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Daid

Looking for beta testers.

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

If you want to try different hardware configurations, I can certainly help. Iv'e got access to some 50 different machines (~10 laptops) of all makes and models, mostly disassembled. Ages for complete systems ranges from Pentium III and Athlon XP to first gen Core I3 and Phenom II, so not the newest models, but I could easily put something together specifically for testing, if you know some specific hardware you want to try out. I prefer to use Linux (most distro's, I'm not into Arch just yet however), but I could pull some windows from some very fully legit indeed source around here somewhere. While I'm not a programmer, and can't help you out directly there, I certainly not afraid of looking at the code, or at least mucking about config files and the like :)

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

I'll gladly volunteer to test. I use the Ultimaker w/ Cura a few times a week and have had a few pieces that just don't slice well.

I use a Mac and do builds from the github repository when you commit changes, so I figure I'll have to make my own build for the beta testing?

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

Ok, so I have tested for about 5 hours in the new beta steamengine release.

I have reported some issues to David, gotten responses and am waiting for some more answers :)

I have sliced and printed two different models so far, you can see (and read about) my results here:

IMG 1175 comparisonIMG 1174 comparisonIMG 1173 comparisonIMG 1172 comparisonIMG 1171 - comparisonIMG 1170 comparisonIMG 1169 comparisonIMG 1168 comparisonIMG 1167 comparisonIMG 1166 comparisonIMG 1165 sliced in Cura SteamEngine-ClosedBeta1IMG 1164 sliced in Cura SteamEngine-ClosedBeta1IMG 1163 sliced in Cura SteamEngine-ClosedBeta1IMG 1162 sliced in Cura SteamEngine-ClosedBeta1IMG 1161 sliced in Cura SteamEngine-ClosedBeta1IMG 1160 sliced in Cura 13.03IMG 1159 sliced in Cura 13.03IMG 1158 sliced in Cura 13.03IMG 1157 sliced in Cura 13.03IMG 1186 - comparisonIMG 1185 Thin wall tester comparisonIMG 1188 Thin wall tester comparisonIMG 1187 Thin wall tester comparison

Other beta testers: please comment and share pictures / stories yourselves.

In short: I really love the speed and general feeling of steamengine, but it seems to produce worse quality for my models than 13.03 so far. I guess that any new slicer would need to mature before it could be expected to compete with one that has several years on it...so I'm keeping my thumbs!

It would be nice to see what results you other beta testers have.

/Daniel

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

I'm a bit surprised about your outside surface quality Daniel. As I'm seeing better prints on the printers here. However, that doesn't mean there isn't a real issue. Are you printing with an SD card on the UltiController or with USB?

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

Yes, I agree it is a bit disappointing.

I'm using an SD card/Ulticontroller, I always do that (I have tons of USB devices connected so I don't want interferences on the USB chain while printing.

I'm doing a re-print now of the Bumper model without retraction, I can update in an hour of how that looks.

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

Can you also make sure your short belts are tight and that your filament is not slipping? Even the "old Cura" print is not really up to the quality I would expect...

Just to show the difference, this is a 0.06mm layer height, 50mm/s 220C print I'm doing right now:

http://daid.eu/~daid/IMG_20130503_174126.jpg

Sorry for the crappy phone photo.

(It's still printing, huge print of about 3 days. But looking silk smooth :D )

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

Can you also make sure your short belts are tight and that your filament is not slipping? Even the "old Cura" print is not really up to the quality I would expect...

Just to show the difference, this is a 0.06mm layer height, 50mm/s 220C print I'm doing right now:

http://daid.eu/~daid/IMG_20130503_174126.jpg

Sorry for the crappy phone photo.

(It's still printing, huge print of about 3 days. But looking silk smooth :D )

 

Sure, it's always a good idea to check the belts every once in a while :)

I tried feeling them while printing but it's difficult to get a feel when they are moving I think. I'll let this print finish first...

About the filament slipping, I think its always hard to know exactly how much to turn the screw...when I change filament I usually turn the wheel by hand and it's ok. Sometimes I need to tighten or un-tighten the screw but usually not.

But lately I've experience a bit of "backlash" in the extruder wheel when doing this by hand (no motors involved). If I turn the wheel a little bit to forward some filament and then release it, the extruder wheel will retract back a little bit. It doesn't feel right, but other prints come out pretty fine so I'm not sure whether it's bad or not.

So questions:

1) is the extruder wheel supposed to stay still or retract a small bit after you forward filament by turning the wheel by hand and then release it?

2) while the machine is printing and forwarding filament, I sometimes pinch the filament close to where it enters the wood, so that my fingers are pinched. Then I know that the filament is going forward. BUT I wonder, if I pinch hard on the filament, should I be able to stop it from forwarding or if I'm able to stop it by this, would it be slipping / too loose screw then?

About your print: The picture is a little bit out of focus, but 0.06mm sounds really nice! Is it from the super-shaper? Three days, wow! My longest print so far is 24 hours. And a couple of 18h prints. Are the several-days-prints reliable?

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

so first impressions are good, great work daid. still some features to add but continuous slicing is great. i had to do some tweaking to the UM and make sure the models were clean and still have some looking to do as the extrusion seems different. Thx daid, excellent work!

first print after cleaning but no tuningsecond print after tuning pots up a bit

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

UPDATE: I have sliced and printed a new one without retraction and it looks identical to the one with retraction (I'm not adding any new pictures). So the comparison to 13.03 still holds :-/

The short belts seem tight and fine...however when I move the head manually in X direction it's quite a bit of resistance...I've added fresh sewing machine oil to X/Y rods which now makes it move nicer and will try another print.

I'm still keen on answers to my questions on slippage / extrusion wheel above...if anyone knows :)

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

Yes, I can sometimes get a little bit of push back from turning the extruder wheel by hand - it's the build up of pressure in the nozzle. It doesn't take much filament movement - only a couple of millimeters per second (roughly 1/12 of the extruder gear rotation per second) to exceed what the nozzle can handle. Then when you let go, the pressure pushes the filament back a bit. The fact that the gear actually turns backwards suggests that you do have a pretty good grip on the filament, otherwise, the filament would just slip back past the bolt without turning the gear.

I would think that you would be able to stop the filament moving if you grab it hard, if only because the teeth will start to tear through the plastic as they do during a head blockage.

In my V2 extruder set up, the spring length is about 10.5mm iirc. I've tried it about 1.5mm either way, and found it doesn't make a whole lot of difference. In my extrusion throughput tests, tighter reduced the degree of under-extrusion slightly, but not massively so.

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

Thanks illuminarti, great explanation!

Now I can fall asleep a little easier :)

I actually think my Ultimaker is pretty well tuned hardware-wise, however the Thin walls-object looked really lousy in both 13.03 and steam, perhaps that needs to be printed a lot slower than the 100mm/s that I tried?

Is anyone else getting a good print with the thin wall tester:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:64842

and if so - in which slicer / with what settings?

/Daniel

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

One thing I've seen with some other folks thin-walled prints is that the older Cura would do travel moves back over the top of the thin wall, but moving slightly to one side of it. For instance, on a cube, it might make a long diagonal move from just inside the perimeter at the front left, to just outside the perimeter at the front right, before making a quick cut back in to start printing again. This tends to reheat and damage the already printed part sometimes, and ooze can also get stuck back on the printed part if retractions isn't used before that move, or isn't perfect.

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

Been tinkering around a bit more tonight and have a couple of reproducible bugs to report.

Bug 1:

- Add more than one copy of an object.

- Enter expert settings

- Change the wall thickness by deleting the number after the decimal point, BUT, do it slow. Do it so slowly that the engine gets caught between slicing two objects while the value is not correct (for example '0.'). This will cause steamengine to crash.

Bug 2:

Set infill to 100% and wall thickness to 0.4 and the object will be empty (at least it is displayed that way in cura). Set wall thickness to 0.8 and all is well.

This is a random bug that I don't know the reason for. On my laptop I'm unable to select objects on the bed. A right click will only display the "Delete all" option. It works fine on my regular comp though.

Also this error has popped up randomly, I haven't been able to pinpoint exactly what causes it. It has happened (rarely) on both computers:

An error has occured during the 3D view drawing.

IndexError: 'list index out of range'

@ sceneView.py:OnPaint:696

@ openglGui.py:_OnGuiPaint:222

This might not be a bug but it's a bit weird. I've been printing a few 100% filled parts today and one thing I've noticed is that when it's doing the infil it will sometimes draw a diagonal line, do a quick travel back to the start of the line, start a new diagonal line, quick travel back etc. Then a few seconds later it will do standard infill where it extrudes plastic in both directions. I can't say I like the behaviour because it tends to scratch the surface a bit.

Near overhangs the engine will put in more dense infill (which is good), however, it does this even when the infill is already set to 100% which results in unnecessarily jerky movements.

The layer view seems really really sluggish for some reason. Sometimes slicing an object is faster than displaying the layers. Since I do a lot of layer checking after slicing stuff this gets a bit annoying. I'm sure this is very low on the priority list but I thought I'd mention it.

The re-slice triggering seems a bit aggressive. Just opening a dialog, backing out without changing anything still causes a re-slice. Slicing is fast but I'm not sure I'm a fan of the "live slicing". It reduces responsiveness I think, especially on my oldish laptop. And, at the moment it causes the error in bug 1.

Also, may I say that I absolutely love the "warp in" when adding objects :D It's so silly and pointless but I can't help but love it :p

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

The engine sometimes crashes on invalid values (like 0) because of division by zero errors (for example, a layer thickness of 0 gives a division by zero on "total object height / layerthickness". I'll have to check for those invalid values and refuse to start slicing. Good catch.

The selection bug was also noticed by Fluxline. I've uploaded a "fluxdebug" version at the same location, this version shows a debug value in the title bar. Does this value change from fffff to something else when you hover your mouse over an object on your laptop? I might have an idea what's going on here.

The "gui error 222" was a mistake on my side, it can happen during the GCode view drawing while the GCode is still being loaded. It's an easy fix, and it happens a bit random.

I've also noticed the odd "going back and forward" infill printing, I still have to check how this happens, as it works most of the time... it's not intentional, it is intended as doing the shortest moves possible.

The GCode viewing is indeed slower then the slicing. As the viewing happens mostly in slow python code right now, while the slicing in fast C++ code. The viewer is faster then the old Cura GCode viewer, but it's still not as fast as I would want it too be.

I will change the expert menu re-slice behavior. Most testers are noticing it :-)

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

The hex value changes to 0xffL and the decimal changes between 0.998ish to 0.997ish.

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

Ah, that explains a lot! I think I will be able to fix this issue quite easy.

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

For the testeds, I just uploaded a new version for windows at the same location. I hope this fixes the selection bug that Fluxline and a few others where having.

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

Fluxline also reported that the selecting works for him now. So I hope that's fully fixed now.

Right now I still have:

* Raft not working

* Extremely detailed models are not printed as well as with old Cura (small cylinder with 80 segments prints worse with new code)

* Expert settings dialog is sometimes not opening on MacOS

* Support structures are missing advanced configuration settings

And a huge list of feature requests :-)

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

Did you check out the second bug I found with the infill?

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

Hi Daid

I like the way it's slicing. Compared to KISSlicer it seems to not do any random moves or so much retracting when not necessary. I do like how KISSlicer puts more of it's own settings in to the start GCode so the user can adjust and the ability to have more adjusting in the initial layers with the use of variables and 'n' layers etc.

I think Cura Tops are filled in much better which is very important.

One bug I've found is if I drag and drop an STL file onto Cura it doesn't pickup the filename and uses the name of the original file that was opened when it saves the GCode. I like the handling of the SDCard picking up the drive letter and being able to dismount it from within Cura, very handy.

Overall I like how it slices and the speed and seems to be no thin wall problem and easy to understand settings.

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

Oh speaking of saving. I'm NOT a fan of programs overwriting files without prompting. I know you have very strong feelings about popups but in this case it's more than warranted to have one.

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

Hi Daid

I like the way it's slicing. Compared to KISSlicer it seems to not do any random moves or so much retracting when not necessary. I do like how KISSlicer puts more of it's own settings in to the start GCode so the user can adjust and the ability to have more adjusting in the initial layers with the use of variables and 'n' layers etc.

I think Cura Tops are filled in much better which is very important.

One bug I've found is if I drag and drop an STL file onto Cura it doesn't pickup the filename and uses the name of the original file that was opened when it saves the GCode. I like the handling of the SDCard picking up the drive letter and being able to dismount it from within Cura, very handy.

Overall I like how it slices and the speed and seems to be no thin wall problem and easy to understand settings.

 

In Cura you can use every configuration setting in the start code :wink: there are just not any settings that only effect the start code. Maybe that's what KISSlicer is doing?

Cura is doing more stuff at the initial layers then what it's allowing you to configure, for example not just the first layer is slowed, but the first 4 layers are slowed down.

I know how the KISSlicer top/bottom algorithm works. And it is prone to small errors. I'm using the same kind of algorithm for support material, where slight inaccuracies are not as important.

The SD card code was quite complex to figure out. Especially on windows there are all kind of odd cases where card readers can show up as drivers without a card inserted. It also identifies USB drives as SD cards, nothing I can do about that really. But it works great on my laptop, and that's all that counts right? :smile:

The SD copy button also turns into an USB printing button if you have a printer connected. And you can right-click on it to always access the "save as" option or the usb printing option (if detection of the printer fails for some reason)

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

In Cura you can use every configuration setting in the start code :wink: there are just not any settings that only effect the start code. Maybe that's what KISSlicer is doing?

 

Like where KISSlicer puts in the Start GCode where the user can edit S190 <BED>

I like to initially raise my bed temp a bit higher to allow the top of the glass to reach the full temp seem as the sensor is at the bottom of the glass. I can still add it after your initial code anyway so it's not a biggy.

They also have the GCode for every N layers, though personally I would prefer to be able to do something once after so many layers.

My main thing I'm trying to do is getting prints to reliably stick at the start using speed, temps and fan control for so many layers and then returning to normal settings.

Of course these are all feature requests and not bugs. :-P

 

And you can right-click on it to always access the "save as" option or the usb printing option (if detection of the printer fails for some reason)

 

That's great. I should use my Right Button more often.

Forgot to mention I really like the Brim feature. I just keep forgetting to use it at the moment when I need to. :rolleyes:

 

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Posted · Looking for beta testers.

The GCode save option is also available from the file menu btw ;-)

And you can add custom temperature code. If you add:

"M190 S{print_bed_temperature}"

To the start code, then Cura won't put the bed inheating above the start code. And if you put an:

"M109 S{print_temperature}"

In your start code, then Cura won't put the nozzle heating above the start code.

 

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