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davidhelms

Cura Usability

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I've done a quick look around and I don't see a topic for this.

If it's a duplicate, I apologize in advance.

As a relatively new user, my interactions with using Cura have been somewhat frustrating.

Some basic UI mechanisms for an application such as this seem to be lacking or implemented in perplexing ways.

I'd like to start a list and invite others to add to it to provide the development team some input and feedback for future versions.

For me, I run into these frustrations mainly when I need to put together a gcode file that I can run overnight to produce many copies of the same set of parts. It is frustrating to have to spend an hour on essentially copy, paste and position activities. So here is my list

1. Available print bed space as shown in Cura does not take into account the clearance necessary for the print head to avoid the four retaining clips on the UM2. So you can run your print head into the clips by placing parts too close to the corners of the available shown print bed space.

2. Selecting a part changes the X-Y-Z perspective and actually causes you to move that part along with the change of the X-Y-Z perspective.

3. Duplicating a part creates a new copy without any of the transformations applies to that part. Specifically you have to rotate and scale each time you make a duplicate copy.

4. When a part is selected and you begin to move it, it jumps to another position on the plane of the print bed when you start the move.

5. No ability to multiselect parts.

5.a. No ability to move parts as a group.

5.b No ability to duplicate parts as a group.

6. For rotation, an inability to specify an axis rotation without anything other than the pointer device. I'd much rather just be able to tell it to do a rotate transform of 90 degrees by punching in 90 degrees on the Y axis in a rotate transform dialog.

I began my experimenting with 3D printers with a Makerbot 2 and still use this printer when I use the facilities at my local TechShop. The usability of the makerbot software versus Cura is night and day when it comes to setting up multipart print jobs like I describe above. I'm very happy with my UM2 purchase but frustrated that I have to work with software that is second class when it comes to usability.

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When posting issues and suggestions like this, please include the version of Cura you are talking about. Currently there are basically three different versions of Cura, one of which is an entirely different application that shares hardly any code with the other two.

15.04.0x (and before):

The old (and currently recommended) version of Cura. This will get no more functional updates. Any usability issues will only be solved in newer versions.

15.06.0x

A total rewrite, which many will say was released prematurely. Personally I would suggest noone use this amymore.

15.10 (or 15.09.xx)

The open beta. This is where things are happening, and where usablity enhancements can be made. Since it is a development of the 15.06 version, it will have usability features that are different from the 15.04 versions.

Some of the issues you mention I can not reproduce with 15.04 or 15.09/15.10. This would suggest you are using 15.06?

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Yes, I'm using 15.06.03 for OS X. Which appeared to me at the time that I downloaded the software (and subsequent updates) to be the latest stable release.

I'm interested to now check out these other versions to see if these issues are handled in a better manner.

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I installed 15.10 last night and set up a sizable multipart job to print. Here are my observations relative to the issues I listed in my first post.

1. Available print bed space as shown in Cura does not take into account the clearance necessary for the print head to avoid the four retaining clips on the UM2. So you can run your print head into the clips by placing parts too close to the corners of the available shown print bed space.

Observation: There are grey no-go areas shown on the print bed. I don't recall seeing those in 15.06. I will test to see if they provide enough clearance for the entire print head or just the nozzle.

2. Selecting a part changes the X-Y-Z perspective and actually causes you to move that part along with the change of the X-Y-Z perspective.

Observation: In Preferences > View I found the setting for 'Center camera when item is selected'. This may have been a setting that I did not discover in 15.06 previously. Regardless, turning this setting off resolves the issue of having the perspective change on selection. That behavior is very frustrating and non-intuitive and I would suggest that making OFF the default for that setting.

3. Duplicating a part creates a new copy without any of the transformations applies to that part. Specifically you have to rotate and scale each time you make a duplicate copy.

Observation: This problem is resolved in 15.10 and goes a long way to making the task of duplicating parts a quicker and practical process.

4. When a part is selected and you begin to move it, it jumps to another position on the plane of the print bed when you start the move.

Observation: This problem is resolved in 15.10 and goes a long way to making the task of duplicating parts a quicker and practical process.

5. No ability to multiselect parts

5.a. No ability to move parts as a group.

5.b No ability to duplicate parts as a group..

Observation: Not implemented as a feature set in 15.10. This would be a greatly appreciated feature.

6. For rotation, an inability to specify an axis rotation without anything other than the pointer device. I'd much rather just be able to tell it to do a rotate transform of 90 degrees by punching in 90 degrees on the Y axis in a rotate transform dialog.

Observation: Not implemented as a feature in 15.10. Looks like the rotate plugin could provide a reasonable UI affordance for this, similar to the scaling plugin's UI.

Overall, I'm very glad to be introduced to the 15.10 beta, it seems much more polished and addresses a number of my concerns and frustrations. It looks like there is another thread dedicated to feedback on the 15.10 beta, so I will submit any future feedback there.

Thanks for your attention and response to this thread. That attention plus the quality of 15.10 makes me feel a whole lot better about committing to this software for my 3D print production.

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That behavior is very frustrating and non-intuitive and I would suggest that making OFF the default for that setting.

 

This is exactly the same behaviour as the old Cura, which is why we kept it. If more people dislike this, we could change this.

 

5. No ability to multiselect parts

5.a. No ability to move parts as a group.

5.b No ability to duplicate parts as a group..

Observation: Not implemented as a feature set in 15.10. This would be a greatly appreciated feature.

 

It is. Use ctrl + click to group select objects. You can use the context menu (right mouse) to group / ungroup them.

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