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Cura Material Manger - how are people handling same material for different printers?


LePaul
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Posted · Cura Material Manger - how are people handling same material for different printers?

Hello!

 

I'm curious how others are handling their material manager settings for multiple machines that are different

 

For example, let's say I have ColorFabb PLA/PHA 1.75mm filament.

 

I have 20 machines that can use this material !  (Big print farm my shop has turned into!)

 

Each material, I do a temperature tower to find the ideal print temperature , then I do some extrusion multiplier tests to dial in the flow rate/extrusion multiplier (S3D)

 

When I add a material, it seems to bind to what machine profile I have loaded.  Viewing the Material Manager, I see it shows the flow for what I recorded with said machine.

 

To date, what I am doing is adding a prefix to the name so I can differentiate between machines.  For example, CR10SProColorFabbPLAOrange and so on.

 

When I want to use that material in a different machine, here's what I am doing now.  In the Material Manager, I find the Display Name (Name/Brand/Material) and hit Duplicate.

 

I then edit that new entry with the results for the new machine.

 

And this works.

 

But I am curious if there is a better way?

 

Could the Print Settings tab for the Materials have a pull down setting for the 3D Printer Profiles installed in Cura?  And offer different settings per machine profile?

 

I ask this only because with a print farm of 20, my list of cleverly named materials is getting rather vast!

 

Thank you

 

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    • 2 weeks later...
    Posted · Cura Material Manger - how are people handling same material for different printers?

    I have 5 printers I use regularly and they are all a little different.  3 of them are um2go printers so I can save/set printing temp and flow rate on the printer itself.  You can even dump all the material "profiles" for a given printer on to a USB card then edit the file on a desktop computer and reload the materials back into the printer.  Then you can, for example, load "PLA-orange" and print away.

     

    Similarly if your generic 3d printer with Marlin always needs a little more flow (say 3%) you can mess with the steps/mm setting on the printer - up that by the same 3%.

     

    For the non um2 printers (e.g. S5) I do it all in Cura.  Whenever I slice something I ALWAYS save the project (menu "file" "save project") along with the gcode file.  When I need to slice something else (gee this is the same material as that orange PLA thing I printed last week on the S5 - I can use the same settings) I first open the project that is most similar (so it has the needed settings).

     

    But for 95% of prints I don't need to use any kind of custom settings.

     

     

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    Posted · Cura Material Manger - how are people handling same material for different printers?

    Hi George,

    What's throwing me off is I have a variety of bowden and direct drive machines.  I'm a little unclear on if Cura uses the Material Manager's Flow, Retract and Retract distance settings for said machine that is loaded.

     

    I'm also noting there's about 3 entries for the first layer temperature in Cura these days.  That's confusing too.

     

    Asides the PreFix method I am using, I was curious if Cura Dev had any ideas how to do it better.  I'd like to better understand the current logic with material management and see how it can improve for those of us with a print farm of many different machines.

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    Posted · Cura Material Manger - how are people handling same material for different printers?

    There is the print profile which is all the settings.  There are your overrides of the profile (your customized settigns).  There is the filament/material profile and finally the machine profile (printer profile).  It seems to me you should be editing the printer profiles, and not the material profiles.  But I'm not sure.  I never mess with any of those other than customized settings and again, I store the name of the printer in my project name so I store all that in project files.

     

    I would expect retraction settings to be in machine profile/settings.  As non bowden machines need much less retraction.  And the max speed varies per printer.  In fact in cura you should be able to set the speed to 100 meters per second (100,000 mm/sec) and let the machine's firmware limit the speed and acceleration.

     

    As far as material flow - that seems like a bad idea.  A long time ago the old version of cura had a packing ratio claiming that ABS shrunk more than PLA so that you needed more flow.  However the volume of the filament is measured at the feeder where the filament is at room temperature.  So it doesn't matter how much the material expands as long as it contracts again as it cools back to room temp.  Right?  I don't know - I don't print much ABS but that makes sense to me.

     

    If you are adjusting flow then the printer is probably defective or you are probably printing beyond the printer's abilities (too fast or nozzle too cold).

     

    But I can imagine it's really tough when you have many different printer types.  At least for me I only have 3 types and I know them so well that I know when it's time to change the PTFE coupler and when the feeder needs fixing, etc.

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    Posted · Cura Material Manger - how are people handling same material for different printers?

    I use the material manager across my 3D Printers. I do much of the same thing for my printers that have the same filament diameter. I would make an average for the materials across machines or the mode (what's most consistent) and just select the material. I usually start with generic or one that has the same brand. Think its easier that way and any tweaks you make to the individual printer settings.

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    Posted · Cura Material Manger - how are people handling same material for different printers?

    I'll have to piece together my questions in a YouTube video and share it here.  

     

    I think maybe a visual demonstration will help better craft my questions.  I think George has some really good input and I think I am doing that workflow....but let's do a demonstration video and see what happens!

     

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    Posted · Cura Material Manger - how are people handling same material for different printers?

    @nallath can you chime in on this thread?

    When I go to add a new material, such as the ColorFabb nGen (or really anything), I encounter the "No Profile" or the dreaded Yellow Exclamation mark.

     

    Let me roll back my question into two ...

     

    What is the proper process for a user to enter in a new material into Cura?

     

    How does the "Print Settings" tab, particularly the Retraction Distance and Retraction Speed affect different machines using the same material?  (I have 19 machines, some Bowden and some Direct Drive.  If enter in values that work on an Ultimaker 2+, they certainly won't work well on a Bondtech Direct Drive DDX equipped machine)

     

    Lets start there.  Thank you!

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    Posted · Cura Material Manger - how are people handling same material for different printers?
    On 11/11/2021 at 8:57 PM, LePaul said:

    @nallath can you chime in on this thread?

    When I go to add a new material, such as the ColorFabb nGen (or really anything), I encounter the "No Profile" or the dreaded Yellow Exclamation mark.

     

    Let me roll back my question into two ...

     

    What is the proper process for a user to enter in a new material into Cura?

     

    How does the "Print Settings" tab, particularly the Retraction Distance and Retraction Speed affect different machines using the same material?  (I have 19 machines, some Bowden and some Direct Drive.  If enter in values that work on an Ultimaker 2+, they certainly won't work well on a Bondtech Direct Drive DDX equipped machine)

     

    Lets start there.  Thank you!

    The issue here is that the material type is often misused. So f you create a new material that has the type "pla" it will try to find quality profiles that belong to "pla". In most cases it can, since either Ultimaker or contributors have added those profiles.

    If you change the material type to "pla+" (to name just one), it tries to find quality profiles that belong to pla+, but it can't find those. At that point it defaults to an empty quality profile, which triggers the "not supported" profile.

    So it's not that you can't print with this material, it's just that cura tells you that it simply doesn't have any fancy smancy profiles for you.

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