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klaus_kraemer

Display current layer number during printing

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Hi there,

 

I'd be interested in seeing the current layer number - correspondig with the enumeration, CURA indicates in layer view - while UM3 is printing. That way it would be easier to watch, when a critical part of a model is printed.

 

Maybe you could consider this for some of the coming firmware releases.

 

Thanks

Klaus

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Our graphic designers are not convinced this feature is important. It's the usual fight between tweakers who want to see lots of details and the majority of users who want to have a simple to use machine.

 

To convince our User Experience responsible guys we need more info. The layer number by itself is just dumb technological data. Can you elaborate more onto why you want to see the layer number? You are now asking for a technical solution, but we need to understand the underlying problem so we can implement the best solution.

 

For example, you say you want to view a certain feature to be printed. But why is that important? what would you do when that fails? How bad is it when you arrive 5 minutes later and see how it was printed? Perhaps we can pause the printer before this critical part is printed and ask you to press continue when you are present so you can watch this being printed (this feature is already available in Cura as the 'pause at height' plugin). Or, just thinking along, would it be better to have your UM3 phone app to signal you that a certain layer is reached and you can watch progress on you phone screen? Or what about a time-lapsed video? There are all kind of options, but without understanding why you need the layer info we can't help you think about a solution. 

 

Showing the layer number feels like a half-baked solution that perhaps was the best reachable solution in older printer models but right now we have lots more options. I do understand you have a problem, its just that we don't fully understand what it is.

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If it helps it would for instance be very easy to expose the current and total layer counts via the printjob HTTP REST API the same way progress (0 to 1) is currently exposed here: http://<insert.printer.ip.addr>/api/v1/print_job/progress

 

BTW: There already is a way to view the current Z height during printing: http://<insert.printer.ip.addr>/api/v1/printer/heads/0/position/z

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1 hour ago, CarloK said:

Perhaps we can pause the printer before this critical part is printed and ask you to press continue when you are present so you can watch this being printed (this feature is already available in Cura as the 'pause at height' plugin).

 

Unfortunately this is broken for the UM3 and the S5;

https://github.com/Ultimaker/Cura/issues/3676

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I imagine, it is the only way I can monitor print and decide when I have to control whether some special or critical part of a print works out. Its mostly about deciding whether to cancel the print or not at that point. I've spent to much time in front of the printer, waiting for certain parts to be printed - unnecessary wate of time due to lack of information. I can easily get the layer number from the layer view in Cura.

 

Other ways of avoiding that issue would be

  • a more detailed information via Cura connect web interface, which is simply one of the poorest I can imagine...
  • indicating a time in Cura's layer view, predicting when a single layer will be printed before completion of the whole print. So you could always compare with the remaining time for printing on the UM's display.

The solution does not necessarily have to come via the printer's display, it could also come from Cura's web interface.

 

From another point of view: Indicating the remaining time AND e.g. 'Z 1000/1784' wouldn't be so difficult and bad...

 

Edited by klaus_kraemer

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4 minutes ago, drayson said:

There is a postprocessor available which writes Layer Numbers into the G-Code file and displays them via M117.

Maybe usefull for your application / UM3 too...

 

https://github.com/AmedeeBulle/ShowLayer/blob/master/scripts/ShowLayer.py

 

Thank you @drayson, but I simply wouldn't know how to use that code...

 

The more I think about it, the more I feel that Cura Connect should provide extensive information about the current print job. Let's wait and see...

Edited by klaus_kraemer
Orthograpy... :-(

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3 hours ago, klaus_kraemer said:

Thank you @drayson, but I simply wouldn't know how to use that code...

 

Quite simple...

download the ShowLayer.py file and safe it into ...\Users\xxxx\AppData\Roaming\cura\3.4\scripts

start cura, open an STL, go to "Extensions" => "Post Processing" => "Modify G-Code" and then use the "Add a script" button to select the "Show Layer" postprocessor

When slicing something, it automatically adds M117 lines with the corresponding layer number into your script.

 

but I guess there is a much better description/tutorial how to use postprocessors available in this forum 🙂

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