!! It’s frustrating!!!

Luckly Prusa staff refunded me all money I spent for my 3D printer!

Then I bought my Zortrax M200...

Anyway, as deadbeef said, the Zortrax M200 is an amazing and reliable 3D printer but Z-Suite could be improved:

  • Variable Layer Thickness Slicing

  • Variable temperature for extruder and for bed (only in “Expert mode”)

- Infill pattern choosing

- And other stuff...

 

I hope that Zortrax staff people read all these pages...

Nice to hear an opinion of someone who has had both!


#18

We do, believe me. 

Great!!!

So, what do you think about my suggestions (Variable Layer Thickness Slicing / Variable temperature for extruder and for bed / Infill pattern choosing) ?


#19

Great!!!

So, what do you think about my suggestions (Variable Layer Thickness Slicing / Variable temperature for extruder and for bed / Infill pattern choosing) ?

My personal opinion doesn't really matter, I gather all information and pass it further. 


#20

Alfonso,

Like you I think many others are waiting for this functionality believe me !

And also said here, the M200 is a great printer. But if Zortrax does not accelerate in software development they will be loosing clients that's for sure.

I don't understand why they don't implement some easy add-on tools to the zortrax line.Like laser marking/engraving - laserscanning.

Company's need to have an ROI. And just there I think Zortrax could gain more if they would release add-on tools. Many small engineering firms would love to have a

3D printer for exploration and new development. I have made things already with the zortrax I would never dare to think of before I buyed my M200.

But I'm just a one man shop and don't care about ROI much because I'm the only one who decides what's coming next. But if you work for a company then it's a complete different story !

And don't get me wrong they don't need to rebuild the M200,M300 but just make it possible. So they can earn some extra cash without doing much. Really it's like selling cars when you buy a basic cars you get a fair price but if you want all the bell's and whistles you have to pay BIG.

and don't come with another MXXX because this will only multiply your problems. First make a PERFECT printer ! And don't be a follower but a trendsetter