How to Define Per-Layer Print Settings

INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1

Export a printer file using Print Studio, and save it as a .tar.gz file.

STEP 2 (Mac)

Unzip the exported printer file, which will result in a folder full of files.

STEP 2 (Windows)

If you're using Windows and can't open the file, download 7-zip (free). Once 7-zip is installed, right-click the file from Print Studio and choose 7-zip > Extract Here. Then right-click the extracted .tar file and choose 7-zip > Extract to "file name\". This will result in a folder full of files.

STEP 3

Download layersettings.csv from the bottom of this page and put it into the above folder.

Optionally, download Example.xls, which shows an example that could later be saved as layersettings.csv.

STEP 4

In layersettings.csv, under Layers in the first column, enter the numbers of the layers for which you want to override the settings. For example, if you want to override the settings for layers 3-100, enter each number from 3 to 100 in its own row.

STEP 5

In the first row of columns to the right of Column A, enter the names of the settings you want to override. Layersettings.csv has several common settings by default, but you can change whichever settings you want by entering new ones in the first row. Delete any settings you don't use. See the technical notes below to learn about the various settings that can be overridden.

STEP 6

Once you've added the names of the settings you want to override, enter the values for those settings next to each layer. For example, if you want to change the PreExposureDelay setting for Layer 5 to a value of 10 seconds, you would put 5 in the Layer column and 10 in the PreExposureTime column.

STEP 7

You can also put comments into cells that aren't in both the same row as a layer number and the same column as a setting. This makes it easier to understand what you were doing if you come back to this file later. See the screenshot at the top of this page for examples of comments.

STEP 8

Once you're done adding all the settings for all the layers, save layersettings.csv.

STEP 9 (Mac)

Open the folder containing layersettings.csv and all the layer files, select them all, and zip them.

STEP 9 (Windows)

Open the folder containing layersettings.csv and all the layer files, select them all, right-click them, choose 7-zipAdd to "file name.zip".

STEP 10

Send the file to Ember:

Option 1: Plug a USB cable into Ember from your computer, go to 192.168.7.2 in a web browser, click Load print file, choose your file, and click Load. The file will be sent to the printer.

Option 2: Put the resulting zip file onto a USB drive into a folder called EmberUSB, then plug the drive into Ember.

STEP 11

Use the buttons on Ember to print the file.

 

TECHNICAL NOTES

  1. Any overrides to the existing settings must be given in a CSV file named layersettings.csv and contained in the print data .tar.gz or .zip file along with the slice images and printsettings file. Note that:
    • The first column must be the number of the layer (where 1 is the first layer) to which any overrides in that row apply.
    • The remaining columns are optional and may be in any order, but their headings must be exactly the same as the name of the setting to be overridden.
    • Layer numbers may be given in any order and no entry is needed for layers or cells in which the settings will not be overridden.
    • Any of the override values may include decimal points, but none of them needs to, regardless of whether or not the particular setting is an integer (unlike entries in the printsettings and settings files).
    • Rows may be left blank, or contain comments only, and comments may also be entered in cells that do not contain overrides, as long as those comments can't themselves be interpreted as comma separated values.
  2. Example.xls is an example spreadsheet that may be exported to CSV, with some example overrides.
  3. After your print data .tar.gz or .zip file has been loaded, you may edit the CSV file on the printer itself (at /var/smith/print_data/layersettings.csv). Any such changes made before starting a print will take effect in the next print (with no need to refresh).
  4. Although a LayerThicknessMicrons override may be entered for layer 1, it will have no effect because only the manual calibration process determines the thickness of the first layer.
  5. LayerThicknessMicrons override values for layer N must be less than or equal to the xxxZLiftMicrons setting for the type of layer N-1 (where xxx is either First, BurnIn, or Model).
  6. Any xxxExposureSec override entered for layer N will have no effect unless layer N is of type xxx.
  7. The estimated remaining print time shown on the front panel and at emberprinter.com doesn't take into account any changes due to overrides in the layersettings.csv file.
  8. To avoid confusion, when using per-layer settings it's best to set BurnInLayers = 0 and use overrides only for layer numbers greater than 2.
  9. While an override of a setting like ModelExposureSec for layer N clearly gives the exposure time for slice_N.png (assuming N > BurnInLayers + 1) some settings apply to the transition between layers (e.g. separation and approach).  So we had to decide whether an override for layer N applied to the transition from layer N-1 or the transition to N+1.  One of those settings is LayerThicknessMicrons.  It's natural to associate it with layer N, but it's actually applied during the separation and approach phases from layer N-1.  For that reason we decided to apply any layer N overrides for all the separation and approach settings to the transition from layer N-1 to layer N.
  10. Below is the complete list of model layer settings whose layer N overrides are applied to the layer that exposes slice N:
  • ModelPressMicrons 
    ModelPressMicronsPerSec 
                 ModelPressWaitMS 
                 ModelUnpressMicronsPerSec 
                 ModelApproachWaitMS  (the pre-exposure delay, not really part of the approach phase)
                 Model.ExposureSec 
    • All of the other print settings that may be overridden for layer N (LayerThicknessMicrons,  ModelZLiftMicrons, ModelSeparation…, ModelApproach…), are actually applied after exposure during the transition between slice N-1 and slice N.
    • EXAMPLE: if the printsettings file defines ModelApproachWaitMS= 1500, ModelExposureSec = 1.5, LayerThicknessMicrons=25, and ModelApproachRPM=12, but the layersettings.csv file contains:

Layer, ModelApproachWaitMS, ModelExposureSec, LayerThicknessMicrons, ModelApproachRPM

100,   3000,  2.0,   50,   4

Then there would be a 3 s delay before exposing slice_100.png for 2 s, it would form a 50 µm thick layer, and it would have been approached from the preceding layer at a speed of only 4 RPM.

 

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