Skeinforge

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Skeinforge Manual has moved

Note that as of 24 November 2010 the "official" Skeinforge Manual has moved to Here .... this does mean that these pages on the BfB wiki will not necessarily be the most up to date.


See also Enrique's blog Fabmetheus blog


Contents

What

Skeinforge is a tool chain composed of Python scripts that converts your 3d model into G-Code instructions for Rapman.

Updating skeinforge manual Skeinforge Manual Update advice from Enrique for updating pages and setting up a new structure.


Requirements

Skeinforge is written in python. To be able to use it you need

Where to get it

Skeinforge can be downloaded from:

File Formats

Skeinforge accepts the following file formats as input:

(see File Formats page)

Overview

Skeinforge Overview

The skeinforge overview has links and brief descriptions. This is similar to the page displayed when the help button on the skeinforge window is clicked.


Install

A simple guide ???

Installing skeinforge shouldn't be too difficult...

Download and install Python 2.x Link to Python Download don't worry about tkinter etc it usually installs with Python. (there is a version on the page that includes a windows msi installer, you can accept the default install folders)

Download and install Psyco Link to Psyco Download this speeds up the running of skeinforge.(again you can accept the default install folders)

Download Skeinforge Link to Skeinforge Download Unzip to a folder (without spaces in the path -usually into the root of c:\) Open the skeinforge folder and find the file "skeinforge.py" (a good idea is to place a shortcut to this on the desktop) ... double click to run it.

If all is ok skeinforge should run ... You need to select the "extrude" profile type and then the appropriate material (ie ABS, PLA etc)

Settings

The default settings in craft, analyse, fill, raft etc are ok for a first attempt at printing, but you might find that changing these to settings on the Polymers page of the wiki give better results. Oh, and to get skeinforege to process the stl file click the "skeinforge button", browse to your stl file and open it. A gcode file will be created in the same folder as the stl file. copy stl file to SD card and off you go  :-)


I would advise reading the "operation manual" that can be downloaded from the V3.0 section of the BfB website Operation Manual I hope this helps, good luck.


Updates

Skeinforge is updated regularly by Enrique check regularly on the [1] here new versions are attached to information about the updates. It is usually best to be running the most up to date version of Skeinforge as there are frequent bug fixes and improvements to its functionality.

Version Numbering

There is now a date string in version.txt in the folder skeinforge_utilities in skeinforge_tools. The version date string is added in the content of the gcode output.

How

To Run Skeinforge

When Skeinforge is started three windows will be displayed.

  1. The shell window (the black window where information is displayed, including which parts of the program have been executed, information about the processing of the file, errors, etc)
  2. A preferences window
  3. A profile preferences window

The usual sequence for converting a file to g-code is to...

  1. In the "Profile Preferences" window click on the "Extrusion" button (a new "Extrusion Preferences" window will open).
  2. In the "Extrusion Preferences" window select the correct profile for the machine (RapMan) and material that you are using. Click "Save Preferences"
  3. In the "Skeinforge Preferences" window, click "Craft". you can now select the various craft preferences (ie Raft, Fill, Comb etc) to make adjustments to any settings that you require.
  4. Click the "Craft" button at the bottom of the "Craft Preferences" window, In the new "Open File to be Crafted" window browse to the appropriate file (you may have to select the correct file type in the drop down list to see it). Then click the "Open" button.
  5. The shell window will display the progress as the file is processed, any errors that are generated (hopefully none) and a summary of the g-code file that has been produced.
  6. If the options to display Skeinview (2D preview of layers) and Behold (3D preview) have been selected then these windows will be displayed.
  7. The newly generated g-code file will be saved to the same folder as the original .stl file. If "Analyze Preferences/Statistic/Save Statistics" has been selected a .txt file will also be saved containing information about the g-code.

To Run Skeinforge in a script

To have skeinforge craft a single stl-file using the last profile that was selected, simply run:

python skeinforge.py file.stl

To run multiple stl-file you could use (Linux):

for file in ../objects/*.stl do ; python skeinforge.stl ${file} ; done

To Search for Skeinforge Info

Skeinforge Custom Search Page

The skeinforge custom search page searches only this wiki, the fabmetheus blog and the skeinforge tutorials on the web. Search for a term on that page, and many of the results will be skeinforge pages.

To Troubleshoot

If there's a bug, try downloading the very latest version because skeinforge is often updated without an announcement.

If there is still a bug, then first prepare the following files:

  1. stl file
  2. pictures explaining the problem
  3. your settings (pack the whole .skeinforge directory with all your settings)

Then zip all the files.

Second, write a description of the error, send the description and the archive to the developer, enrique ( perez_enrique AT yahoo.com.removethispart ). After a bug fix is released, test the new version and report the results to enrique, whether the fix was successful or not.

Setting Screens

These are the setting screens from which you can set all the tool preferences, they are grouped together in various sub screens. This screenshots are taken from version 2009- 12 -11.

Skeinforge Settings

This is Skeinforge main screen where you can select a profile and open to the various subsections with Skeinforge tools Preferences.

SkeinforgeSettings.png

Analyze - Help - Profile - Craft - Meta

Analyze Settings

This screen groups the tools that help analyze the output of the skeinforge.

AnalyzeSettings.png

Behold - Skeinview - Vectorwrite - Comment - Statistic

Help Settings

From here you can access the various help resources

HelpSettings.png


Profile Settings

Here you can select a standard profile, remember that all changes you make in the tool settings are written to this profile. You might want to duplicate one first.

ProfileSettings.png

Craft Settings

All the major tools for printing are grouped here

CraftSettings.png

Carve - Clip - Cool - Fill - Home - Inset - Lash - Oozebane - Raft - Splodge - Tower - Chamber - Comb - Export - Fillet - Hop - Jitter - Multiply - Preface - Speed - Stretch - Unpause


Meta Settings

MetaSettings.png

Tools

Below is a description of each of the skeinforge tool settings. For suggested settings for speed, feed and temperature etc please see the individual materials PCL, PLA, PP, HDPE & ABS.

Note that since September 08 2009, skeinforge got a functionality to work with cutters so the part of the config that we are interested in is located under CRAFT, and you have to select Craft Type = EXTRUSION in the Profile menu. Also Skeinforge moved the analyze plugins out of the craft section and right to the front page

Analyze

Behold

3D view of the output G-Code

Skeinview

Layer (2D) view of the output G-Code

Vectorwrite

SVG export of each layer

Comment

Add comments to the G-Code

Statistic

Statistics about the print

Craft

Carve

The most important plugin to define your printer.

Chamber

The chamber tool allows you to control the bed and chamber temperature.

Clip

Clips the ends of loops to prevent bumps from forming

Comb

Moves the extruder around inside holes to prevent stringers in those holes.

Cool

Make pause between layers or print layers slowly if they are small - helps solve the heat build-up when printing small layers

Dimension

5D option for skeinforge. Not supported by RapMan

Export

Final touch to the file before it is saved

Fill

What to fill the object with

Fillet

Rounds the corners slightly in a variety of ways in order to reduce corner blobbing and sudden extruder acceleration

Home

Hop

Inset

Jitter

Change where every layer start in order to prevent creating a ridge on the side of the object

Lash

Not used by RapMan (compensates for the backlash)

Multiply

Multiply plugin will take a single object and create an array of object. It is used when you want to print single object multiple times in single pass.

Oozebane

Control oozing

Preface

Some general settings like units (mm vs inch), start & end files etc.

Raft

Except for the raft settings, all temperature settings and support settings are here too

Speed

Speed panel - extrusion speed, head movement speed while printing, while orbiting, max Z speed ...

Splodge

Turn on extruder "a bit earlier"

Stretch

Stretch is very important Skeinforge module that allows you to compensate for the fact that holes are smaller then they should be.

Tower

Unpause

Widen

widen walls which are less than a double perimeter width wide

Wipe

Describe your wipe procedure here

Meta

Description

Description of your profile

Polyfile

Directory or file choice

Profile

Cutting

Extrusion

Milling

Winding

Help

Tutorials

  • Allan Ecker aka The Masked Retriever's "Skeinforge Quicktip: The Raft, Part 1": blog.thingiverse.com
  • Allan Ecker aka The Masked Retriever's "Skeinforge Quicktip: The Raft, Part II": blog.thingiverse.com
  • Allan Ecker aka The Masked Retriever's "Skeinforge Quick Tip; Tweaking the Speed Knob": blog.thingiverse.com
  • Tony's "More Skeinforge" post on the BfB Blog, a detailed explanation about the effects that changing head speed, extrusion rate and layer thickness has on the quality of print RapMan Blogspot - More Skeinforge

With thanks to all the above and Enrique (from the skeinforge powwow page of the RepRap Forum: skeinforge powwow ) Note. Skeinforge has moved! Enrique has a Blog for discussion of all things related to Skeinforge ...Fabmetheus Blog

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