Cup/Vase/Surface thickness mod for Skeinforge 50 fill plugin

by delsydsoftware, published

Cup/Vase/Surface thickness mod for Skeinforge 50 fill plugin by delsydsoftware Mar 24, 2013


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Update 2
These plugin changes were rolled into the Sailfish version of ReplicatorG a couple months ago, which can be found here ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:32084 ). So, you should only need this plugin if you are using a non-Sailfish version of ReplicatorG.

I have added the ability to limit the number of layers printed. See the last bullet point below for more info

This is a replacement for the Fill plugin used in Skeinforge 50. It adds 4 useful features:

-The ability to disable the top layers of a model for printing out cups, vases, or other hollow objects without deleting lines from gcode manually

-An automatic solid surface thickness feature, which lets you set the thickness of top, bottom, and overhang surfaces in milimeters, instead of layers. This keeps top and bottom surfaces proportional, even when printing in thin layer heights. It results in much cleaner top and bottom surfaces, even with ridiculously low infill settings and small layer heights.

-Forcing even/odd top layers. The fill patterns on the top layer of a surface are different, depending on whether there are an even or odd number of solid surface layers. I prefer to see the even layers, which use vertical lines. Odd layers tend to use slanted lines, which print more slowly and can be a bit messier. You can now choose whether you want the final layer to be even or odd.

-You can now determine how much of the object to print using the 'Object printing percentage/layer limit' feature. This lets you print 1 layer of an object, which can be handy for printer calibration. It also lets you print a custom percentage of the object, or a custom number of layers. This feature is disabled by default, and is ignored if you have Disable Top Layers enabled.


Before you install this plugin, you will want to make a backup of your current fill.py plugin. You can find it in your ReplicatorG install folder, under this path:


Once you have your original fill.py file backed up, just save the new version to the same directory

Once installed, edit your slicing profiles in ReplicatorG and open the Fill settings screen.

When 'Enable automatic solid surface thickness' is checked, Skeinforge will ignore the old 'Solid surface thickness (layers)' value. It will instead look at the 'Desired solid surface thickness (mm)' setting. I usally set this to somewhere between 1mm and 1.2mm, as it tends to give pretty good results, even under 0.1mm layer heights with very sparse infill. This feature is turned off by default.

When you enable Force even/odd top layer, it may cause slight inconsistencies in layer thickness. For example, if you set it to prefer even layer heights and an odd height is generated, this feature will add an additional surface layer in order to be sure that an even top layer will be extruded. This doesn't affect the size or dimensions of the object, but it does use a little bit more filament. This feature is set to off by default.

The 'Disable top layers (cups and vases) setting is pretty straightforward. It is off by default.

The 'Object printing percentage/layer limit' feature lets you choose how much of an object to print. By default, it is set to 'Print entire object'

If you are printing a calibration object, you may wish to set this to 'Only print one layer'

You are also given the option to print a certain percentage of the object via the 'Print x percentage of object' option. This looks at the value in the 'Percentage of object to print' field and determines how many layers to print.

The final option is 'Print x layers of object'. This looks at the 'Number of layers to print' field and only processes this number of object layers. If the number of layers specified is larger than the number of object layers, this setting is ignored.

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Hi, thanks you for this. I'm not sure if I can use it, I'm using ReplicatorG 0040 and original Makerbot dual Firmware. Will it work?

It should work fine with that version.

Thanks a lot for the quick reply. I'll try it.

This looks awesome - I'll give it a try! Just one question: Why is the ability to print a custom number of layers needed, when the carve plugin already has this functionality? (If there is some difference, maybe it's better to roll that up into the existing carve location rather than adding multiple ways of doing the same thing).

It was more for convenience than any other reason. I don't think I ever touch carve for the most part, but I'm always tinkering with settings in fill. I think the settings in Skeinforge should be more centralized(but not locked into the main app's code, like Print-o-Matic.)

This was included in RepG Sailfish 40R16 and I notice another new behavior where layers with narrow infill are automatically filled solid ignoring the infill percentage. Is this by design in relation to the original Fill Plugin?

I didn't actually change the code that computes the fill dimensions. I'm just supplying the fill function with a thickness in layers. It could be that you are seeing fills above overhangs that are more pronounced due to an increased solid surface thickness.

So does solid surface thickness apply to thickness in X and Y dimensions as well as in the Z dimensions? If so the behavior makes total sense now.

It just applies to the Z dimension. Shell settings in Print-o-Matic control the x and y thickness. Have you tinkered with your shell settings lately?

Nope, I have not tinkered with those. Without editing the profile I simply switched from RepG Sailfish R14 to R16 which added the new fill plugin. The behavior is not that it is making too many shell passes, but instead it seems to be filling shells under a certain thickness with linear infill rather than sparse infill.

Hmm, interesting. I'm not aware of any changes to the fill code. You might want to check in with Jetty or DNewman to see if some other changes were made that I wasn't aware of.

I like to print small raised reliefs of pictures as keychains or magnets (like in my avatar). They come out great at 50um resolution, but the tops tend to have a few holes due to the thin filament not being able to make the bridge. This solves the problem completely. Thanks!

Very good idea! But I left it turned on by mistake and it cut off the top of my calibration cube! Ahahah And I was trying to figure out why it was too short by about 1mm :)

very nice. I am looking forward to trying the cup feature.