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  • Simplify3D

    So I am normally very put off by 3rd-party software when it comes to this sort of application, so I thought I'd share my experiences.

    I have a Da Vinci 2.0 Duo that has been, shall we say... temperamental. It worked fine out of the box and I was thrilled with the simplistic software. I do all my own modeling and didn't need anything more sophisticated. Unfortunately, the printer only wanted to work in fits and starts, suffering a myriad of bizarre issues and prompting many unkind emails from myself to da vinci's support staff(I would rate their support as only so-so, but given what they have to work with its understandable).

    Anyway, after RMAing the entire printer once and being told to RMA just the nozzles next, both for things that were clearly software problems, I decided it couldn't hurt to start looking at alternate solutions. While randomly surfing the forums I had heard someone mention Simplify3D and it looked like the most professional. It also had the ability to support my printer out of the box, without any settings. The downside is they have no demo, you either buy it or all you get are videos and articles to look at. This bugged me, but it pretty much came down to this: either the software was going to fix my printer, or I was going to buy a new printer. In which case, I'd still have the software.

    Its $150 USD, digital download. The order process is quick and painless, and there is a 14-day refund period.

    So keep in mind at this point I was literally unable to print using XYZ's proprietary software. I loaded Simplify, selected my printer from the list... and with no other changes was able to import and flawlessly print a simple model.

    The software isn't perfectly intuitive, but it's also much more powerful than what come's with the printer. Setting up things like supports is a bit complicated, and the rotation and placement tools require a bit of know-how. Otherwise, it is MUCH better at detecting problems with your mesh and appears to have greatly improved control over the printer itself, allowing it to "force" a print that XKYware might not manage.

    I haven't gotten around to playing with the calibration section yet, but the simple fact that it has a software calibration features means its probably going to be easier. I don't know if you've ever tried to calibrate a Da Vinci. It took me about 16 hours last time and still wasn't perfect.

    I also have to say, the support for Simplify is really good. Very knowledgeable; and, frankly, the cost was worth it to get actual support rather than having to bump around on a user forum or something. So, yeah, I'm sold on this stuff.

  • #2
    Cool! I'll have to check this out. I didn't know this sort of software existed to interact directly with non-kit printers.

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    • #3
      I have been using Simplify3D for a few months and it is well worth the cost. I get perfect prints nearly every time. Lots of really great features that make the difference between an OK print and a great print. You will not regret purchasing it.

      Chris

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      • #4
        I've known about 3rd party software all along, just been very leery of it. My first experience with a 3D printer involved a printrbot jr. that used slic3r and another open source program that combined to form a miserable neverending nightmare. Let's put it this way: every few weeks we had to move the entire operation to a different PC because it had stopped reading the USB port.

        Basically, any piece of 3rd-party software that requires you to "just sort of know" a bunch of printer-specific settings that have to be input, is a piece of garbage. Simplify3D, meanwhile, just lets you select your printer from a drop-down list! And based on my discussions with their support team, it sounds like they've physically purchased damn near every one of these 3D printers and tested it. They had their own Da Vinci. That's what sold me on it; knowing they'd actually tested the software with the hardware.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the post. It is very helpful to a new user.
          When will be posting a video about your experiences?

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          • #6
            I'd be interested as well. Though the $150 price tag does cause a pause.... Let us know how it works for you. The new user experience is hard to beat for impressions.

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            • #7
              Can you somehow share how much it improved your prints (if you have something from before) and how your prints look like now? Maybe a side-by-side picture? Would be interesting to know how much it improves and if it may be worth to spend that money for me. I get quite good prints out of my I3 but I am always on the hunt for improvements.

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              • #8
                Yeah I can get some pictures posted later. I have a piece I printed before where the job failed midway through and the same piece printed after on the new software(complete) The difference isn't exactly staggering, but significant.

                Of course, the difference in so far as "the print actually finished" is kind of huge. That was really my main problem: the printer either wouldn't print or was VERY hit or miss about finishing.

                The $150 price tag is worth hesitation, but keep in mind it works with a wide array of printers, which means if you buy it and then get a new printer it will transfer over. Plus the license isn't "per printer" or anything, so buying it once lets you use it on as many printers as you own. I THINK its limited to 5 computers but I am not certain.

                If you get into the nitty-gritty of the software there is probably a lot of room for fine-tuning quality. I'm not really sure, I mostly just want to hit "print" and walk away. Though my next project is going to call for some very fine detail.

                I'll try and take some pictures tonight - as for a video I'm not really sure what I could post. The website already has tons of examples and there's not a whole lot more I have to say beyond "It works great and is worth the price.". Its not often I find a piece of software that hits that absolute perfect balance between easy out-of-the-box functionality and deep flexibility.

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                • #9
                  Ok, here's an image:

                  Click image for larger version

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                  I guess you can't really tell a whole lot from it, thats basically the same part; the one on the left used plain old XYZ Ware, the one on the right used Simplfy3D. There's also part of a large tuxedo cat in frame.

                  Up close the quality is not much different. The Simplify is smoother with fewer defects, thought there are still some. You can see bits of a white raft I haven't removed yet. On the left model, you can also see parts where the red raft screwed up and printed as part of the model. Why was I printing in a red raft? Because the unit was being to darn unreliable that I'd basically given up using 2 extruders. Simplify got me back to 2.

                  The major different you should notice is that the right hand model is much larger. This is because it was actually able to finish printing. The left-hand model game from a shakey era in which every model was a game of Russian roulette. It didn't finish printing. Now, I may have been able to salvage it, but the over all unreliability of the printer under XYZware was causing a serious issue.

                  If all goes well I'll have another brilliant success story to report tomorrow.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Actually being able to finish prints is always helpful. Also, looks like your cat is impressed. I'm sold.

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                    • #11
                      The cats are surprisingly uninterested in the printer. It moves and makes noise, they should be all over it@
                      Last edited by hunterjwizard; 09-04-2015, 03:26 PM. Reason: double post

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                      • #12
                        Just wanted to let you know that I also bought Simplify3D a few days ago. I'm very impressed by the amount of control it gives you. The sheer number of settings was a bit overwhelming at first, but I took the time to look through everything and have a pretty good grasp on what you can do with it. Love the descriptive tool tips that pop up over each setting!

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                        • #13
                          I also have Simplify 3D [S3D] and I have been quite happy with it. No complaints at this time. I've worked with dual print settings on a single print, worked good. Its a fascinating piece of software. I still have a lot to learn with it. For anyone interested in what it can do aside from S3D's advertisement on it, have a look at the links below on their forum. They give a good overview of each advanced tab and what the functions/settings do.

                          FFF Settings Window's
                          Each of the tab's in S3D are listed in the link above. You can click each to get an idea of what the functions and settings will allow you to do.

                          A helpful Print Quality Troubleshooting Guide

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                          • #14
                            It's good software. I've been using it with my new Wanhao Duplicator 4S. The software the Duplicator comes with is lackluster at best, some freeware/open source stuff I never even tried to use. I also like that Simplify will support some modifications I'll be making to my printer sooner or later here.

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                            • #15
                              well I guess you get what you pay for.
                              I am stuck on that 150.00 price tag.
                              Maybe I'll treat myself after Christmas.
                              (when I'm really broke haha)
                              I have a xyz Davinci 1.0 Pro
                              Will it work with my printer?

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                              • #16
                                It should work fine. It supports most other XYZ models and the Pro is more open than the others:
                                https://www.simplify3d.com/software/supported-printers/

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by sdtag View Post
                                  well I guess you get what you pay for.
                                  I am stuck on that 150.00 price tag.
                                  Maybe I'll treat myself after Christmas.
                                  (when I'm really broke haha)
                                  I have a xyz Davinci 1.0 Pro
                                  Will it work with my printer?
                                  Hi sdtag,

                                  Here are the XYZ printers that Simplify3D supports currently.

                                  XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0
                                  XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0A
                                  XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 AiO
                                  XYZprinting Da Vinci 2.0
                                  XYZprinting Da Vinci 2.0A
                                  XYZprinting Da Vinci 2.1

                                  Cheers!

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                                  • #18
                                    I didn't see the DaVinci 1.0 pro on that list.
                                    Now I guess I have to wait.
                                    Hopefully the 1.0 pro is close enough to the 1.0 and they can get it out pretty quick.
                                    thanks for the list

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by sdtag View Post
                                      I didn't see the DaVinci 1.0 pro on that list.
                                      Now I guess I have to wait.
                                      Hopefully the 1.0 pro is close enough to the 1.0 and they can get it out pretty quick.
                                      thanks for the list
                                      What is the difference in the Pro to the other 1.0 versions?

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                                      • #20
                                        I'm not sure. The pro is more "open" so I can use other filaments besides the xyz cartridges.
                                        It kind of pisses me off that I spent 500-600 whatever I spent on a 3d printer and now I have to spend 150 more for software. I know I'm going to buy it eventually. I'll stew quietly for a few days...
                                        so do you think the pro is close enough to the 1.0 that it will work?

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                                        • #21
                                          Originally posted by sdtag View Post
                                          I'm not sure. The pro is more "open" so I can use other filaments besides the xyz cartridges.
                                          It kind of pisses me off that I spent 500-600 whatever I spent on a 3d printer and now I have to spend 150 more for software. I know I'm going to buy it eventually. I'll stew quietly for a few days...
                                          so do you think the pro is close enough to the 1.0 that it will work?
                                          Id probably go ahead and speak with a S3D representative to see if they can give you a better understanding if the Pro will work with their software or not. It may not hurt to contact XYZ to get a full understanding of the differences between the 1.0 and the Pro so you can relay that with S3D as well.

                                          Don't forget you aren't forced into additional slicer software

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                                          • #22
                                            yeah I know. it's me - I want the latest and greatest

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                                            • #23
                                              So I just wanted to weigh in - I don't regret buying Simplify for a second. I DO regret wasting money on a POS da vinci, but I'm printing happily on a Wanhao Duplicator now.

                                              Here's the big thing to remember: Simplify will follow you through various 3D printers. Its powerful and feature rich. That makes it worthwhile. Compared to some of the software I've tried... yeah, definitely worth the cost.

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                                              • #24
                                                Originally posted by hunterjwizard View Post
                                                So I just wanted to weigh in - I don't regret buying Simplify for a second. I DO regret wasting money on a POS da vinci, but I'm printing happily on a Wanhao Duplicator now.

                                                Here's the big thing to remember: Simplify will follow you through various 3D printers. Its powerful and feature rich. That makes it worthwhile. Compared to some of the software I've tried... yeah, definitely worth the cost.
                                                I will happily second hunter's part on S3D

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                                                • #25
                                                  Thanks guys,
                                                  I emailed them and asked about the pro.
                                                  They say they are working on it and it should be included in their next update.
                                                  I don't know if that will be days, weeks, months, or years!
                                                  hopefully days or weeks away.
                                                  do you guys know about how often they put out updates?

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