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Posted · Slice at an angle

I have a situation where I would like the layer lines to be at an angle, instead of parallel to the build surface. Similar to a belt printer, except with a smaller angle than 45 degrees, and without having tilted z-axis.

 

Is there any plugin/script that can do this?

 

If not then maybe I could make one myself. My first idea was to simply modify the gcode file, transforming all moves, rotating them around the x-axis. However, rotating the layers around the x-axis causes movements in the y-axis to also move in the z-axis, which has a much lower max speed than the y-axis. If the rotation angle is small there's not much z-movement, but it still needs to be taken into account.

 

Any ideas?

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    Posted · Slice at an angle

    I'd prefer you to show a diagram of how you want it ideally and how it's different if you use cura but then rotate the points after it slices (which doesn't sound like it would work).  Maybe sketch something on a napkin, take a picture and post it.

     

    having said that, the slicer for the blackbelt is a modified version of cura and is open source.  It has a few features - you can set angles and things and maybe you can do exactly what you want with that slicer.  If not you could modify the code a bit to do some transformations possibly.  Anyway the guy who did that is also on this forum as @ahoeben.

     

    Anyway - first step - please show diagrams of what you mean.  In the diagram show the orientation of the printing axes as well (which are not perpendicular on a blackbelt but maybe *are* perpendicular in what you want?).

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    Posted · Slice at an angle

    Don't worry about printing speeds.  Almost every printer runs Marlin or some fork of Marlin and the firmware has a speed limit for all 4 axes (yes all 4, including extruder).  For every move you specify the requested feed rate but if that means it would go too fast for any axis for a particular move it slows down such that the limiting axis is right at it's speed limit.  Anyway the point is - don't worry about that.

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    Posted · Slice at an angle
    30 minutes ago, gr5 said:

    I'd prefer you to show a diagram of how you want it ideally and how it's different if you use cura but then rotate the points after it slices (which doesn't sound like it would work).  Maybe sketch something on a napkin, take a picture and post it.

    angled-slicing-1.png.c930e788e3c1185d148ce94a710cbfd5.png

    This is a side-view of the shape to print (black outline) and the extruded material (blue lines in layers).

     

    Now, the 1-2 bottom layers probably should be directly on the buildplate anyway, so I'll leave a couple of those in, but instead of the other layers I'll start printing them at an angle (layers extruded at an angle are in green instead of blue, with the bottom-right green layer getting extruded first after the blue ones, then the one above it, etc):

    angled-slicing-2.png.8dfade50c9b24403dba5d9d9e3d45396.png

     

    Is the explanation more clear now?

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    Posted · Slice at an angle

    Geert_2, that takes all the fun out of it.

    Fortunately, Cura can be fooled into providing proper assembly geometry if each sub-assembly has a plate the same size as the build surface.  What I propose is a hardware solution.  A Sine Plate would introduce another axis.

     

    Please understand that this is quick and dirty and just off the top of my head.

    A hinge affixed to a piece of aluminum that replaces the build plate.  A simple wedge to set the angle.  There are two parts to print...the first is just the bottom layers.  The second is the upper portion of the part missing the bottom layers.

    Scribble this up in design software and export the STL once with just the bottom layers on the sine plate, and again with the top part rotated about the sine plate axis into it's print position.

    Strategically place a couple of Cutting Meshes.  Slice a part that represents just the bottom layers.

    Bring in the rest of the part (bottom layers missing) and slice it.

    Combine the files with a pause at the transition so the angle can be adjusted.

    Dependent on part geometry, this may still require a long nozzle to provide clearance for the print head.

     

    AHoeben's solution would be more elegant.  I'm more of a sledge hammer guy.

     

    Here is a hinge.  The bottom layers get printed.

     

    Stage1-2.thumb.png.d72df0010d3fa3bd74bd10171bbac439.png

     

    Stage1-1.thumb.png.1e3b246d15c1d801cddec353a74f51e9.png

     

    Here is the second portion of the part sans the bottom layers (and with the hinge missing).  Slice with no supports.

    Stage1-3.thumb.png.af5907c8647a732def9e423e29068e2a.png

     

    Base.thumb.jpg.f041bd876943fa85262f382e3490ce36.jpg

     

    1072843333_SinePlate.thumb.jpg.ea9637af4e6c884059f320b249ad7fa6.jpg

     

    Stage2.thumb.jpg.fc0b55fff0ae1b787787485ae4585802.jpg

     

     

     

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    Posted · Slice at an angle
    6 hours ago, ahoeben said:

    Yes, this is very clear. I might have something for you in half a year or so. Maybe sooner.

    Sounds interesting. What kind of solution do you have in mind?

     

    2 hours ago, geert_2 said:

    In the mean time, could printing it sideways be an option, if the design has a flat side panel?

    Well, the end goal might be to get different parts to print at different layer angles. In my case it can't be printed on its side.

     

    7 minutes ago, GregValiant said:

    A hinge affixed to a piece of aluminum that replaces the build plate.  A simple wedge to set the angle.

    That's creative. However, in my case I'm printing it diagonally just so it fits inside my printing volume.

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    Posted · Slice at an angle

    Great!  yes, very clear.  A sketch with a pencil would have been fine.  So your idea already exists in the wild but it's a bit rare as the software is complicated.  You don't really want to switch suddenly from blue horizontal layers to green tilted layers but do it gradually.  I've actually printed something like this - I did it by creating the geometry of the part "warped" and then undoing the warp in a post processing plugin for cura.  But it was pretty simple like your example where I gradually tilted the printing planes.  The z stepper works hard, lol!  You really hear it as the Z stepper has a louder/different sound to it.

     

    Here is an article of one person who did it really nicely:

    https://hackaday.com/2016/07/27/3d-printering-non-planar-layer-fdm/

     

    I've seen other people do this.  I've also seen 3d printers with 2 more axes where for example the entire print bed can tilt on two axes (either x,y axis rotation or x,z axis rotation).  But the software isn't really out there to do this kind of stuff.  Yet.

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    Posted · Slice at an angle
    3 hours ago, msundman said:

    What kind of solution do you have in mind?

    I'm in talks with a client who wants me to develop a slice-at-an-angle plugin. It will be an open sourced plugin for Cura. I can't divulge much detail at this point, but I would be surprised if it had not materialised in half a year.

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    Posted (edited) · Slice at an angle

    Depending on the design, I'd have to think collision avoidance would be a serious constraint.

     

    That said, the applications would be huge, especially in a dual extruder machine.  I can imagine a drone part, fairing or  aerodynamic section where something like glass or CF reinforced stiff but rough material was covered in non-planar layers of filament that could be chemically smoothed or coated with an epoxy like XTC-3D.  Removing the aliasing effect of the traditional print would really change the exercise.

     

    I wonder how such a part would respond to annealing?

     

    Imagine the possibilities with the Ultrafuse metal system.  Wow.

     

    Will watch this development with interest!!

    John

    Edited by JohnInOttawa
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