Cross-Platform Profileinator Web App

by MakerBlock, published

Cross-Platform Profileinator Web App by MakerBlock Mar 20, 2011


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I don't know C++ or Java, but I was able to find the formula Dave Durant used in his excellent Profilinator code. I've used his formula to build a calculator on my website. I put his formula into a spreadsheet, which is included below if you want to see what goes into it. That's the exact formula I'm using on my site. I've updated the program since taking that screenshot, so it will look a little bit different (read: Better!)


  1. Go to http://makerblock.com/profilemaker/
  2. Enter the desired layer height.
  3. Enter the desired thread thickness.
  4. Click "Stand back! I'm going to try SCIENCE!"

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I think the great value of this approach is accessibility. I mean, I just go to a web site, and pow! there it is. I think starting from some hard coded assumptions is a good way to go. One of the great things about the Up! printer is since they sell the plastic, they can hard code a lot of assumptions and really dial things in.

With this tool, out of the box, I can get some good prints, assuming I have MakerBot plastic, which is a reasonable assumption, if I have a MakerBot machine.

If you slowly add options, without cluttering the initial interface, that would be great. One of the challenges I, or anyone, faces with s
keinforge is that all the power is kind of in your face from the beginning. So, if you can manage to slowly unfold that power progressively, then users can slowly take on more control as their knowledge and skills improve.

Thanks a lot for the web page.

This is a great idea but badly flawed without a true measure of plastic. The 3mm plastic thickness and density varies quite a bit. I just used Dave's tool (plus measurements) to switch between 2.8mm blue plastic (about 77% "stuff") and 2.82mm natural (about 88% "stuff") which changed exactly one parameter: flow rate dropped from 2.9 to 2.5. And without even a tuning print I trusted in Dave and got good results. But if I had assumed that blue and natural were identical the print surely would have failed.

If by "badly flawed" you mean I disclose, up front, the limitations, then I agree with you. Right now I have it set to 2.88mm as that's what my ABS filament was. This should work well for most people most of the time. If people like using the online version, I'll continue to expand the options available - including filament diameter.

I don't mean to sound harsh -- I like the idea of a web-based calculator. Dave's tool is extremely effective IF you measure first. The difference in area between 3mm and 2.8mm filament is 15%, and comments on Dave's page document everything from 77% density (my blue "3mm" ABS from makerbot) to near 100% (someone's yellow ABS). With that much variation the math could be off by 50%.

Given how easy it is in RepG 24 I think you should take as input the length of filament extruded at 1 (or 2 or whatever) RPM. Even if they can't accurately measure thread diameter it's probably very close to 0.6mm for a 0.5mm nozzle. Length is easy.

Nah, man, we're cool!

The plastic sold by different people have very different diameters - and as you point out, even a small change in the diameter causes a big change in the volume. I've found all of my MakerBot ABS 3mm filament clocks in right at 2.88mm in diameter, so these numbers make sense for me. In any case,
I'll be adding more features soon.

Arrr can't edit, I meant "length of filament extruded in 60 seconds" via the control panel.