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seandepagnier

simple idea to improve cura

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Posted (edited) · simple idea to improve cura

First of all, cura is a great software.   It allows so many parameters but manages them so I can get started easily.

 

 

The biggest issue I have is, the program is extremely slow.  It takes about 5 minutes just to start, and I have to close firefox before I can use it for lack of ram.  I don't understand why it needs so much memory.

 

Every time I change a field in any parameter, the whole program freezes for a few seconds.   Not just for each field but for each character typed.   So if I change 0.4 to 0.24 to 0.254 to 0.25 it will get stuck for 5-10 seconds each character, and might take 30-40 seconds to change this single field.    A lot of times, but not always, it tries to slice again.  This is the biggest problem.     I work around this by highlighting the field and pasting the new value, and also clearing the build plate so nothing to slice, but it's still very slow to use, and unreasonable to have to do this.

 

It is almost impossible to translate and rotate objects on the build plate.

 

Sometimes it doesn't re-slice after changing a parameter, so I have to change something then change it back.

 

 

 

So I suggest a very simple solution:  a "slice" button.

 

The program would only slice when the button is pressed, and always slice then.   It could also update the parameters dependencies then, rather than doing it on the fly.   That way I could quickly and easily change all the parameters just like a normal program without delay.

 

As for rendering, it is a smaller thing, but if the frame rate is below 1 frame per second, it could just draw a box or something, then re-draw it when I stop dragging to rotate or translate.

 

I think the developers intended auto slicing as a convenience but it is the opposite.   I have a single core computer, so it cannot benefit from multiple processes or threads the way other computers do.  Cura is not the only process.  The kernel, other programs, and software opengl, as well as the multiple processes of cura and many many cycles of kswapd all are completing for a single core!

 

 

I realize other users have faster machines, but keep in mind, hardware opengl crashes cura as well.   I have seen this on several machines, and on certain computers it locks the whole computer for lack of stable video drivers.  At this point a hard reset is needed by holding the power button.

 

I did try running cura engine from the command line.   This would be a huge improvement for me, but the problem is, the parameters passed to it are many pages long!   It's difficult to keep track of, and they no longer update each other the way they do in the gui.  Any suggestions for this, or a command line interface are greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks for the great software, and I am by no means asking something to be done, only making a suggestion and listening for suggestions, and in the end if I should have to make a pull request to implement something that is understood.

Edited by seandepagnier

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Posted · simple idea to improve cura

One thing that might help is changing the 'page file' on your computer to over 1000mb. Firefox can use over half of it which leaves not much for other programs. When it's full it will overload, freeze the computer and spend several minutes putting it all back together again.

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Posted · simple idea to improve cura

actually there is a "slice" button.

You just have to go to general preferences and deactivate "slice automatically".

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Posted · simple idea to improve cura

We did make improvements with regards to speed in the 4.0.0 beta (Switching machines should be twice as fast, switching active extruders is even faster) and the 4.0.0-BETA-2  (changing visibility of settings is 2x as fast, so searching settings should be way faster)

 

 

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Posted · simple idea to improve cura
2 hours ago, nallath said:

We did make improvements with regards to speed in the 4.0.0 beta (Switching machines should be twice as fast, switching active extruders is even faster) and the 4.0.0-BETA-2  (changing visibility of settings is 2x as fast, so searching settings should be way faster)

I can vouch for this as I installed and just a few preliminary things to see how it behaved. It did not mess up my settings and it did not create issues on installation. Matter of fact, it was just as if I loaded the previous version installed (3.6) with all settings intact and even had the 'recent files' intact. There are a few things I have not tested yet, but it is a vast improvement from previous installs and opening first time experience. I have not sliced and printed as I have prints going on that are several days yet for completion.

 

4 hours ago, smartavionics said:

The "auto-slice" feature can be disable in the preferences dialog...

 

Screenshot_2019-02-27_07-15-58.png.471312bd90b7142027d32ed08f0b3a4a.png

Ayup......Been there for many version iterations since it has been there since I started using Cura just over two years ago.

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Posted · simple idea to improve cura

Thanks for the replies.

 

I missed the setting, and disabling auto slicing is much better now.  I will try to upgrade cura to a newer version as well, but now my printer has a problem with the heater...

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Posted · simple idea to improve cura

And for those people who generally like autoslicing, but may want to turn it off every now and then for a particularly heavy model - without going into the preferences to switch the option every time - there is a neat plugin in the Marketplace that will add a pause/play button next to the slice/save/print buttons: "Automatic Slicing Toggle Switch"

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