Content of this DocumentThe purpose of this document is to detail the Adaptive Slicer inside ChopChop3D Slicer:
- Check and Visualize
- Slice and Preview
- How to make an effective use of Adaptive Slicing
The Adaptive Slicer enables to speed up and to automate the generation of Detailed Slicer profiles for each mesh instance you have on the bed in order to improve the surface finish on top/bottom surfaces according to custom ranges you setup.
More specifically, you select and you change the layer height according to the angles of overhangs (bottom surface) or the angles of the top surfaces. The result is generated as a full Detailed Slicer profile for each mesh instance you have on the bed that can be edited and tuned further as you need.
The flow is the following:
- you create the Adaptive Slicer setup,
- optionally, you can check and visualize for each mesh instance the built detailed slicer profile with associated ranges,
- you generate the Detailed Slicer Profile (that you can modify, edit and save),
- you slice and you can preview.
- first the profile tab that lists profiles to load/to save,
- second the models tab that lists mesh instances on which the profile applies to,
- third the Adaptive tab that contains the current configuration/the current setup,
- fourth the Misc tab that contains helpers to visualize and to check the results.
- one for the Top Ranges at the Top of the tab for Top Surfaces,
- and respectively one for the Bottom Ranges at the Bottom of the tab.
- the Angle From (that should be between 0 and 90),
- the Angle To (that should be between 0 and 90),
- the Layer Height in mm,
- and a reference to a Quick Slicer Profile that will be used as template for the given entry.
- You can add, remove, edit a range.
- You can check the consistency of the ranges.
- You can set a QuickSlicer either to a given entry, a whole Top/Bottom range or all the ranges. It pop-ups the Quick Slicer profiles in read-only mode, you can load, review parameters and set it.
- You can duplicate all Top or Bottom ranges (including QuickSlicer references) in Bottom or Top context respectively.
- 8mm T8mm, you take a 0.04mm multiple: 0.08mm, 0.12mm, 0.16mm, 0.20mm.
- 8mm T2mm, you take a 0.01mm multiple: 0.10mm, 0.15mm, 0.20mm, 0.25mm, 0.30mm
- If you have a very "detailed" model, the algorithm may decide to pickup the smallest layer height. Still, it is always possible to tune the angles of the ranges to help a bit with the situation.
- Some models are having a lot of "noise" that reduces slightly the possibility to use larger layer height. For instance some photogrammetry scans can have very noisy and rough surface while you know it is a flat surface: in such case, the model needs to be reworked with more details and it needs to be smoothed to reduce the effect of the noise. Such rework are needed to slightly improve the quality of the model, the quality of the print and the quality of the adaptive slicing output.
The Adaptive slicer can be accessed through the Main Menu: Slicer/Adaptive slice or the keyboard shortcut F7.
As usual the Adaptive slicer dialog shows the following tabs:
The Profile tab is described in details in the Quick Slicer or in the Detailed Slicer.
The Models tab is described in details in the Quick Slicer or in the Detailed Slicer.
The Adaptive tab contains the current configuration/setup used.
It contains the first layer profile and layer height, and two list of ranges:
The Misc tab contains various features for development purpose, mainly visualization of Top/Bottom surfaces and ranges.
Check and Visualize
Once, you click on Generate Detailed Slicer Profile it will pop-up another dialog containing the list of meshes and for each mesh the set of ranges. By clicking on each entry of the range, it will shows in the viewer the associated range. So you can see what layer height and what profile will be used.
Slice and Preview
Once you click on Slice, it will generate the Detailed Slicer Profiles and map to each associated mesh instance.
In any case, you can edit each Detailed Slicer Profile as usual.
In the Previewer, there is a specific mode to highlight the Layer Heights.
How to make an effective use of Adaptive Slicing
Adaptive Slicing is not black magic, but a very convenient tool if you know how it works. Loosely speaking, it is based on the maximum angle you can print correctly for an overhang. The smaller the layer, the easier to print a large overhang (up to a limit where you will need after to put supports). If you want to improve the quality/the speed of your print, you need to optimize things before playing with the Adaptive Slicing.
First, you need to spend the time for different layer heights to obtain very good quality on the overhangs and the surface finish for your material. You need to perform different overhangs tests to find the safe limit (also test different print orientation, and different places on the heat-bed) and the reversed version of overhangs to test Top surface quality. For each layer height, you keep the corresponding profiles and angles obtained.
Next is coming the choice of the layer heights, it is simple: you always take a multiple of the number of steps (not micro-steps). For instance:
The choice and the number of layer heights are really important to enable some speed up. For instance, if you print with only a range with 0.1mm and 0.2mm, you will have less opportunities than a range with 0.1mm, 0.15mm and 0.2mm. Depending on the model you are printing: if you use the first range you will always print in 0.1mm, while in the second range you can have alternatively 0.1mm and 0.15mm giving you some speed up.
Now what do you want to optimize: speed, quality, both.
For speed, most likely you are looking to use fat layers as much as possible, you need to optimize your print profiles for fat layers to print the better overhangs you can (and you can go a bit faster on top surfaces, that is why there are top/bottom separated ranges) in order to prevent the slicer to use smaller layer. For technical parts, it is worth to try to use larger layer height than usual with small angles between 0 to 15 or 20 degrees. Also you can avoid to use thin or very thin layer, for instance you can define a range like this: 0.3mm, 0.25mm, 0.2mm, 0.15mm. There is no hard-coded value between the angle and the layer height, you can define it as you want.
For best quality, once you optimized your overhangs for the set of layer heights, you are good to go. It is also possible to use safer angles to force the slicer to use a bit higher resolution while maintaining very good quality and higher print speed on places where there is not too much details. For a mini for instance, you can start with a high resolution range like this: 0.12mm, 0.08mm, 0.04mm.
Miscelleneous The adaptive slicer is a pretty useful tool if you want to check the printability of a model, especially if you want to create support free models. You can use in the Misc tab of the check-boxes "Debug Top Ranges" and "Debug Bottom Ranges" that will paint faces according to their category.