Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts

Newbie - Netfabb or Skeinforge

Recommended Posts

Posted · Newbie - Netfabb or Skeinforge

Hi There,

ok, so I am awaiting my order to come, was ordered 4 weeks ago now, so I'm hoping I get an update / package soon!

Anyways, I'm sure this question has been asked many a time, but I still cannot see any definitive answer, though I understand its quite subjective... As a newbie, after assembling the device, how much of a headache will it be to get Skienforge to give me these lovely prints I see floating around the net?

I see the Netfabb ones often and it is clear they are fantastic looking, and I believe Netfabb is faster at the slicing too? by what factor I don't know, if its a case of 10mins for an average print vs 6.5 for netfabb, then I don't know if the 150 euro price would be worth it, if however the quality is multitudes better and the speed is faster by a factor of 10, then its a different story.

What are peoples views on this?

I wonder what proportion are using netfabb vs those using Skienforge?

Anyway, cheers.

  • Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted · Newbie - Netfabb or Skeinforge

    slicing depends on how large&tall your objects are, and how many layers you plan to have.

    simple flat objects (<10mm) slice reasonably fast in SF.

    a complex object with infill and about 400 layers takes about 30-90sec max to slice with netfabb, and Skeinforge is about 200-600x slower, so an hour or 2 for slicing in SF is normal, I had large&complex objects slice for 13h.

  • Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted · Newbie - Netfabb or Skeinforge


    I'm also relatively new to 3D printing and I tried both Skeinforge and Netfabb. When speaking Skeinforge, I mean version 35. This is a rather old version but integrated in RepG 26. It's the only version I use. The newer Skeinforge versions (40+) have some new functionality (called volumetric) which appears to work great. Since it's not integrated in RepG you need to run these newer versions stand-alone. That's not a problem but just something you should know.

    Skeinforge pros:

    - Free

    - Comb functionality to remove (most of the) quick jumps

    - Highly configurable (if you know what all the settings really mean)

    - Quickly printable GCode output (due to thick layers)

    - Updated frequently

    Netfabb pros:

    - Very quick calculation (5 minutes max. is my record while SF needs hours for the same model in a lower quality layer setting...)

    - Good user interface (SF is 'not that great' on this part...)

    - Very useable print profiles (thanks to Paul and Florian)

    - Very high quality (resulting in higher print time)

    Both programs still need RepG to send the Gcode to the Ultimaker although Netfabb should be able to work with it directly without the need of RepG. They're still trying to get the connection right.

    I can really recommend Netfabb although I must admit I still use SF when I need some gcode which I can print quickly. Netfabb lacks settings for really quickly printable gcode. In other words: Netfabb's lowest quality setting is still too good for some particular objects. To give you an idea: I use 90% Netfabb, 10% SF gcode.

    The choice is up to you.

    Considering it's price: 150 Euro seems a lot. Compared to the 1200 Euro the Ultimaker costs it's not all that expensive anymore. Netfabb really makes this machine shine.

  • Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted · Newbie - Netfabb or Skeinforge

    Also, skeinforge 43 or higher are also 40% faster then previous versions.

    But we should make a new RepG version, bundled with newer Skeinforge version and "pypy", which makes skeinforge another 4 times as fast on large builds.

    Still, the skeinforge interface is... horrible IMHO. It's always in expert mode, options move around between versions a lot. And it feels like a hackjob. I have no experience with Netfabb, but Slic3r (which is quite new, and the results haven't been great for me) has a much better UI.

  • Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted · Newbie - Netfabb or Skeinforge

    I think at least some of the SF speed (or lack of it) depends on your machine. More free memory and disabling bits in SF you don't need will help a lot. It's never going to be fast but you can do things to make it less slow...

    - Comb functionality to remove (most of the) quick jumps

    Not exactly.. Comb tries to reroute non-printing moves so that the nozzle doesn't go over any more open space than it has to. This is HUGELY nice feature as it can eliminate many of the strings you'd normally get on complex parts from the print head oozing a bit as it crosses open areas.

    If you imagine printing a C shaped object, Comb will make it so that the head won't go straight from one endpoint to the other - it will reroute the moves so that non-printing movements travel along the rest of the shape instead. This usually adds to the printing time but results in a much nicer end-product.

    The newer Skeinforge versions (40+) have some new functionality (called volumetric) which appears to work great

    It does indeed work great! Another HUGE feature.

    Basically, "volumetric 5D" calculates the extruder speed for you based on other settings (layer height, feed rate, etc) and your filament diameter. Without this, any change to one of the big print settings (again: layer height, feed rate, etc) will require careful and tedious test & tweak calibration runs to figure out the correct flow rate. With it, you tell it the settings you want and it just works. Very nice.

    Volumetric-style profiles are coming to netfabb. Possibly very soon.. :D

  • Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted · Newbie - Netfabb or Skeinforge

    Hi ddurant,

    thanks for clarifying my rather vague descriptions. I knew what the COMB feature does but my explanation was too simplified to make sense... :oops:

    My wanted list for Netfabb:

    1) Flawless direct connection to the Ultimaker :!:

    2) Flawless direct connection to the Ultimaker :!:

    3) Flawless direct connection to the Ultimaker :!:

    4) Comb functionality

    5) Volumetric

    As for Daid's suggestion: I think it's not that bad for Skeinforge to work standalone and NOT implement it in RepG at all. This way it's easier to upgrade SF versions and (to me) it makes more sense when SF is a stand-alone program (draw - slice - print).

    Good profiles for Skeinforge would be highly recommended though! I honestly feel this is more important than implementing it into RepG. I love the preset Netfabb profiles (like Filled - Hollow - Vase) in combination with print quality (Low - Standard - High - Ultra). These are not available in SF (there's just PLA failsafe profile...).

  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
    • Our picks

      • Talking additive | The 3D printing podcast
        Why should we be the only ones asking questions? Join us and ask Jabil all your questions on September 22nd 5pm CET
          • Like
        • 3 replies
      • Ultimaker masterclass: Optimizing your Ultimaker Cura workflow
        Save your seat for either broadcast on September 23.
        What will you learn?
        · Best practices for iterative print preparation and every lesson you should learn from each print
        · The right way to use per-object settings and when they are most useful
        · Easy-to-use resources for anyone who wants to develop their own printer definitions, plugins, or print profiles
        · How to optimize print profile settings and whether to “keep” or “discard” changes
        · When is the right time to export your drawing from CAD? (Based on Ultimaker Cura’s surprising power as 3D control software)
        · And a whole lot more tips and tricks!
        How can I join?
        This free masterclass will take place twice:
        1. 11am CEST (5pm SGT, 5am EDT)
        2. 5pm CEST (11am EDT, 8am PDT, 11pm SGT)
          • Like
        • 0 replies
      • Do you use 3D printing at work? Let us know
        It doesn't matter if you are using 1 Ultimaker or 10, there is inspiration in everything. We're looking for ...
        • 1 reply
    • Create New...