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S3D slicer - Best practices for managing profiles

robmacbc
(@robmacbc)
Trusted Member

Hey all, I'm setting up a shiny new laptop with S3D and don't want a repeat of the dog's breakfast i have on my old machine regarding printer and materials profiles. Can anyone give a little guidance to keep things nice and organized?

I have soooo many profiles! 4 printers different printers 3 different models , (Eryone Thinker S v2, Thinker SE and ER-20). Different filament profiles for specilty materials, nozzles and unique projects with specific layer heights, colour changes and on and on. It's a mess.

Thanks  for any insight

Rob 

Quote
Topic starter Posted : 13/01/2021 3:29 am
Luke
 Luke
(@lmf5000)
Expert Moderator

Hi Rob,

This is an excellent question. I spent many months grappling with just this scenario and I'm happy to present my solution to you here 🙂

For starters, I put every printer as a "profile". That means 5 models of printer will be represented by five profiles. In my case I sometimes create special profiles with specific overrides (for example different nozzle sizes, or particular overrides necessitated by particular prints). I also give my profiles versions so that I can keep track of updates - I increment version number by 0.1 when I make a minor revision and by 1 when I make a major revision. Periodically I export my profiles into a folder on my computer (File -> Export FFF) and then delete the old ones to unclutter the list.

Here's what the last few profiles on my list look like. The latest is the 7.2 so when I want a CR-10 print I just jump to that one -

image

One crucial thing for this to work as expected is to tick the "update machine definition" tickbox under the G-code tab -

image

That way, each profile will save the shape and dimensions of the particular printer and these settings will be applied when you change profile.

---

The next piece of magic is to have multiple materials and quality settings within each of these profiles (so you can quickly override major settings like temperatures and layer heights without having to change profile for each one).

image

In my case, I've programmed settings for PLA, PETG and Flexible filament (the three I use most) and layer heights of 0.2, 0.16, 0.12 and 0.08mm (the ones I use most frequently). So when it comes to printing I simply choose a printer from the profile box, material and quality from the other two boxes and print.

image
image

---

The way I got those dropdowns set up requires editing the profiles by hand because in Simplify3D there is no way to graphically change what gets edited by changing the material and quality dropdowns.

Fortunately, it's very easy to change them.

Start by exporting your profile by going to File -> Export FFF profile.

Pick the profile and click OK

image

Find the file and right click -> open with -> notepad to open it as a text file

image

Alternatively, if you have Notepad++ installed you can right click and click "edit with notepad++"

If you don't see the open with notepad option on your computer, just open notepad, click file -> open, and point it at the .fff file. Make sure "all files" is selected as filetype in the bottom right corner -

image

Once that's done, you should see the .fff file. As you can see, every setting is there in XML format.

XML works with tags - there's an opening tag enclosed in <brackets> and a closing tag with a slash and brackets </like this>

For example, your layer height will be set by the line that says

<layerHeight>0.2</layerHeight>

The magic with the custom dropdowns happens at the end of the file, where you can configure the quality and material overrides, and exactly what they do to your profile. Here's mine:

<autoConfigureQuality name="0.2">
<layerHeight>0.2</layerHeight>
<topSolidLayers>4</topSolidLayers>
<bottomSolidLayers>3</bottomSolidLayers>
<skirtLayers>1</skirtLayers>
<firstLayerHeightPercentage>100</firstLayerHeightPercentage>
</autoConfigureQuality>
<autoConfigureQuality name="0.16">
<layerHeight>0.16</layerHeight>
<topSolidLayers>5</topSolidLayers>
<bottomSolidLayers>4</bottomSolidLayers>
<skirtLayers>1</skirtLayers>
<firstLayerHeightPercentage>125</firstLayerHeightPercentage>
</autoConfigureQuality>
<autoConfigureQuality name="0.12">
<layerHeight>0.12</layerHeight>
<topSolidLayers>6</topSolidLayers>
<bottomSolidLayers>5</bottomSolidLayers>
<skirtLayers>1</skirtLayers>
<firstLayerHeightPercentage>150</firstLayerHeightPercentage>
</autoConfigureQuality>
<autoConfigureQuality name="0.08">
<layerHeight>0.08</layerHeight>
<topSolidLayers>7</topSolidLayers>
<bottomSolidLayers>7</bottomSolidLayers>
<skirtLayers>1</skirtLayers>
<firstLayerHeightPercentage>200</firstLayerHeightPercentage>
</autoConfigureQuality>

As you can see, I've got four entries defined in my "quality" dropdown, corresponding to layer heights of 0.2, 0.16, 0.12 and 0.08mm. Each one sets the layer height, number of top and bottom solid layers, and a custom first layer height percentage to make the first layer height close to 0.2mm (eg. 150% x 0.12mm = 0.18mm first layer). I do that because 0.2mm is a reasonably durable first layer height that is more forgiving of minor levelling inaccuracies than finer layers.

Your .fff file will have different material names and different overrides - just edit them to taste so you get your printer to behave the way you want :). I've provided the whole section from mine in case you want to use it as a starting point.

Likewise, I have this in my .fff that overrides the material settings to give me three options (PLA, PETG and flexible):

<autoConfigureMaterial name="PLA">
<globalExtruderTemperature>210</globalExtruderTemperature>
<globalBedTemperature>60</globalBedTemperature>
<globalExtrusionMultiplier>0.97</globalExtrusionMultiplier>
<firstLayerUnderspeed>0.5</firstLayerUnderspeed>
<defaultSpeed>3600</defaultSpeed>
<internalInfillPattern>Full Honeycomb</internalInfillPattern>
<internalInfillAngles>0,120,-120</internalInfillAngles>
<infillPercentage>15</infillPercentage>
<fanSpeed>
<setpoint layer="1" speed="0"/>
<setpoint layer="2" speed="0"/>
<setpoint layer="3" speed="70"/>
<setpoint layer="5" speed="90"/>
</fanSpeed>
</autoConfigureMaterial>
<autoConfigureMaterial name="PETG">
<globalExtruderTemperature>225</globalExtruderTemperature>
<globalBedTemperature>75</globalBedTemperature>
<globalExtrusionMultiplier>0.96</globalExtrusionMultiplier>
<firstLayerUnderspeed>0.3</firstLayerUnderspeed>
<defaultSpeed>3600</defaultSpeed>
<internalInfillPattern>Full Honeycomb</internalInfillPattern>
<internalInfillAngles>0,120,-120</internalInfillAngles>
<infillPercentage>15</infillPercentage>
<fanSpeed>
<setpoint layer="1" speed="0"/>
<setpoint layer="2" speed="0"/>
<setpoint layer="3" speed="70"/>
<setpoint layer="5" speed="90"/>
</fanSpeed>
</autoConfigureMaterial>
<autoConfigureMaterial name="Flex">
<globalExtruderTemperature>220</globalExtruderTemperature>
<globalBedTemperature>70</globalBedTemperature>
<globalExtrusionMultiplier>1.25</globalExtrusionMultiplier>
<firstLayerUnderspeed>0.5</firstLayerUnderspeed>
<defaultSpeed>2400</defaultSpeed>
<internalInfillPattern>Rectilinear</internalInfillPattern>
<internalInfillAngles>45,-45</internalInfillAngles>
<infillPercentage>10</infillPercentage>
<fanSpeed>
<setpoint layer="1" speed="0"/>
<setpoint layer="2" speed="0"/>
<setpoint layer="3" speed="70"/>
<setpoint layer="5" speed="90"/>
</fanSpeed>
</autoConfigureMaterial>

 

As you can see, I'm applying overrides to the extruder and bed temperature, extrusion multiplier, first layer speed, infill and fan speed.

You can build your profiles any way you want in this way - simply copy the settings you want to change from elsewhere in the file (so that you get the correct code) and paste them into each <autoconfigurequality> or <autoconfigurematerial> entry to get the behaviour you want.

Once done, save the file, then import it back into simplify3d using File -> Import FFF profile. Test that the overrides are working - any mistakes in the coding and the setting won't be applied, so check all of them and if necessary go back to notepad and double check your work.

Hope this helps, looking forward to your feedback! 🙂

Regards,
Luke

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13/01/2021 10:51 pm
robmacbc
(@robmacbc)
Trusted Member

Wow, Luke!!! What a thorough, helpful tutorial, complete with snippets and all!

I really appreciate this, and will get busy setting this up. Looks like it will be a huge help.

Thanks again,

Rob

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 17/01/2021 11:40 pm
Luke
 Luke
(@lmf5000)
Expert Moderator

Hi Rob,

You are most welcome 😀 Glad you found this useful!

Happy printing!

Regards,
Luke

ReplyQuote
Posted : 18/01/2021 8:05 pm
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