I've wanted to make a slicer since 2019. The SecSavr [gd0036] presented a solid reason.
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I have just watched
and the intial takeaway I had was at time 29:54 where he talked about licencing. He's putting everything under a Creative Commons Attribution license where he asks for his logo to be visible if a company sells it. I've been thinking about licensing pathways for the overall SecSavr project and a big part of it was the potential slicer I'd need to develop. I've got logos of my own and it makes sense to use them, and I also want to follow in MatterControl's footsteps, so that's 2 : 0 for [Permissive licenses] VS GPL v3.
Right, so Voxelizer 2 hasn't seen an experimental build since 2019, but there is a more recent version for a printer specific slicer. Let's say it's... interesting.
What I liked (+) and disliked (-):
I'm assuming it looks "3d pixelated" on the edges because of the fact that this application uses "Voxels". It's most likely just normal lines though.
[+] Middle click cycles between the ortholinear views.
There are also a few more features that I haven't tried yet:
It looks like Minecraft's Far Lands
These are verily hastily created wireframes in PowerPoint, as I thought that even the bare minimum in image technology would be easier to understand than text from the previous log entry. It still has given me many insights, and I have an unexpectedly significant amount of stuff to say on the matter. Truly no progress is too small to make into a project log entry.
Desktop / Tablet
So the "menu title" part also has things like "All parts selected" or "3 parts selected" and buttons to change what parts are selected. There probably should be a button next to that to go back one level. The menu_title square doesn't have a visible edge. For defaults, I'm thinking of buttons into settings like "infill" will have a visible edge and settings inside that menu would not, such as infill percentage.
The background of the bottom pane would also have a dynamic background, somewhat inspired by the Nexus devices and the animated gcode from the old Craftware software. I'd like it if I didn't have to reslice the model just to look at all the different infils available, so for that menu, the background would be based on what selected parts infill setting was. There would also be a button to the right that hid the menu so that the user could see the expected generated infill better. This dynamic background should be user adjustable. For example, a user may want to see the infill background at the very topmost menu screen.
I'm also thinking of the thumb placement for tablet users. I'd like to keep as much of the functionality and clickable UI elements in the lower corners. Thus, being able to overscroll so that the top item is all the way at the bottom is a planned feature.
I don't want any UI elements too close to the bottom of the phone, as I've learned from using the Realme Q3 Pro with its ultra low fingerprint sensor is an undesirable idea. To make better use of space, the first card is removed and the menu's title is at the bottom. Overscroll will be in this menu too.
The movement/menu toggle is for a menu that is used to control zoom / pan / rotate, as well as a mouse cursor that can be moved to a location a user wants to zoom into, as well as moving the rotate origin. This feature is activated similar to Microsoft's keyboard feature that allows a user to move the cursor around.
This quick exercise in making wireframes has made me realise that there's a lot more mockups I'd need to create.
I've just seen this video here:
I watched it, wondering how Sol^2's experience could facilitate or improve on these features.
Align to build plate
To get closer to an intervention-free approach to slicing, similar to traditional 2D printing, I would like to make sure that
Per model settings
I'm thinking of having some kind of "custom selection" feature, as seen in Fusion 360, where a user can choose what specific files are selected. By default, there would be something that says "All parts selected" when changing settings. Under that, there could be a button to change what is selected, choosing between a custom selection set and just selecting parts. Ideally, you'd be able to save a new custom selection for the latter.
Perhaps there would be a heirarchy system for the custom selection sets so that it's
Speaking of custom selections, I believe that custom visible settings would be useful. There could be the classic Beginner / Intermediate / Expert kind, as seen in Slic3r, some kind of one where the subcategories Most Used / Less Used / Seldom Used set, or Skin / Infill / Supports / Etc. This idea comes from the fact that there are a few Cura "experimental" features that have been there for a while now. A user may feel that it makes more sense to have a fresh new menu setup like:
I'm making a wireframe now, but currently, imagine it's a merge of Google widget/cards and the XBox 360 menu in the bottom 1/3 of the screen. There's square cards that can either be one or multiple settings, a button to another menu tree, or both. Things like the colour / background, edge type, etc should be adjustable so that I can use the same functionality to create different UI experiences.
Height range modifier
This is what gave me the idea to merge projects together, which I mentioned in the previous log.
Variable layer height
I like the analogue, paint-like control. An additional feature I'd add is the ability to average out, or specify a selection to have, the same layer height.
I think it would make more sense to do something similar to MatterControl and have CAD functionality inside the slicer. This would make it easier to do specific things like aligning "change at layer" or modifier meshes to locations of the imported part. This also removes the expectation that the CAD functionality would grow to the state of FreeCAD or Fusion360 where there are features adjacent to 3D modelling for 3D printing, such as 2D drawings and... uh... well I'm sure there's many features I don't even know about that wouldn't be applicable for additive/subtractive manufacturing.
Additionally, merging the projects means that model features / files that are only designed to aid in CAM will not have to be exported and imported from program to program.
The comments on this article here is a useful read for what could be done to make 3D printers easier to use. I'd like to imagine what could be done on the slicer side of things. The most notable points are the debug process of the printer itself and the time consuming process of CAD. I know of the latter all too well, and had started a research project to discover if, and how, this could be improved. At the moment, gd0096 and gd0045 (this project) are planned to be seperate software packages, but I do see the potential of having gd0096 as a feature inside gd0045, similar to MatterControl or Craftware Pro.
Some of the ideas I have
I've been thinking of the UI/UX lately, which will form the base for all the software I'll be writing in the future. Things like
I looked at dribbble for inspiration and didn't like anything. Pinterest was better so I'll scan again in the future.
Currently, I want to incorporate interface ideas manily from Metro (like Zune / Windows Phone), Windows Media Centre and racing game modification menus where all the options are at the bottom of the screen and the object is at the top 2/3. I'd like to avoid Cura's accordian system, as well as the viewport leaning too much to the left/right of the screen. Reading the FreeCAD user forums, I'm also trying to take into account the desire for as much viewport space as possible.
I've also been researching the various different open source software licenses. Similar to my thingiverse files, I'm thinking of going with a permissive license over a copyleft one.
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