S3D (and other slicers)



  • Following on from another thread, I thought I'd start new, more specific, thread here. Doug and I have been conversing by email but others may have some useful input.

    So what I need is a slicer that can support multiple extruders and also firmware retraction. I have a Diamond hot end but these feature are needed for any mixing hot end. The firmware retraction has to retract all the filaments that go into a single hot end simultaneously. DC42s branch of firmware does this. Retracting a single filament simply pulls filament from an unused input, rather than from the nozzle tip so effectively "normal" retraction does nothing with a mixing hot end. Slic3r supports these two feature but has other issues so I have been looking at S3D which has some very nice features.

    I've contacted S3D for clarification of a couple of things but not yet received a reply.

    Issue 1 is multi extruder support. At first glance, S3D has a wizzard for setting up and/or using dual extruders but I need 3. But in their FAQ section they state the following

    Quote…
    "If you’re lucky enough to have multiple extruders on your machine, our software can help you make the most of them! We support as many extruders as you want and you can easily use different extruders for the outline, infill, or support structures. Try printing your support structures in a dissolvable material like PVA or use a second extruder with a larger nozzle to print part interiors quicker than ever!"
    .........end of quote.

    To me, this is a bit ambiguous. Does "support for any number of extruders" mean that you can actually use any number on the same print, or does it mean that you can use any combination of 2 out of those available? Does anyone have any experience of using setting up a print using 3 or more different filaments. All the documentation I've come across so far refers to dual extruders.

    Issue 2 is firmware retraction. S3D have not yet come back to me but Doug says that it supports firmware retraction but the Marlin variant which the Duet doesn't like. Doug uses a post processing script to strip out all the Marlin retracts (and presumably replace them with G10/11).

    @DC42 if you reading this, what are the Marlin gcodes and how difficult would it be to have the Duet firmware do the same thing for those as it does for G10/11?

    Or can S3D be "hacked"

    Any other suggestions anyone? All donations gratefully received.

    Ian



  • Ian

    I was incorrect in my Marlin Statement and it is the M103 that S3D use which as far as the Gcode Wiki is concerned is only used by Teacup.

    There was some discussion some time ago re a hack to get FW Retraction to work in S3D but I can't find it now it was in the RepRap forums somewhere IIRC.

    I don't use FW Retraction as to be honest I have no need for it at the moment but in the future who knows I just strip out the M103's that keep appearing if I don't (RRF throws up an error every time it sees them and S3D have acknowledged that fact?

    Doug



  • Hi Doug,

    That's a weird way of doing it. We need to convince them to use G10/G11. I did come across something this http://thrinter.com/using-firmware-retraction-with-simplify3d/ which might be useful. I didn't realise that S3D itself could do post processing - that'll make life easier.

    Ian



  • That's the thing I was refering to am about to go out and will have a look at it later.

    The more I Look the more I think the M203's may be a red herring.

    Doug



  • Got this back from S3D

    Quote…........
    Thanks for your interest in our software, Ian, and thank you for contacting Simplify3D support. I'd be glad to answer your questions. We do indeed support firmware retraction. You can enable the option to include M101/102/103 commands and use them or replace them with the relevant commands for your machine. Some more information about replacement commands can be found at the end of the first post here: https://forum.simplify3d.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1959

    Please let me know if you have any more questions, I'd be happy to help.

    ~Simplify3D Support

    ….........end of Quote.



  • What I can't understand is why they would support firmware retraction with M codes that have been deprecated in all but Teacup firmware??

    But at least there is a mechanism to replace all those M codes with the required G Codes.

    Doug



  • @Dougal1957:

    What I can't understand is why they would support firmware retraction with M codes that have been deprecated in all but Teacup firmware??

    But at least there is a mechanism to replace all those M codes with the required G Codes.

    Doug

    Yes - I've asked them the same question about deprecated M codes and whether they have any plans to do anything about it. Awaiting their response. Providing it'll support 3 or more colours for the same object, I think I'll give it a go. There is the 2 week trial period so if I time the purchase for when I know I'll have plenty of time to play, it should be OK.

    'er in doors can buy it for my xmas pressy.:)

    The post processing script feature will be handy for some of the stuff I do with changing mix ratios throughout the print - it'll save me messing around writing python scripts which I don't really understand very well. Looks like it has some other really cool features too.

    Ian



  • I tried Simplify3D when I was 'nowt but a lad' and gave up on it after 2 weeks, as Dual extrusion did not work then.
    No I'm a 'grown up' I have just tried it again, as Matter Hackers slicer just would not slice Julian_Vase_002, even the basic model.

    • "Too many polygons"!!
      S3D did, even the detailed version, in no time at all. The interface may seem strange at first but well worth the pain in learning.
      BUT my question really is: for Chimera dual extrusion, with two hot ends, does implementing firmware retraction really make such a difference,
      or is it only for Diamond/Cyclops heads that it is really needed?


  • I gave up on trying to use my Chimera setup and instead use the Cyclops when I want to do dual extrusion prints. I was having collisions far too often no matter how much I tried to balance the two nozzles out. I realize I could probably have fixed this if I tried for long enough, in the end just wasn't worth it. The need for stuff like ooze shields just made it too much effort for too little reward.

    As to S3D, they better update their software soon or I'll be looking elsewhere. Stuff like trying to do top layers over the middle of a hole from a honeycomb infill and having all the plastic fall in. Cura doesn't suffer these issues. Not placing outlines around support but instead through the middle of it….the list is long.

    For now I'm still using S3D, it does work with dual extrusion prints with a bit of work. Really not something I do often even though I specifically invested in the ability to do so..go figure.

    Jeff



  • @Merlin:

    I tried Simplify3D when I was 'nowt but a lad' and gave up on it after 2 weeks, as Dual extrusion did not work then.
    No I'm a 'grown up' I have just tried it again, as Matter Hackers slicer just would not slice Julian_Vase_002, even the basic model.

    • "Too many polygons"!!
      S3D did, even the detailed version, in no time at all. The interface may seem strange at first but well worth the pain in learning.
      BUT my question really is: for Chimera dual extrusion, with two hot ends, does implementing firmware retraction really make such a difference,
      or is it only for Diamond/Cyclops heads that it is really needed?

    If you have a mixing type hot end, i.e. 2 or more inputs and a single nozzle then you need to retract all filaments by the same amount, otherwise all that happens is that filament is drawn from one or more of the unused inputs, rather than from the nozzle tip. This is how firmware retraction works with the Duet. So if you have separate nozzles, then you should use "normal" retraction, but if you have one nozzle with multiple inputs, then you should use firmware retraction. HTH

    BTW, I gave up on S3D because trying to get it to support 3 extruders was a complete PITA. I did ask them (S3D) what was the point of printing a priming tower, then changing the tool before resuming the print but never got an answer. Completely ar** about face way to do it.

    Ref Julia vase - you might be interested in my scaled up version, sliced in Slic3r but then post processed to fade from red to yellow to clear
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLwHOcH_UFk

    Ian



  • I use s3d firmware retraction by using post processing scripts. Works fine, with one caveat. If you're using firmware retraction you have to hardcode the z-hop in the slicer, and have it set to 0 in the FW retract configuration. Otherwise if it does a retract on layer change the next layer prints too low. This is due to an "order of operations" issue with how s3d (and most slicers other than slic3r) operate when a retraction coincides with a layer change.

    (I have further info and documentation on this, if needed)

    Thankfully hardcoding z-hop isn't a big deal, as that's not something that requires a lot of tuning mid-print.

    Edit to say that I think this z-hop issue and the order on layer change is likely why they aren't supporting modern firmware retracts with z-hop, going by a conversation I had with support.



  • Here's the further detail - I went through a bunch of slicers and generated gcode of the same model, and found any instances of retraction on layer change. Here's the "order of operations" for each when this happens:

    http://pastebin.com/zhuJGVR1

    You can see that slic3r's the odd ball out, and it's no coincidence that slic3r is the only one that supports modern FW retracts. If you substitute (through post processing) the FW retracts into a slicer like s3d, and include Z-Hop, the "unhop" will come after you're already at the new layer z-height, making your next print move start at (new layer height) - (FW z-hop height). Probably not what you want.

    As I said, works fine in s3d if you use the slicer settings for z-hop height, and do the rest of your FW retracts with post-processing scripts.


  • administrators

    If you include Z hop in your firmware retraction parameters, retract on layer change should work ok in all slicers now. This is one of the things I fixed in firmware 1.17.



  • Ah, I didn't catch that in 1.17. I'll test it out!



  • S3D and firmware retraction.
    I thought I read somewhere in this forum that 1.17c now supports the S3D required M codes without conversion to corresponding G codes.
    Firmware retraction does indeed work but how do I suppress the "unsupported M102 messages".
    Also, as a relative newbie to dual extrusion, how do I eliminate the deadly pause over the print when once colour finishes and before it moves to the prime/wipe tower? I have the Tpostn.g files set with M116 Pn.



  • @Merlin:

    S3D and firmware retraction.
    I thought I read somewhere in this forum that 1.17c now supports the S3D required M codes without conversion to corresponding G codes.
    Firmware retraction does indeed work but how do I suppress the "unsupported M102 messages".
    Also, as a relative newbie to dual extrusion, how do I eliminate the deadly pause over the print when once colour finishes and before it moves to the prime/wipe tower? I have the Tpostn.g files set with M116 Pn.

    Add the following line in yoour post processing areaa atthe bottom of the Scripts tab in Process settings

    {STRIP "M102"}

    That will remove them at source

    HTH

    Doug


  • administrators

    @Merlin:

    S3D and firmware retraction.
    I thought I read somewhere in this forum that 1.17c now supports the S3D required M codes without conversion to corresponding G codes.
    Firmware retraction does indeed work but how do I suppress the "unsupported M102 messages".

    I don't know why S3D generates M102 or what it expects the printer to do. I guess I could make the firmware ignore it.

    @Merlin:

    Also, as a relative newbie to dual extrusion, how do I eliminate the deadly pause over the print when once colour finishes and before it moves to the prime/wipe tower? I have the Tpostn.g files set with M116 Pn.

    Set up the tpre#.g files to move the head away from the print.



  • Before David made these recent changes to the firmware, I did a bit of a write up on how to get S3D to do firmware retraction. It's here https://www.duet3d.com/forum/thread.php?id=396.



  • I'm messing with Cura 2.4 beta 2 at the moment, wow I must say it has sooo many options. I notice it also has adjustable acceleration. I think I'm going to dump S3D for a while, kind of getting sick of the bugs.



  • I could easily be wrong but I don't think the acceleration options in Cura are compatible with the current Duet firmware.

    Also, I don't think it supports firmware retraction for all printers.

    However, I am using the Cura master branch at the moment and getting pretty good results.

    I have S3D also, I hate it!


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