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Illogical Mixing of Materials and Profiles Settings - Discard Or Keep Changes


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Posted · Illogical Mixing of Materials and Profiles Settings - Discard Or Keep Changes

There's something that I think is a major issue with Cura since it started, and it's one that I know causes a ton of confusion, and that is the very counterintuitive and illogical mixing of Materials and Profiles, and changing settings in the profile vs switching materials.

 

Cura's GUI makes a distinction between Materials and (printing) Profiles (and their associated settings of each), but in practice, the program doesn't actually keep those separate. In reality, the Material settings are really just part of the Profile settings, so why even pretend that they are different? 

If you change a setting that has nothing to do with a material (like changing brim to skirt for example), and then select a different material, it will still ask you if you want to keep your changed settings, even though you only changed the Profile settings, not the Material settings, and you're only trying to select a new Material, not switch to a different Profile, so why is it asking? It should only be changing the settings associated with that material. Here is an example:

  1. I select a PLA material from my list of Materials
  2. I change the speed (in the Profile / Print settings menu on the right) to 60mm/s
  3. I change the material to PETG
  4. Now Cura asks me if I want to keep the changed settings
    1. Why? I'm only telling it to change materials, not switch to a new printing Profile
    2. The only setting it's asking me about is the speed, but print speed isn't an option in Material settings, so it's irrelevant 

 

Do you see how confusing it is the way Cura pretends that Materials and Profiles are separate, but in the background it actually considers them to be one thing?

 

I also need to say that the popup message asking if you want to keep or discard your changed settings is very confusing for a couple of reasons:

  1. Since Cura doesn't keep Material settings and Profile settings separate, it's confusing because the popup will appear whenever you switch to a new material even if you haven't changed any of the settings that are relevant to materials.
    1. This should not happen. If the user selects a new material, but hasn't made any changes to the 6 settings that are part of the material settings menu, the popup shouldn't come up because it's irrelevant
  2. There should be another option that lets you take on the new settings of that material, but keep all of the other custom settings in your profile
    1. For instance, in the example above, I should be able to "keep" the new speed but "discard" the printing temperature (in other words, all settings that are defined in the material will take effect, but nothing else about the Profile will change). This would effectively keep materials and profiles separate
    2. Without this option, the "... never ask again" options are no good because what if I do want it to ask me if I change Profiles, but I don't want it to ask me if I only change Materials?
  3. The wording of the message and options is just bad because it uses the double-negative "discard changes". People won't know if they're being asked to discard the changes they made to the old settings or discard the changes that would happen when they switched material/profile
    1. Instead, it should read something like "Do you want to keep your custom Profile settings?" and the options should be "Keep" and "Override"

 

The problem is that there is a lot of overlap of which settings are relevant to materials, and which are relevant to a general printing profile

 

I see two possible solutions:

  1. Actually make Materials and Profiles separate
    1. The material settings would then not part of the Profile settings at all, and could only be changed by selecting a new material or via a separate "Material settings" tab next to the Print settings in the window on the right
    2. There would be separate popups for when you change materials or change profiles
  2. Just get rid of the idea of a printing profile and just put all possible settings into the Material profiles
    1. Then every material would basically have its own full set of settings 
      1. This would significantly add to the customization of special filaments which require more settings to print well

 

There are only 6 settings that you can define for a given material in the Materials menu. This is very limiting, as there are many other options that are relevant for specific materials. Heck, there are more settings under the Material dropdown in the Print settings menu then there are in the actual Materials menu (like flow for example). How does that make sense?

 

For example, TPU usually needs to be printed more slowly, and with less or no retraction. There is currently no way to associate these settings with a material. To do this, you would have to select TPU from your materials, then tweak the other settings you need to make it print well, then save that as a new Profile, and from now on whenever you want to print that TPU, you need to select it from your Materials, but you also need to remember to select your TPU profile.

Anyway, this is something that's seemed to always cause a lot of confusion, and it would be amazing if it could be remedied.

Thanks!
-Alterius

 

Cura mixing material and profile ask to keep or discard.JPG

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    Posted · Illogical Mixing of Materials and Profiles Settings - Discard Or Keep Changes
    8 hours ago, AlteriusOmega said:

    Cura's GUI makes a distinction between Materials and (printing) Profiles (and their associated settings of each), but in practice, the program doesn't actually keep those separate.

    Yes, yes it does.

     

    9 hours ago, AlteriusOmega said:

    If you change a setting that has nothing to do with a material (like changing brim to skirt for example), and then select a different material, it will still ask you if you want to keep your changed settings, even though you only changed the Profile settings, not the Material settings, and you're only trying to select a new Material, not switch to a different Profile, so why is it asking? It should only be changing the settings associated with that material.

    Platform adhesion is definitely a setting that is material dependent. The reason that it's asking you is because you didn't store it in a material profile, but in a quality profile.

     

    Every profile can already have all the settings. Although many people seem to think that there is such a thing as a "Material only setting", we've found that that is hardly ever the case. Even something like printing temperature can be influenced by what you're trying to print (eg; If you want to print faster, you should print at a higher temperature, which means it's not really a material only setting!)

    There is a plugin that allows you to add all settings to your material profile. We've been considering adding parts of (or the entirety) of the features of that plugin to the main program.

     

     

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