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fanplastic

Reasons to Spend $150.00 on Net Fab "BASIC" ???

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Hi guys,

Just putting in some posts to get my feet wet before I commit to buying the kit, extras and software. The retraction feature sounded interesting, and although I don't know what it is ... I could quickly see questions marks towards the end on the quality of product for the money ... BUGY being the key word.

I rarely spend money when it comes to software, however I am no open source guru.

Could someone elaborate other than the description given in the sales add to what the real benefits our to shelling out the $150.00 required for this software. So far I have established that some features are buggy ...

What do the feature ... that actually work have to offer over the recommended open source programs.

I can tell you I was put off immediately after having read the retraction post ... and I don't even know what it is ... BUGS the name I guess.

Seriously ... if someone could indulge me ... Why spend the money?

Cheers

Dave.

PS ... I hope the developers take note how such feedback effects sales ... I was going to shell out 3 thousand over at Leapfrog ... but so bitterly disappointed with the forum feedback and developer support that we gave it the flick ... caring less about the great claims of quality parts. Don't release updates if they are not ready ... especially if people are expected to pay $150.00!

In fact ... I'm off to search for alternatives now ;)

 

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Hi the support of netfab is horoble espatially for MAC(there are a lot of updates, but you have to email manually to get a new version. My last update was january 2013. Retraction works fine), but some point are valuable for me.

1. Sometimes Cura does not slice correctly and you are not able to print. If Cura does not work netfab does

2. netfab has a nice error correction which helps to get a good clice

3. if you have big thinks you want to print netfab is very fast

4. sometimes the surface look a little bit better.

In general i print with Cura. Cura is very good but somes Cura fails. Therefore i am happy to own netfab.

 

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Hey Dave,

Daid here. Developer of Cura, working at Ultimaker. (Yes, we develop and give our software away for free. As we sell printers)

Our OpenSource Cura free software is pretty good. It has some issues related to large files, but other then that it's made to be user friendly. My current release (which was released 2 days ago) was a pretty big update on the GUI, which took me way to long IMHO. There are a few minor issues with it which will get fixed in a new release next month.

Like I said, the large file issue is really bugging me, and is requiring me to re-write the code software (which I originally used from a different OpenSource project). I'm making good progress in this, and I hope to have a version out to the public in 2 months.

My stance against NetFabb is, don't get it till you need it. It's a software download, so when you pay for it you almost instantly get a key send to you. So when you think "I need this" you can always shell out the 150$ for it. NetFabb is quite complex, so it has a larger learning curve, but because of that also very powerful.

(As for LeapFrog, all I read and hear about it are horror stories. And what I've seen from it didn't compare to any other printer made in the last 2 years, as their printing quality was horrible. The average self-build RepRap machine gets better quality)

 

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Hi Zungara and Daid ... Thank You:

I appreciate your patience as well as responses. Thank you for both, for your clarification. I fear I am getting a bit too snappy with some of my posts as I struggle to take in all the ... hmmm ... information. Perhaps I am rushing somewhat. I just want to be sure I cover most of the bases so that when everything arrives, I will have a reasonable grounding in getting started. I do appreciate the trail and error of programming ... not as a programmer, but as an avid gamer both in and out of Beta testing. Some of the debates over updates and bugs can get quite ugly in those places with no regard for decency what so ever. I've usually fared well with the Linux crowed and hop to do so here.

I was too quick to forget the learning curve ... or should I say respect that very fact. I guess that is why people are so quick to complain ... it's much easier to do so, rather than take the time to learn.

Hmmmm ... OK ... So how's about I approach this from another angle.

I like your suggestion about jumping into Netfabb a little down the track Daid. Given how quick I am to jump the gun ... and your explanation makes is more clearer as to what I am getting into.

Is there a subsection here for Cura and do I need to run other software applications? Can I actually download, install and run Cura on my computer without the printer to get a feel as I read up on it?

Thanks for your responses ... once again, I am encouraged with the activity in this forum.

Dave.

 

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The end of the build guild points you to:

http://software.ultimaker.com/

Where you can download the latest (and previous and testing) Cura releases. Cura is packaged with everything you need. (Unless you run Linux, then you could run into issues, but that's usually the case with Linux)

Everything works fine without a printer, you just need to skip the initial wizard that checks your printer (you can always run this again later)

 

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Hi Dave,

I use both software. This are the pro and cons imho

CURA

+ Very easy to use

+ Support for Plugins (very clever)

- Calculating is very slow (~7 times slower than netfabb)

- somtimes there is no hourglass or progress bar to show you that cura is working/busy and you are not sure if cura hangs or not

NETFABB

+ does check and repair 3d models

+ fast calculating

+ nice 3d graphic and handling

+ easy to put your print anywhere on the platform (I use this often to save blue tape)

+ you can slice the 3D model in pieces and print it piece by piece

+ you can use different printing paramaters during print, depending on height or other conditions

- need some learning curve

- management of material and printing parameters sets are a bit complicated

- does not keep last printing set selection (is a trap to ruin your 10h print), no sorting

- default printing parameter sets could not be deleted or renamed.

- not knowing if the software is further developped and bug fixed

I do not regret the purchase of netfabb. but cura gets better and better. :-)

Uwe

 

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I think it's worth pointing out that 'Netfabb Studio Basic' is available for free, and that includes the mesh-repair functionality from the $150 product. So, if I understand correctly, pretty much all you get extra by going with the Ultimaker Engine version is the ability to slice (and I personally feel that free products such as Cura and Kisslicer cover all my needs in that area).

Studio Basic has become increasingly difficult to find on the Netfabb site, unfortunately, but after a few mins hunting around, I found the download page:

http://www.netfabb.com/download.php

I have to say I'm intrigued by some of the improved mesh editing and repair functions in the Professional version of Netfabb - but not intrigued enough to justify the $1800 price tag for me. Has anyone on here used the full version? Is it really that good?

 

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Hi,

in general i fully agree with Digixx. How i said before i generally use Cura. (Thanks Diad you make a very good job. Cura is getting better and better) But not only large file have problems. For example this little pice for my daughter make me crasy with cura (wall size 0.4 is important).:

http://thingiverse.com/thing:46735

with netfab the default settings makes a nice print. For me it is important to have a useable alternative to Cura, because different slicing strategies makes different results. Another modell that work not like you expect with Cura is the following:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:29253

 

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In general you are right. Try both examples. For me it is not possible to get good results.

1. the pc cooler model has a problem with the circle beside the wall. The slicer makes a hole in the wall. Of course it is a model problem, but netfab makes it without problem

2. i do not know where the problem is but i get no good results, netfab makes no problem (click and print)

 

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thers a cloudcomputed Meshrepairing service..

is beta, u cant interact, but its free. worked quite good for me. does not complaint about big meshsize.

http://cloud.netfabb.com/index.php

The free Netfabb Engine Basic can repair quite good. instantly shows the mistakes/overlaps/holes and more in red.

I really wasnt aware of how many errors i produce in my 3D Design process before i got this piece of software.

I dont recomend Meshlab.. has awesoeme tools but it crashes all the time.

 

 

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Well, my two cents about netfabb. I bought netfabb last year in may, when repg shipped with ultimaker as the standard software. Slow as hell. Netfabb was fast and still is. Apart from the learning curve, netfabb is very very powerful when it comes to gcode generation. CURA is becoming better, but somehow I;ve got higher quality prints from netfabb than with CURA.

Also netfabb does not do boolean in two overlapping meshes. It only joins it on the top layer. Have had plenty of failed prints to realise that happening.

 

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Also netfabb does not do boolean in two overlapping meshes. It only joins it on the top layer. Have had plenty of failed prints to realise that happening.

If the meshes overlap, use Blender to combine them with a boolean union. Kisslicer will probably have trouble with such files too (and usually with a lot less ugliness than that :()! Kisslicer is the pickiest of all the slicers, in my experience. It doesn't usually result in a slicer failure, it just produces toolpath artifacts and ugliness.

I'm a little late to this thread but I've got netfabb figured totally dial-in and I use it frequently. I invested many hours of trial and error to get to his point. Daid is right--there's no need to buy it until you find yourself unable to control the other slicers at the level you desire or you fail to get acceptable results, due to a slicer limitation. netfabb isn't even the fastest slicer anymore. (With Daid's new "SteamEngine," I think Cura is probably the fastest!)

However, when it comes to layer by layer control of the printing process, there's nothing even close to netfabb. It can do so many things no other slicer can do, though it might not be obvious how to realize its full potentia, because, as Daid warns, it's a PITA to learn (and the documentation is very outdated and incomplete).

Finally, netfabb is relatively buggy. nf fixed its completely unusable retraction nearly a year ago but many bugs remain that are either irritating or require a work-around. I would not do without the program in my arsenal and I use all the slicers (though I use slic3r only infrequently) but nf is certainly not a program I'd recommend to every user. If nf ever fixes most of the outstanding bugs I've filed in tickets to their support system and updates their documentation, I'd recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone who has the budget for it. For now, I've completely stopped reporting nf bugs. The tickets I file to their support system just fall on deaf ears! nf really lost this community with nf's lack of responsiveness to the retraction bug one and two years ago. It would take some pretty big changes at nf to earn back interest in their products here. That's my opinion anyway.

 

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IMO, if you are printing PLA and the "Ultra" and "High" quality Buildstyles and Materials presets are not working for you, new settings will probably not help you. There is probably something else going on. Even for ABS, only the support settings need to change (a difficult and iterative challenge). If you can tell me specifically what is wrong with your results (more information than just "not good"), we might be able to help you, but I have no profiles to offer you that are any better than the defaults for printing PLA.

I find the "Ultra" settings to be the most impressive and notable, but bed leveling is obviously more critical than it is for "High" or "Standard" settings.

BTW, the "Low" quality profile is not useful. It's my understanding that it was contributed to netfabb by someone other than the lead developer on the project. I recommend that you don't use it.

Oh--I almost forgot. Post photos and we can be of greater assistance to you.

 

Can somebody send me some profiles to try? I have Netfabb and the first initial runs of the installed profiles were not good. It's just my own inexperience with the software.

 

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Well, I use nf for anything that does not require retraction. Retraction is quite a bi***. Other than that, the surface finishes and quality of print from nf's gcode is second to none.

I built my own profile settings from the ground up with very little taken from the original profiles. Took a lot of time, but works perfectly now.

some of my prints are on http://3dlabs.in Do go through to see what I've been able to do

 

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After one year with my ultimaker i can say the idea to have more than one software is still a good one. But the support of netfab is very horroble. I think i am a quiet person but they makes me crasy.

I called the support direcly (i come from germany), because there was no reaction of an support ticket since 2 weeks. I got the answer that this is still normal and they ask me what i expect i have bought only the Ultimaker engine licence. For a faster reaction time i have to pay more money. My support Ticket is still open with no reaction since 16.09.2013.

Printing with a mac still not working (only save gcode and print than with UltiController)

Dual extrusion not working (perhaps a firmeware problem)

 

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Sorry Daid,

but you said it yourself: "But they pretty much stopped supporting and developing for Ultimaker when their own printer came to market"

If you buy a software you should be able to use it. They had time since October 2012 to fix the Mac connection problem. I send them log-file and crash report file and what happens... nothing. And sorry it is not good idea to say to a custmer, that it is a problem of the customer, that a software is not working, because he spend less money for the product.

You see my post before. I think netfab is good alternave to Cura. Both programs have their own advantages and disadvantages, but i think if there is a Cura problem YOU will help. Of cause sometimes people in a company have less time, because other things are more priorised. I think mostly you can talk to the customer and they will understand. But it is not a good idea to show the customer that he is only a cash cow and a complite idiot to buy a produkt and that happens to me with netfab.

Printing with my Ultimaker is only a hobby for me. So it is not important to get help directly. But when i spend money for something i will recogniced as an adult customer.

btw: I have got an update of my two ticket: They have them closed without commend. Nice company with good support.

 

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Hi All,

I just wanted to chime in here... I've been a long time supporter of NetFabb... I've used NF with great effect since I got my Ultimaker in 2011. But yes, as Daid points out, support for Ultimakers seems to have essentially ceased. NF is still good software, but for the past couple of Months I've been using Cura for the first time. I've always suggested Cura for beginners and NetFabb for people who want to squeeze that extra bit of quality out of their printer by heavily working on custom profiles.... I still stand by that statement, but Cura is really damn good now. There are very few circumstances when I need that extra quality now since Cura is more than sufficient for my needs and it's constantly getting even better. It won't be long before Cura's basic 'out of the box' configurations match a finely tuned NetFabb profile. And Daid is incredibly responsive to support.

There are a few NF features that I like which I think are still missing from Cura. These are certain advanced customization settings, but I know Daid's 'vision' for Cura is simplicity and ease of use so I don't expect he will ever incorporate those.

Cheers,

Troy.

 

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