Evolution of a Blog

This blog has evolved as I have as a maker. It starts at the beginning of my journey where I began to re-tread my tires in the useful lore of micro electronics and the open-source software that can drive them. While building solutions around micro-electronics are still an occasional topic my more recent focus has been on the 3D Printing side of making.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Struggles with Simplify 3D

I bought a copy of Simplify 3D to drive my new printer and have spent a fair amount of time in hand to hand combat getting it to work.   I think that I like the software, and I can certainly see it's potential, but it seems to have a lot of areas for reconsideration (e.g. bugs).

When you first start the software you select your printer from a list.  My printer was there so I selected it.  Now a bit of a caveat, I had initially played with the software trying to get it to drive my Prusa I3.   Not sure if this is relevant or not...but...things did not seem right from the outset.   I started with the built-in profile that uses the right extruder which I had loaded with PLA.   It worked but for some reason it was not reporting the temperature of the build platform.   DId not seem right but I perservered and was able to do some prints.  Pretty much out of the box the printer and software delivered better quality (on gross details) and speed than my Prusa I3.   There was still a lot of tuning to do on fine details and on bridging.

Time to try some ABS.   I loaded up the left extruder, selected the profile for the left extruder, set it up for ABS and tried to print.   No go.   It just would not print on the left extruder.   So I open a topic on the Simplify 3D Support Forum and get some advice from a JoeJ.   The advice was to select "Reset All Settings" from the Help Menu.  Seems like the equivalent of "Ctrl-Alt-Del"...and just like a reboot...it worked.   Reselected my printer on startup, selected the profile for the left extruder, and not only did it work but the temperatures were now reporting accurately.

So what corrupted things?  Acts like a bug, looks like a bug, probably a bug?  Or just personality?

BTW, since I first wrote the above it has happened again.  Out of the blue the printer started to do a tool change on one of the temperature changes.  Did the magic reset, reloaded my profile and it still did not work.   Created a whole new profile, and it worked.   A while later  reloaded the orginal profile.....and it worked?!?!?

Next post will cover some aspects of calibration.

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