Add my two cents on Simplify3D and a thumbs up for v3.0

Firstly, I really am a beginner and I’ve been using both Cura and Matterhackers for slicing and printing since purchasing the Mini. I’ve had my share of challenges and have read good and bad reviews for the S3D product so I was a little scared of spending $140 bucks for something with no Demo. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s the latest v3.0, but I took the plunge and have had wonderful prints right “out of the box”. I agree with the others that the control of the supports is a key driver of the purchase decision, but I haven’t even gotten that far. I just simply like the interface and information that presented in the control panel and the live preview.

I was able to see the swirl marks that were in the layer view preview more clearly than Cura and Matterhackers. It allowed me to flip back and forth between S3D and TinkerCad and make minor offset adjustments without having to actually waste filament printing.

All I’m saying is, I’m happy with the purchase thus far and haven’t experienced any of the preheating problems people were complaining about with the Mini.

I like the estimation of time bar as well and the live communication between the software and the printer.

I’m running it on an old iMac aluminum with 4GB of ram and it’s running rock solid.

Hi ptchan5,

I’ve been running Simplify3D for about 6 months now on a different USA-made printer that I own and I LOVE it. I rarely use supports with it, but when I do I’ve not had any issues with them. The amount of tweakable options and live preview details are great to have.

Question for you with your Mini - did the default Simplify3D MINI profile include the nozzle wipe & leveling sequence? I’m currently using Cura with my new Mini but am seriously considering buying another S3D license as Cura is…well…a way less fully featured slicer vs. S3D.

Yep, I’m using the default Simplify3D Mini model. I also downloaded .STL for the printing bed from Thingverse to use at it’s cool that I can see what my actual bed looks like in design screen.

I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the license to use with your Mini over Cura. No problems here.

Sorry, never answered your question. Yes the standard G-Code startup sequence with the wipe, preheat,and auto-level was included. I didn’t have to paste this g-code in.

So the update has all the pre print settings for the Mini already included?

Yes, they already have a profile for the Mini in the software and it includes the wiping, preheating, and auto-leveling stuff automatically. it’s all in there and it’s working great for me.

I’ve been incredibly pleased with the new v3.0 software as well. I own a few licenses now and it’s easily the best investment/upgrade that I have ever made for my printers. It gives way more control and i’m definitely able to get better print quality. Plus it’s just insanely fast :smiley:

If you do prints with support structures, it’s the best in the business. I’ve done 80 hour prints with tons of supports and when the print is done, they just pop off. Hard to describe, but go watch some youtube videos about it. It’s wayy better than any other program I’ve tried with supports.

One other note, I know a lot of people ask about a demo version. They have a 2-week refund policy, so you can use the latest and greatest full version for 14 days before you have to make a decision.

After I posted I did fire up my Simplify 3D and run a couple jobs. To be honest I don’t see a lot of difference between Cura and 3D but maybe I have not used it enough. Nice interface however with lots of options.

The big advantage, for me, of S3D over the others is the ability to edit supports. S3D seems to provide a better surface finish in many cases as well.

All of the slicers have good and bad points. For example, I print a lot of thin walled parts that are 0.040 and 0.020 inches thick. S3D does not like those thicknesses. The parts turn out very ugly. Slic3r 1.2.6 prints them very nicely but it crashes frequently while setting up beds. Slic3r 1.2.9 has a bug with thin walls and produces walls about twice as thick as 1.2.6. It makes terrible parts but is much more stable… You will find a lot of little aggravations with the all of them.

Cura generally makes nice parts but it does some strange infill movements around the edges of some parts that results in poor surface finish.

You just have to use them and figure out what works best for the parts you are printing. Unfortunately, that means wasting some plastic and build time.

Could one of you guys who have Simplify3D v3 (default or otherwise) working with their mini post their print profile?

Please and Thank you!

I broke down and bought S3D due to the annoyances of working with Cura/Pronterface on OS X (I have an old iMac hooked up to my Mini). So far it has been fine – not earth shattering or anything like that but unlike Cura, it doesn’t crash after a long print and I don’t have to go through several annoying work-arounds when it first starts up. I haven’t tested if it will stop printing like Pronterface does when the screen goes black after an inactivity timeout (not a full computer sleep, even if I have the computer set to never sleep but only blank the screen, Pronterface stops with the printhead right were it happens to be). I tried matter-control but I can’t figure out how to have it save the bed position of my objects and instead, it just prints to the center of the build plate.

So in the end, I decided to give S3D a shot. Honestly, the interface is sort of clunky and it’s weird how you can only mouse-rotate on the Z axis but to rotate on X or Y you have to type it in, and then after that, raise your object on the Z axis (otherwise it is below the print bed). Maybe there is a mouse method for X and Y, but it sure isn’t obvious. I haven’t tried supports that everyone raves about – I’ve been in the practice of making my own supports but that is time consuming and so I hope that feature does turn out to be rave-worthy.

I definitely don’t like S3D’s control panel for moving the print head around – Pronterface and Cura both look a lot more polished in that respect and Pronterface and Cura give you the controls and terminal console in the same window which is convenient – it’s on a different tab in S3D. Lastly, the Cura interface seems nicer and a lot more straightforward (though I do hate that every adjustment causes an auto-redraw – there should just be a button to commit changes). Even Slic3r, which gets complaints for being hard, was easier to figure out first time through than S3D. Slic3r seems to be a little more logically arranged and the way to get to various features is much more intuitive.

And one more thing, S3D doesn’t automatically send the printhead to the Z home position when the print is done – it just moves it to the side so, if you don’t have the control panel open already, you have to find it in the menu, go to the tab that will let you home on Z, and then press the button. And you have to do this otherwise the printhead is just too close to the piece to get it off comfortably. That’s sort of a WTF.

But … S3D doesn’t crash in weird ways on OS X, so I’m using it for now.

If you are on version 3.0.1 of S3D, it has built in Mini profiles. I used one to print an ABS part last night. It worked great.

@ hemocyanin

The folks at Simplify3D made some YouTube videos about the interface and features… One of which may come in handy for getting to know the UI.

To rotate, use the fourth tool down (looks like a circle) on the right hand navigation bar. This should bring up the rings for each axis… which you can click and rotate with the mouse. Personally, I like the precision of being able to enter an angle… But I can see where Rotating the rings can be helpful.

After importing the model, CMD+T should drop it on the table. Or use the Center and Arrange button, then use CMD to move the model around the print bed.

I don’t think you want the print head homed in the z-axis after a print. It could run the hotend into the project… Sliding to the edge at the last print height is pretty much default on most slicers. I use an end script to move the toolhead to the rear center of the bed… which pushes the print bed forward for easier removal of model. You could probably add the z-home command to an end script.

Is use S3D just for the slicing then send the gcode to Octoprint on a RPi. I may have used the S3D control interface to try the bed leveling tool… But that’s probably it. So I don’t have much input on the control interface…

If you spend the time to really adjust Cura, you’ll get comparable prints. There are a lot of other useful features in S3D which may not be apparent. Hopefully you didn’t waste $150… Highly recommend!mend the videos they uncover some great features like incorporating multiple process, grouping parts…

I currently only use S3D to slice and prepare some files that Cura and Slic3r do not give the finish/quality I am looking for. But the new version does some BAD things to thin walls which I have not taken the time to find and see if I can fix somehow.

But my most used program is Repieter-Host for features I need doing printer refurbishing. So I tend to use it, as I am most familiar with its controls. Plus I have done most of my setting tweaks in Slic3r running under it. :sunglasses:

Cura with its re-slice function on any model movement does not appeal to me, but I do not use it to print with, only prepare models.

The Nerdy-derby track used a couple months ago at the local Makers faire was generated using S3D by me and the gcode used by the other people also printing sections of track for its smoother and uniform surface.

You can copy and paste the end gcode from cura and add it to the end script on S3D for the extruder to return to home position and the build table to move forward like the cura program. Here is the end gcode from cura if you want to place in S3D. You must delete the one in S3D first then copy and paste this one for the end gcode. works just fine on my mini using S3D.

M104 S0 ; hotend off
M140 S0 ; heated bed heater off (if you have it)
M107 ; fans off
G92 E0 ; set extruder to 0
G1 E-3 F300 ; retract a bit to relieve pressure
G1 X5 Y5 Z156 F10000 ; move to cooling positioning
M190 R60 ; wait for bed to cool
M140 S0 ; turn off bed
G1 X145 Y175 Z156 F1000 ; move to cooling positioning
M84 ; steppers off
G90 ; absolute positioning

I probably sounded too negative about S3D – and thank you for the tip on Z homing. The nice thing about S3D is I haven’t experienced a critical bug yet.

I was reminded of how important that is just 5 minutes ago with Cura – I arranged a bunch of pieces carefully, set some custom settings, pressed send to printer in the main window, and the popup control window appeared and connected to the printer. Then I remembered I wanted to tweak one other thing, but I forgot that with Cura on the Mac, if you have just started the program and not yet pressed the print button in the popup control window, if you just close that window it won’t close, you can’t make any changes, you can’t reconnect to the printer with the stuck popup – you just have to quit and start all over. The workaround is to press print in the popup, then press cancel, then close the popup. After that, it will work like expected (this only happens on the first time the popup appears after starting the program), but I forget to go through that rigmarole half the time. This aggravation is why I paid for S3D.

I’m only on version 3.0 my mini run computer is off network I had to borrow a friends 500ft cat6 cable just to activate S3D didn’t know I had to download the profiles didn’t have time to play with it at that moment either so I gave my friend back his cable right after it was done, now he’s gone for a month.

I know you can export and import profiles even the built in ones so I was hoping someone here would help me out.

Hopefully this is what you are looking for. The “fff” extension is not allowed, so I renamed it to “.txt” – you’ll need to name it back. This is from 3.0.1 for OS X.
miniS3Dprofile.fff.txt (11.9 KB)

In OSX, the default behavior is to only rotate on Z. In Simplify3D/Preferences however, under the first tab, if you check the box “always show full 3D transform gizmo” you get the option to use the mouse to rotate on X and Y as well when you click the fourth icon in the toolbar.

I’ve been trying out supports in S3D for the last two days, and I’m really frustrated. When supports work, they slip off the piece absolutely beautifully – they totally live up to the hype. But the bigger issue is that they just don’t want to stick the bed reliably. Cura lays down a grid to anchor the supports, then builds supports on top of that. S3D skips that anchor. The only time I’ve managed to get all of the supports to stick in S3D, is when I use a raft (and the raft does not come off easily at all unless you consider xacto trimming “easy”). Right now Cura is reliably printing out a piece with supports that I’ve just canceled several time in a row in S3D. If the bed was dirty, Cura would be failing too.

What I’ve tried:

– making the supports denser so that there is more surface area touching the buildplate.
– increasing the first layer width to 125%, but that seems to be ignored with supports.
– I tried lowering the nozzle 0.1 mm after the leveling sequence – I don’t know if that would lower it for the whole print or just drop it 0.1 mm while waiting to heat up. I suspect the latter, which means it did nothing.

Anyway – suggestions? The way supports come off the piece is awesome, but if they can’t stick to the bed, that’s a total show stopper.

What type of filament? Supports in S3D are pretty reliable for me on the bare bed. Make sure the bed is clean and if using ABS heat the bed to 110C for the first few layers. I usually use a low support density (10-20), then specify 3-5 layers of dense support (70-80).

A light sanding with a fine grit sandpaper may help adhesion to the bed. I use a Mr. Clean magic eraser… just enough grit to remove residue and oils. Use IPA sparingly as it may dry out the PEI.