The Software

June 27th, 2013

Slicing the STL:

I use the Freesteel Slicer to slice the STL in PNG images.

http://www.freesteel.co.uk/wpblog/slicer/

I have an old version MS Office 2003 Standard, that I use to assemble the PNG images into a PPS file to be fed to the macro below.

The Macro:

I have modified the John Watson Macro from http://www.chemshapes.com, since I’m familiar with Mach3.

For instructions on how to use:

http://www.chemshapes.com/?p=388

To download Power Point Viewer 97:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/powerpoint2000/ppview97/2000/WIN98/EN-US/PPView97.exe

ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/Softlib/MSLFILES/PPVIEW97.exe

To download MACH3 Demo:

Please download the “Lock-down” versions.

http://www.machsupport.com/downloads.php

To download the macro:

http://www.multiupload.com/1CD6322GEB

The script works with MACH3 Demo (500 line limit)version 3.42.40/42 and FREE PPView97( you can download from Microsoft Links Above) perfectly!
Meaning on the HOST computer you have only the XP License cost.

A few videos of its use:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc0pd-WNfqI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kUY6Zc4jA4

 

Thank You John, again, for the Inspiration!

 

  1. Daniel M.
    February 16th, 2012 at 12:13 | #1

    Hello,
    we are making plans to build the 3DLPrint but
    http://www.multiupload.com is not working, so we cannot access to the Mach3 macro.
    Could it be uploaded again in other server?
    thank you.

    • Printer
      February 17th, 2012 at 11:09 | #2

      Hi Daniel,
      I have a local copy of the basic macro Here. You can modify it with little effort to suit your needs. I give all the credit to John Watson for making it.

  2. Daniel M.
    February 20th, 2012 at 20:24 | #3

    @Printer
    Thank you :)

  3. June 13th, 2012 at 14:03 | #4

    http://www.marcam.de/cms/infinyslice.126.en.html

    this is a program i use and it works

    • Printer
      June 14th, 2012 at 21:12 | #5

      It is actually bought out by Materialise. I also tested the trial version and it failed some pretty basic STL’s slicing.

  4. June 14th, 2012 at 22:19 | #6

    yes i disable error check stl and it works today the send me price is 1600 eur

    • Printer
      June 16th, 2012 at 23:31 | #7

      1600 is a lot!

      Peter

  5. June 15th, 2012 at 13:15 | #8

    i losing my mind with macros i can get it
    i can only move z my ppt can not start

    please help

  6. June 15th, 2012 at 20:33 | #9
    • Printer
      June 16th, 2012 at 23:33 | #10

      Hi Goldi,
      Cannot download the file. Can you upload it someplace else?
      Cheers!

  7. June 17th, 2012 at 00:26 | #11

    i have great program works slc direct

    i uninstall infinyslice 1600e from my pc forever

    if i put 1920 x 1080 normal setup build size is 76,8×43,2
    i need 600dpi or 800dpi

    i must setup build (??,?x??,?) and dpi cant getting right?

    • Printer
      June 24th, 2012 at 22:49 | #12

      Hi Goldi,
      You heed to calculate the DPI from the resolution of the projector and the actual build size as measured.
      As you posted you have a 40 micron resolution meaning one pixel from the projector is 40 micron. Divide the 25.4mm / 0.04mm and you get 635 DPI.
      Hope it helps.

      Cheers!
      Peter

  8. June 17th, 2012 at 01:47 | #13

    my modification macro works fine i make a fast tilt down and slow up

    only i need to put how many slide are every time

    numslide = 1000

    i put 100000 but is not good have i can remove it you macro dosent work for me
    i can not set it to work alwas error
    you dont have numslide = 587

    i make script button in mach3
    print 15micron
    print 25micron
    print 35micron

    every thing work fine only i need to put numslide
    please help
    it will be great if i can start mp3 wen is finish printing
    like run C:finish.mp3 in direcx or some simple solution

    • Printer
      June 24th, 2012 at 22:56 | #14

      I think in VB script there is a limit of the max you can use in the DIM statement. I have tried around 32000 without a problem.
      There is a way to get the num slides programmatically and insert it in the script:

      NumSlides = oPPTShow.Slides.Count

      I have setup mach3 to fire with the profile of the settings I’m using. In each profile folder you can have a different macro with the same name and execute it. You only have to press the “RESET” button by hand to start the print job once you start it from the shortcut.

      Hope it helps!

      Peter

  9. July 6th, 2012 at 00:03 | #15

    Edited by Peter: WARNING
    Please use the following code for command reference only! Do not use it as a ready made solution for all printers, as there are settings individual to Goldi’s printer and it might cause damage to your printer.

    Option Explicit

    'Change the constant values below to suit - make sure your Powerpoint file is .pps
    '*****************************************************************
    Const ppFileName As String = "C:\Documents and Settings\Goldicnc\My Documents\Presentation1.pps"
    Const ZStartPoint As Double = 0.0 'where Z starts from
    '*****************************************************************

    Dim numSlides As Integer
    Dim exposureTime As Integer
    Dim ZIncrement As Double
    Dim s As Integer

    ' User inputs for variables

    NumSlides = 500
    exposureTime = 8000 ' in ms
    ZIncrement = .035

    Dim objPPT
    Dim objPresentation

    Set objPPT = CreateObject("PowerPoint.Application")

    objPPT.Visible = True ' set to display on top

    Set objPresentation = objPPT.Presentations.Open(ppFileName)

    Code "G90" 'absolute distance mode

    Code "G0 Z" & ZStartPoint 'start Z at wherever
    While IsMoving()
    sleep 10
    Wend

    Code "G91" 'incremental distance mode

    SetFeedRate(10/60) ' feedrate 5 inches/minute set as appropriate

    For s=1 To numSlides

    objPresentation.SlideShowWindow.View.GotoSlide (s) 'show the next slide

    sleep exposureTime

    objPresentation.SlideShowWindow.View.GotoSlide (1) ' show slide 1 blank slide

    SetFeedRate(60/60)
    Code "G1 X" & -1

    SetFeedRate(5/60)
    Code "G1 Z" & ZIncrement 'lift Z a couple of tads
    Code "G4 P1"
    While IsMoving()
    sleep 10
    Wend

    SetFeedRate(10/60)
    Code "G1 X" & 1
    While IsMoving()
    sleep 0
    Wend

    Sleep 100 ' this value adds a delay before the next slide is displayed

    Next

    Code "G90" 'back to absolute distance mode

    Code "G1 Z" & 50

    objPresentation.Close

    objPPT.Quit

  10. July 8th, 2012 at 10:49 | #16

    Setup build area is this for cheap projektor 1024×768
    43.33mmx32.52mm build area( 600x600dpi) i think this is best you can get from 1024×768 res

    • Printer
      July 9th, 2012 at 09:15 | #17

      Hi Goldi,
      you can go even smaller, but it is pointless with this resolution projector. You will end up with a 21.52mm X 16.26mm build area and less than 20 micron, but hardly enough even for one ring.

      Peter

  11. July 8th, 2012 at 11:09 | #18

    Setup build area is this for high price projector 1920×1080
    81.27mmx45.71mm build area( 600x600dpi)

    i think that 0.0423 is ok for jewelry printer

    best 0.3 like envisiontec led
    is there anybody making with led projector for me is ok 1024×768 led and build area 43.33×32.52mm

    • Printer
      July 9th, 2012 at 09:18 | #19

      Hi Goldi,
      Yes, the resolution of 0.0423 is OK for jewelry. I have tried it and am happy with the result.

      Peter

  12. Ravel
    November 27th, 2012 at 19:11 | #20

    hello
    I wonder how can you get so smooth edges when your images are in png format. I slice my 3d model in freesteel slicer as You said, but my edges are irregular because I see pixels.
    Can you tell what to do to have smooth edges?
    thanks

    • Printer
      January 9th, 2013 at 01:22 | #21

      Hi Ravel,
      I slice with FreeSteel and also run the slices through ImageMagick for Antialiasing if needed.

      Cheers!
      Peter

  13. November 29th, 2012 at 19:15 | #22

    Hi Peter,
    In the meantime I have made my first prints:
    http://www.david-laserscanner.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&p=25215#p25215

    But now I am looking for a software for slicing which allows to determine the wall thickness. The B9 red resin is too expensive for solid prints. Do you know what I could use? I mean only for slicing, the control of the print process is made by the Arduino.

    Walter

    • Printer
      January 9th, 2013 at 01:27 | #23

      Hi Walter Mo,
      Nicely Engineered machine! Congrats on the printed objects.
      Glad this thing called 3D Printing is finally catching on.. He he!

      I use Freesteel for now. It has been solid.
      I manipulate the object to be hollow in CAD.

      Cheers!
      Peter

  14. mohamed
    February 12th, 2013 at 17:43 | #24

    i have a problem in which there is a time delay between changing the slides and running the stepper.so how to fix this.also i want to know what is the code responsible for repeating the cycle of showing images,tilt mechanism and lifting z axis some more tads.thanks u :) for your great informations

    • Printer
      February 12th, 2013 at 19:29 | #25

      Hi Mohamed,
      The script has a few options and the command(in milliseconds) “SLEEP XXXX” is what you are looking for. There is a delay of I think one second = 1000.
      The code for repeating the cycle is the FOR…NEXT loop. The FOR plays a role of setting the slide number. The commands with X move the Tilt and commands with Z +++++ Z —–
      move the Z axis ( for example ) 2 up and 1 down so there is always one layer thickness less than the last position.

      Hope it helps.
      Cheers!

      Peter

  15. mohamed
    February 17th, 2013 at 21:38 | #26

    @Printer this my email : engineer_khalifa@live.com would u send me a group of pps files of parts in order to test my printer because i dont know how to use freesteel. there is a program that called netfabb studio professional which can save the sliced part with picture extension,but i cant use it because it’s not free :S
    thank’s alot for u r information and help :)

  16. mohamed khalifa
    February 21st, 2013 at 19:27 | #27

    hey i need help please would anyone could send me pps of small sliced parts at engineer_khalifa@live.com

    • Printer
      February 21st, 2013 at 21:51 | #28

      Hi Mohamed,
      Check your email.

      Cheers!
      Peter

  17. mohamed khalifa
    February 22nd, 2013 at 01:41 | #29

    thanks alot for u r help :)

    • Printer
      February 24th, 2013 at 04:23 | #30

      Welcome!

  18. mohamed khalifa
    February 22nd, 2013 at 01:46 | #31

    i have a projector 800*600. i dont know what is the distance between the projector and the vat.is it defined by max and min limit or by try and error :D ??

    • Printer
      February 24th, 2013 at 04:25 | #32

      Hi Mohamed,
      It is a bit of trial and error, a bit of minimum focal distance. If it is able to focus from about 30cm, then you can look for ways to adjust the lens or add spacers.
      Cheers!
      Peter

  19. mohamed khalifa
    February 24th, 2013 at 21:05 | #33

    i live in egypt and i dont know where to buy the resin.so is there any trusted site to buy from it

  20. mohamed khalifa
    March 10th, 2013 at 17:24 | #35

    hey printer :D.i have a problem that when i removed the color wheel from acer x111 dlp projector and tried to start it up the projector starts up for few seconds and indication led of lamp is blinking and then the hole projector is turned off.

    • Printer
      March 13th, 2013 at 19:46 | #36

      Hi Mohamed,
      You can achieve printing without removing the color wheel.
      Do not disconnect the color wheel – just move it in the case if there is room out of the light path.
      You can also use it for focusing by projecting Red colored grid and focus and adjust keystone/size/image shift/etc.
      So if the projector is complaining about it and does not start – put it back in.

      Cheers!
      Peter

  21. Danny C
    March 26th, 2013 at 20:22 | #37

    Nice job! I will be building a simular setup and I think will probably convert your macro to Python and use it to display the slideshow and control the stepper motor. That way the software will be cross platform. :D

    • Printer
      March 28th, 2013 at 01:57 | #38

      Hi Danny,
      The macro was originally written by John Watson, I modded it to suit my setup. I’m not much into “cross platform”, but if it works on a 10 year old OS then maybe it really is time I move off Windows? LOL

      Cheers!
      Peter

  22. mohamed khalifa
    April 13th, 2013 at 20:27 | #39

    hey peter :) i have a problem that the tottal part is stick on the surface of vat and i dont know why ?????
    please help :(

    • Printer
      April 13th, 2013 at 21:34 | #40

      Hi Mohamed,
      You can use a number of methods to get the resin to stick to the glass more and less to the acrylic.
      One is to line the VAT with FEP Teflon Film – works for me.
      Another is to pour a flat coating of PDMS on the VAT bottom.

      Cheers!
      Peter

  23. mohamed khalifa
    April 13th, 2013 at 20:37 | #41

    and it doesnot stick on the parting plate.the parting plate is made of glass and the vat is made of acrylic

  24. mohamed khalifa
    April 20th, 2013 at 16:46 | #42

    i can buy the teflon film from my country or it’s maybe has a different name,so is there any other solution :( ??

    • Printer
      April 26th, 2013 at 14:12 | #43

      Hi Mohamed,
      You could try finding PDMS or check for Florocarbon film.
      Cheers!
      Peter

  25. mohamed khalifa
    April 21st, 2013 at 17:17 | #44

    do u think that the problem is from zero postioning of parte plate or from the excessive tilting mechanism ?

  26. mohamed khalifa
    April 24th, 2013 at 19:03 | #45

    i can find feb teflon film in my country so do you refer to me any other material to use??
    i want to know if this problem occurs because of zero postioning maybe not accurate or beacuse of strong tilt mechanism ??.please help me because i have no time and my project discussion is after 3 days.i tried a transparent thick paper and a slicon to stick it on the vat but it also doesnot work

    • Printer
      April 26th, 2013 at 14:15 | #46

      Other than PDMS, FEP teflon and Fluorocarbon Film, there isn’t anything else I have tested, so I have no idea.

      Cheers!
      Peter

  27. mohamed khalifa
    April 24th, 2013 at 19:07 | #47

    help me please :(.really thanks for your great effort and iam sorry for asking you too many questions :)

  28. Hessel
    June 9th, 2013 at 22:06 | #48

    Is there option for limit switches? If yes, with arduino or other?

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Comments are closed.