Page 1 of 1

FEATURE REQUEST - Material Calculation

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:03 pm
by motoyoyo
It has been suggested in previous threads that the material calculation when printing includes the part, raft and support material. I have consistently been using way more material than the Print calculation estimate shows. I know that there is an issue wih the software not being able to account for cancelled prints. On my current spool I have not cancelled any prints and am still ending up short on material.

My current part showed a material estimate of 142gm and my spool quantity showed 250gm left. This particular part requires an orientation that uses a lot of support material. Once the part was under way, the spool estimate shows -52gm of material which is gouing to require me to add material before the print is done. Why have any material estimate at all if it is not going to more accurate than this?

It seems pretty obvious to me that the material estimate does not include the support material at all. This makes sense since the Print Preview shows only the part and raft but not the support. Looks like I will be going back to guessing the material needed. Funny thing was I had a good hunch that just by looking at the material on the spool for this part, it was going to be a little short. Can we have a difinitive answer on whether the support material is actually included in the calculation or not? That way I can just totally ignore it unless I have a part with no support at all.

Re: FEATURE REQUEST - Material Calculation

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:08 am
by pleppik
I'm pretty sure the calculation does include support material.

That's because the material it says the model uses will change when I change the support settings.

I've never checked the accuracy of the calculation in general. But I can think of a lot of reasons why your spool might be running out of material earlier than you expect:
  • The printer doesn't account for cancelled prints
  • The spool may have been short (did you weigh the spool when new, and again when empty?)
  • You may have bought a 2-lb spool thinking it was a 1-kg spool
  • The material calculation might be wrong
  • You may have bought plastic with a higher density formulation than what the software assumes (filament is sold by weight, not volume, but the printer extrudes by volume)
I don't rely on the material calculation to provide a precise accounting of the filament I use. That's because between swapping different colors of filament and the occasional cancelled print, it gets to be a real headache to keep track of what's on each roll. That's also why I think the tracking of the filament left is one of the more useless features of the Up software. I just tell it that I loaded a million-gram roll of plastic and it never complains.

For a specific print I go by whether a roll looks like it has enough on it for the project at hand or not. Swapping to a new roll partway through a print isn't that big of a deal, as long as I know to keep an eye on it.

To track my overall usage, I log empty reels and make a rough estimate of what percentage of the partial rolls have been used.

Re: FEATURE REQUEST - Material Calculation

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:40 am
by motoyoyo
I agree that the material calculation function is only to be used as a general guide. In this case, I think there was actually a glitch in the software that occured. The part actually printed with about the calculated amount but the software warned me that I was going to be at -52gm after the print started. When the part finished, the software then showed I was at 88gms left, which was about what it should have been. I guess I just paniced when the software indicated I would be short on a 4 hour print. I just hate to waste that much time especially.

I have now become rather proficient at weighing partial spools and comparing them to empty ones for a good estimate, by weight, of material left. I do see now that the software does include support material and does a fairly good job of estimating the weight required. You are right about it only calculating by volume and not weight. I wonder what the variance is from manufacturer to manufacturer. All and all, everything is working fine other than that one odd software reading. Must have been the alignment of the stars that evening.

Re: FEATURE REQUEST - Material Calculation

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:11 am
by mr6k
as pleppik suggests, even if you run out of material, it is fairly simple to continue an existing print with a new reel of material.
Just before you run out, pause the print, using the withdraw command withdraw the last fragment of old material, load new reel, and using the extrude command extrude the new reel, then just continue printing.
The only downside i have found to this is a weak bond at the joint of the last old layer and first new layer, due i guess to the old layare having cooled or possible slight shrinkage. However for most of my prints it works out fine.
This same procedure can also be used to produce multicoloured layers with different reels.


Re: FEATURE REQUEST - Material Calculation

Posted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:45 am
by stormychel
I don't bother with the software's estimation... Just bought a small digital scale, wrote down the weight of an empty spool, and whenever I'm in doubt there's still enough on a spool to finish a specific print, I weigh it. Simple, fast, accurate.