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Madau3D

Feature Request - Variable Line Width

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Posted · Feature Request - Variable Line Width

I sent this email to Cura support but I'm also posting it here, hoping this generates some interest and gains consideration for adopting this feature.

 

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I've been using cura for about a year now and I've been annoyed by a slicing / tool-path situation.  When printing thin walls that don't divide neatly by the selected nozzle diameter or line width, the slicer generates g-code where the nozzle makes a tiny zig-zag movement to fill that space.  This significantly increases print time and is very inefficient use of machine run time.  If it's really bad, I'll either modify my design to get a wall thickness that the machine can print in even lines, or fudge the line width in cura (or both) until the print time comes down.  This can reduce run time by hours depending on the model.
 
What I suggest is create a variable line width feature.  When enabled, the user could specify a min/max percentage of nozzle diameter, and the slicer could then decide what line width would best fill an area.  This would make setting perimeter thickness more intuitive as well.  If I am printing with a 0.6mm nozzle, but I want a 2mm wall thickness, currently the slicer has to chose to make the wall thinner (3 perimeters) or thicker (4 perimeters) but the user would not get a 2mm wall in either case.  With variable line thickness the slicer could decide to print a 0.67-68mm line width (I realize the wall thickness isn't an exact multiple of the line thickness as there is some overlap between the lines in a layer) and achieve the specified wall thickness.
 
This could be taken a step further, and imagine in the case of printing a narrow, acute angle feature.  The slicer could taper the line width as the the profile narrows to achieve a cleaner part.  There also could be settings for the line width range of inner walls, outer walls, infill and supports- top and bottom skin layers, etc...  Thinner line widths for supports and infill could be of great benefit for reducing filament consumption and possibly making supports easier to remove.
 
I've never tried printing a line width narrower than my nozzle diameter, but I regularly print lines at 125% of nozzle diameter with great results.  With this feature, one could specify, as a hypothetical example, a line width in the range of 95% to 125% of nozzle diameter.

 

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Posted · Feature Request - Variable Line Width

So I'm pretty sure cura has this feature but I don't understand it.  But to enable the feature that you are asking about:

 

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Set Minimum Wall Flow to something like 50, combing to no skin and max comb distance without retract to 10. 

 

Actually you probably only have to do the first thing: minimum wall flow to 50.

 

Again - I totally do not understand this feature so I could be wrong but 2 people seem to agree this fixes thin wall issues.

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Posted · Feature Request - Variable Line Width

Hello @Madau3D, my version of Cura provides a different implementation of the thin wall printing and wall gap filling and it can make a better job of tapering thin walls and gaps. You can install it alongside the normal Ultimaker Cura. If you wish to try it (Linux and Windows only, I'm afraid), please take a look at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s43vqzmi4d2bqe2/AAADdYdSu9iwcKa0Knqgurm4a?dl=0

 

Screenshot_2019-06-23_07-31-12.thumb.png.b974932b546acf608aec18e16766118b.png

 

This part has a tapered thin wall and tapered filled gaps...

 

Screenshot_2019-06-23_07-30-54.thumb.png.f875b39323f9db195c6489ca9c12bf3f.png

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Posted (edited) · Feature Request - Variable Line Width

Which one do I download?  I picked the exe which appeared to have the most current date.

Edited by Madau3D

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Posted · Feature Request - Variable Line Width
On 6/22/2019 at 11:32 PM, burtoogle said:

Hello @Madau3D, my version of Cura provides a different implementation of the thin wall printing and wall gap filling and it can make a better job of tapering thin walls and gaps. You can install it alongside the normal Ultimaker Cura. If you wish to try it (Linux and Windows only, I'm afraid), please take a look at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s43vqzmi4d2bqe2/AAADdYdSu9iwcKa0Knqgurm4a?dl=0

 

Screenshot_2019-06-23_07-31-12.thumb.png.b974932b546acf608aec18e16766118b.png

 

This part has a tapered thin wall and tapered filled gaps...

 

Screenshot_2019-06-23_07-30-54.thumb.png.f875b39323f9db195c6489ca9c12bf3f.png

Holy crap that is game changing right there.  Are they any options in the menus to control the behavior?  At fist glance it doesn't look any different than regular Cura.  Options to specify different line widths for specific line types would still be useful- i.e. print infil and supports thinner than top and bottom surfaces, or walls, etc..

 

I sliced my fan duct design which has a lot of thin tapering features and the slice is so much cleaner.  I'll have to mess around with it some more and try printing a couple of parts.

 

I've attached some screenshots with the specific areas of interest circled.  Here is the thing if anyone wants to check it out for themselves. 

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3594484

 

2019-06-24 11_26_21-Ultimaker Cura.png

2019-06-24 11_25_20-Ultimaker Cura.png

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Posted · Feature Request - Variable Line Width
2 hours ago, Madau3D said:

Are they any options in the menus to control the behavior?  At fist glance it doesn't look any different than regular Cura. 

 

There are no options to control the behaviour apart from the min area of gaps to be filled (gaps smaller than this will be left unfilled).

 

Screenshot_2019-06-24_21-46-25.png.1cda4c1cdca68828ba757c259fb3abae.png

 

2 hours ago, Madau3D said:

Options to specify different line widths for specific line types would still be useful- i.e. print infil and supports thinner than top and bottom surfaces, or walls, etc.. 

 

Of course, you still have the normal settings for specifying the line widths for various features:

Screenshot_2019-06-24_21-49-27.png.1c8a3b555a1ec8af0dcadf4d2c678c39.png

 

PS - looking at your image, I should think that 10% gyroid infill with the connect lines (zig-zaggify) option enabled would work well.

 

 

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Posted (edited) · Feature Request - Variable Line Width
7 minutes ago, burtoogle said:

 

There are no options to control the behaviour apart from the min area of gaps to be filled (gaps smaller than this will be left unfilled).

 

Screenshot_2019-06-24_21-46-25.png.1cda4c1cdca68828ba757c259fb3abae.png

 

 

Of course, you still have the normal settings for specifying the line widths for various features:

Screenshot_2019-06-24_21-49-27.png.1c8a3b555a1ec8af0dcadf4d2c678c39.png

 

PS - looking at your image, I should think that 10% gyroid infill with the connect lines (zig-zaggify) option enabled would work well.

 

 

I feel stupid - I never looked into the hidden commands for the different line width for different walls...

 

thanks...

 

p.s.  I usually have connect infill lines enabled, regardless of infill pattern, because it reduces retractions a lot.

Edited by Madau3D

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Posted · Feature Request - Variable Line Width
8 minutes ago, Madau3D said:

p.s.  I usually have connect infill lines enabled, regardless of infill pattern, because it reduces retractions a lot.

 

Me too! It also has an added benefit when you have a skin that finishes on top of infill as the skin edge can butt up against the infill connections like you see here...

 

Screenshot_2019-06-24_22-11-57.thumb.png.74772404802329cf3f5fcaa7d12d6ec1.png

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