Should I get Simplify 3D??

Hey guys,

So I only got my Tax 6 a few days ago and am very new at this still. I love Cura and feel pretty comfortable in it… however, I kept hearing about simplify 3d and how much everyone loves their support structures better than Cura’s.

I printed my 3rd model yesterday that needed some support and found Cura’s support structure to be awful. Very hard to get off and would need a ton of sanding and smoothing work to remove it all.

So my friend has simplify 3d and loves it. He let me borrow his laptop this weekend so I can try it on my printer (he has a different one) and I just started the same model printing using simplify 3d.

He did not have a profile setup for Ngen so I had to sort of try to manually do it and used some of the settings from Cura as reference but honestly, I feel pretty intimidated using Simplify3D right now cause of their being SO many settings and no “easy print” option that I saw.

Anyway, after setting it all up to the best of my ability… I started the print which for whatever reason says it will take almost 45 mins less time than it did with Cura. Now that it is printing, I see why.

This printer looks like THE FLASH zooming around printing right now with Simplify 3d. The thing is, the print speed settings etc are the same. Why is it going so fast!? LOL

I have no idea if this print will be good or horrible but I just wanted to ask if it is normal for simplfy 3d to print way faster than Cura on the Taz 6. There seems to be no demo for Simplify 3d online and since it costs $150… I’m not sure if I want to spend so much on it after just dropping the cash for the Taz 6 you know? Honestly the only reason I want to use it is for the supports I think.

One other thing… I setup my fan speed to start at 30% on layer 2 of this print using ngen. I heard ngen doesn’t like alot of cooling but I have no idea if running the fan 30% for the rest of the print is good or bad. I couldn’t find anything specific like that in Cura but I don’t remember the fan speeds on my cura prints.

If anyone can give me some input on this stuff I would appreciate it :slight_smile:

I would love to hear a response on this question. I would love to see the Taz print faster. And I have had a number of failures using Cura after many hours of printing. Wondering if Simplify3D is more reliable or at least able to recover when there is a problem.

Simplify3D shouldn’t print all that much faster than Cura if it’s set up the same way. I find it’s usually a little faster, as the toolpath optimizer seems to be a little better, but the bulk of the print time is moving the physical printer parts around. I believe the travel speed is faster by default, so that might account for some of the difference.

S3D doesn’t really have an easy mode, but the good news is that the defaults are generally pretty good. So you can learn about the main things to worry about like filament diameter, temp controls, nozzle size, etc. to start with, and ignore the rest. I like the overall interface and the print preview mode better than Cura, but overall Cura is a good program as well.

For me, the place it really shines is supports. And I like some of the other options to tweak for various prints. Some models like different settings. One thing it doesn’t handle well though is thin walls. It’s not unusual for thin gaps to appear in the outer walls. Cura handles that much better.

If your supports are sticking that badly, you may well be over extruding. Measure the filament, make sure that’s set properly. Then turn down the flow rate in the slicer a little, set it to something like 90% and test. In my experience, Lulzbot printers seem to come set to extrude a little too much by default. It helps ensure the first prints go well, but it leads to problems like this with more complex prints.

As for errors, Simplify doesn’t handle that any better than Cura. Same thing with recovering from failed prints. That’s a rather complex task and I’m not aware of anyone really handling it well. Partly, it depends on the type of error though. If Cura crashed while printing, that could be improved, but it’s hard to say. I honestly don’t get a lot of crashes. I also use Octoprint on a Raspberry Pi to run the printer, rather than USB to my main computer. If you have issues with the program on the PC, and have a Taz, you could try using the SD card to print instead. That way, if the PC reboots or whatever, the printer can keep going.

As for “should you buy S3D?”… Well… it depends. If you want to do a lot of prints with supports, yes. If you don’t plan to do a lot of supports, maybe not. If you want to be able to tweak lots of options, yes. I do most of my slicing with S3D, but do use Cura for a few things S3D doesn’t handle that well.

Wow thanks ttabbal. I noticed the flow rate is 100% on the Taz 6. Is the flow rate and extrusion multiplier the same? I found extrusion multiplier in S3d but didn’t see anything that said that in cura. The print in S3d did take longer than the estimate. That seems to be something that isn’t too accurate is estimated print time. But man the supports came off so much easier. I wish curA would change their supports it doesn’t seem like it would be that hard for them to update.

Yes, flow rate in cura is the same thing as extrusion multiplier in S3D. It’s reported differently, % in cura, multiplier in S3D.

I am trying a reprint of a part that was taking 33 hours to print in Cura. I have configured S3D as much like the defaults in Cura as I can tell, and it says it will take 11 hours to print. Which I think is about right since right now it is about 25% done after 2.5 hours. Not sure what makes it so much faster in S3D, but undoubtedly a number of settings are not the same…

OK cool. So I have heard people saying 95 is a good generic multiplier for S3d, I assume that would be the same as 95% in cura?

Also, I keep hearing about measuring filament diameter but I assume I need calipers to do that? I guess I would use the little rules that came with the Taz but may not be quite as precise. What do u suggest for keeping track of that?

Yes, micrometer/calipers are the best option. Harbor freight and others have inexpensive units that work fine. In S3D, 0.95 is the same as 95% in cura.

If you want to test before you get calipers, 2.85mm is a reasonable place to start.

Attached jpg. Part on the left took 12 hours to print using Simplify 3D. Using S3D’s standard Taz 6 profile profile with some settings modified to match the nGen profile in Cora.

Part on the right (opposite side but otherwise identical) was in its 30th hour of printing when it failed.

I didn’t make any modifications to the speed settings in Cora. Only config change is the shell thickness which is set to 2mm.

Print quality looks the same to me. Obviously the time difference is huge.

Wow thats quite a difference in time. I guess maybe it does have to do with tool path and such. I wanted to ask about the filament profiles. I like that Cura has all the filament stuff specific for the Taz and I know Simplify 3D has a FFF profile for the Taz 6 but does it not have specific profiles for filaments like Ngen? You have to create them on your own? Just curious about that.

Also I don’t know if you would be willing to share your ngen profile but I would like to see what you are using, especially regarding the fan profiles. It might help me better create mine. Thanks.

I couldn’t find an S3D profile for nGen. ColorFABB does have some basic settings for Simplify3D, but not on the Taz. Based on that, I set the fan to 50%.

I’ll look at the settings as soon as I can (currently reprinting the piece that failed), but really I didn’t change much in the standard Taz profile other than the temperatures and the fan setting.

OK cool the again

I’m surprised at the time difference being that large. I’m used to seeing a max of about 10% difference. Maybe Simplify is just really good at printing that type of part? :slight_smile:

I’m curious about the failure though. Did Cura crash?

I love S3D and have found it easier to use as a newbie than Cura, I personally have gotten better results, but that may be because I find it easier to use? I just printed these purple Minion chess pieces (designed by steve haines from grabcad), it’s hard to see some of the detail, but the hair and arms required support. I broke off one of the arms accidentally, but it came out really well I thought, hands were detailed, they’re standing on feet/legs, hair is hilarious… I still need to clean some of the support material off, but I’m pleased with how well they turned out.

I was also thinking that maybe the part, with thin tall walls, is faster in S3D for some reason… But I printed a silly little basketball toy for a holiday swap party last night, and it was over 4 hours in Cura on the standard setting, and 2 hours and thirty minutes on the Cura fast setting, and then only an hour and forty minutes in S3D.

I noted the failure in another post, turned out there was a security update and restart that killed the print. I disconnect from the internet now during long prints :open_mouth:

I feel compelled to add, that after several months of using Simplify3D, I have completely given up on it, and gone back to using Cura.

I think one of the big value adds for the Lulzbot edition of Cura is that the filaments are tested on the Lulzbot printers, and profiles created specifically for each filament on these printers. Makes it so much more reliable if you not using the same filament every day.

I tried hard to get the same results using Simplify3D, but it was just too unpredictable. Lost a lot of the longer prints, wasted quite a bit of filament. Not so with Cura.

I bought S3d and hated it. It just didn’t work as well for me as good old Slic3r. It is actually what I consider one of the most wasteful purchases I have ever made.

I thought I was the only one! I wrestled with Simplify 3D to get ABS to print well. The default Taz settings don’t work so I translated all the Cura settings. But I’ve recently started printing nGen and have been too lazy to translate all the settings from Cura to Simplify 3D again. I’m using S3D less and less.

Does anyone have any profiles that work for pla and abs. So far I cannot get s3d to work with my lulzbot. Cant get a first layer to stick and the solid layers (bottom 3 top 3 etc) look stingy as if its not putting out enough plastic . on a cube for instance at one side the “thread” looks the correct diameter, but in the middle as it goes across it stretches thin. You can actually see through the layers with the space.

I know someone has to have been using it successfully

That sounds like an issue that would happen regardless of the filament type. Make sure to measure the filament and enter the diameter into S3D. It’s on the “Other” tab. And make sure the nozzle size matches what you have installed.

Using a simple cube or other test print, try adjusting the Z-offset (Gocde screen). Move it down a bit using a negative number and watch to make sure you don’t crash into the PEI. I wouldn’t change more than about 0.1mm at a time. If you measure the printed first layer or the skirt, you should match what you set Simplify to print for a first layer height. I usually set it to do 0.4mm for the first layer, then whatever height I want after that. It’s a multiplier, so if you use a 0.2mm layer height, set it to 200%. Leave the extrusion multiplier at 100%.