Wednesday, September 10, 2014

[3dprint] IceSL Alpha 5_4

We just released a new version of IceSL (5_4).

IceSL now runs on most OpenGL 4.2+ hardware (NVidia, AMD, Intel HD). The release fixes a number of issues; here is the change log:
  • Improved dense infilling (no gaps)
  • Added support for SVG (see manual).
  • Fixed bug with save/load of '.ice' format when the scene contains scripts.
  • Improved cutting tool.
  • An on-screen message is now displayed when the view cannot be rendered (inside object box).
  • Fixed a rare bug producing a wrong bounding box for the object.
  • Fixed a rare bug creating an invalid skirt.
Join us on the Google Group to discuss IceSL!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

[3dprint] adaptive slicing and color mix

Some more thoughts on color mixing... One obvious thing to do is simply to slice adaptively, switching colors between layers. For instance, to get 70% of black and 30% of white, simply slice a 0.07 layer of black and then a 0.03 layer of white (thickness to be scaled depending on desired layer height). That is trivial to do in most slicers. Of course, to generate a spatially varying pattern in XY you need to change the slicing heights within the slice (in the XY plane), but this has been proposed before and does not seem too difficult to implement.

... maybe I should just try that!

Monday, April 21, 2014

[3dprint] More gradient examples

Two more examples of filament gradients. The slope -- in particular in overhang regions -- slightly changes the perceived color. The first model uses a linear ramp, while the second model uses a sine wave along the Z direction. I started experimenting with gradients along XY, first tests look promising.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

[3dprint] filament gradients

I have been working on a way to blend two filaments together to achieve smooth gradients along a print surface. It is not perfect yet, but here is a brief description of this idea.

When working on our 'clean colors' technique, we made the observation that alternating layers of two filaments would produce different gradients of colors along the sides of the object. What happens is that the filament closer to the observer has more impact visually, than the one slightly behind. Interestingly, this paper made the exact same observation and came up with a very interesting way of depositing filaments to mix colors.

Starting from the same observation I came up with a different idea. Instead of changing the geometry I play with the flow of plastic. I do not alternate filament each layer but instead, at each layer, I deposit plastic twice (once for each filament) with a different flow of plastic. The two flows add up to 100% and by changing the percentage of each deposition you get different blends of colors. It is important though to always start by the filament having the highest percentage. What happens is that you get 'big' and 'small' cross sections of filament. And of course, the big one becomes more visible.

This works quite well and has interesting properties:
- the layer height is unchanged
- there is no change to the geometry of the print
The main drawback is that this requires carefull calibration to align the heads. This can be done in software by printing calibration tests. I have done initial experiments with spatial variations, but I yet have to explore this further. I am also curious to see what happens when doing this with soft/hard filaments and filaments of different properties.

If you experiment with this please let me know! If that works well enough we will include this feature in IceSL.