Just to be clear… if you want to re-print the same job, you just put in new material, click “print” again, and push the button again.
Isn’t that part of the Joy of Proofgrade? material composition might vary slightly but glowforge will make sure the settings are dialed in for your specific batch/lot number?
That’s great - now we just need the print job database thingy somewhere down the line.
Exactly. But for the time being, we’re adjusting things a lot!
It depends on the semantics of ‘saved job’. For 3D printers, saving gcode files is very useful - once it’s generated for a specific material and printer, you can run it again with one click, while going back and re-slicing, etc., can be a lengthy process. Gcode is still valid when printer firmware changes, because it abstract away the details that the firmware deals with, so firmware should be able to interpret gcode no matter how old. If the GlowForge has gcode (or similar low-level instructions) I can see re-running a job as being very useful. Sure, it relies on the operator to get everything set up the same way (material, placement) but when you’re banging out a large quantity of something, that’s a good tradeoff.
If whatever low level instruction set GlowForge uses changes over time, they should version it when they make incompatible changes, and when the glow forge laser cutter receives incompatible old instructions it can reject it and force the job to re-render using the new version.
The process to re-send your job to your Glowforge a second time typically takes much less than a minute, so it’s a very different experience from the ponderous toolchain of a 3D printer (you just click “print” in the UI and push the button on the GF a minute later).
Ponderous? When I click print in my web browser, to reprint an object I have printed before, my 3D printer starts immediately and I don’t even need to be in the same room, I can watch it remotely.
I’m hesitant to speak for dan, but what I think he meant was, compared to re-rendering a 3d print (chugging out the g-code again from your source file), hitting print on the Glowforge seldom takes much time to render, meaning the need for a specific “print again” function isn’t quite as pressing. – @dan will correct me, I’m sure if I misread that
Most definitely repeat print capability!!!
I’m with you on this info4, I envision many repeat prints in my future.
I’ve had 3d models take 5-10 minutes to slice, but usually it’s within seconds. I can say the same for the glowforge. The file that made me post this thread took between 7-10 minutes every time I wanted to make another one. I can say the majority of the 3d prints I’ve made were sliced faster than that. However, I can also say the majority of my glowforge jobs come in under the minute mark to render as well
Yes the only part of the 3D tool chain that could be described as ponderous is slicing but you only do that once. And it seems Glowforge can take a similar amount of time processing 2D data, so which do you call ponderous?
Of course the actual printing process is much slower on a 3D printer but it has zero setup time and you don’t need to watch over it. I just lift the objects off at the end and wipe the glass with acetone and it is ready to go again.
@dan said above:
Was that feature not enabled when you were doing the job with all the repeats?
No, he said its something theyll put in the hopper. Hopefully soon! But definitely had to trudge my way through 100+ wedding invites at 7-10 minutes a print in rendering time.
Thanks for the clarification - I took @dan’s comment to mean that it was working now. Sounds like an easy fix, though.
Y’all are talking two different things. What Dan said is true. If you want to print the same thing over and over all you have to do is put in new material and hit print again. You need do nothing else. @takitus is talking about avoiding the necessary re-processing of the print in the cloud each time. Currently, every time you hit “Print” the file is processed and sent back down. Even though it’s just a one button press the re-processing can take time with the very large files @takitus is using. We are hoping that re-processing of the file becomes unnecessary in the future.
Thanks for clarifying the clarification then. Does the GF have no on-board memory at all then?
Yes. My (very limited) experience with FDM and SLA printers was that re-creating a file from the source was at least two pieces of software and many minutes. I’m no expert so it’s possible that other toolchains are less ponderous.
This is exactly correct.
It has a great deal of onboard memory, but if you simply replayed what was in it, you might get the wrong focus, wrong location, wrong material settings, etc, depending on how similar the new piece of material was to the old one.
It depends what you mean by source. If you mean the design file, then yes, you would need to export it as an STL file in the design program and then slice that to gcode with a slicer. That may take a few minutes but the point is you don’t need to do it again to print another identical copy.
Now that you have mentioned the code downloaded to Glowforge would need to change if the material has changed then the parallel in the 3D printing world is that with most tool chains if you changed the filament type, or in some cases just a new reel with a slightly different diameter, then you need to re-slice the STL to gcode again. This was a big mistake made in the RepRap world that you seem to have followed.
My own home brew tool chain splits the time consuming geometric slicing part from the machine control part, thus making it material and machine independent. So I only re-slice if my design has changed or I want different infill settings. If I want to print it with a different filament, or at a different speed or temperature, or on a different machine then I don’t need to re-slice. The host program that controls the machine adds all these details on the fly.
Perhaps the GF tool chain needs a similar separation so that the material dependent information can be added quickly before download.
Having personally printed hundreds of thousands of 3D parts I really appreciate just being able to repeat a previous job without any delay.
My 3D printer, CNC lathe, and CNC mill all will repeat a loaded job as much as I like providing I remove the completed work from the machine and, in the case of the lathe and mill, place the new workpiece in the correct spot on the applicable machine. All I need to do is press “Cycle Start” or the equivalent on the 3D printer. It seems a bit strange to me that the same capability wasn’t designed or built into the GF from the start, but perhaps the GF market was assumed to be for folks that were mostly interested in doing scans with the camera and one-offs.
Perhaps. But it’d be silly if they did. People will use this tool in variety of ways. Repeatability seems like it would be a pretty common thing.