ActiveLab™
MULTI-MATERIAL 3D PRINTER
Visual start guide

Creating an Extrusion Area Operation

An area operation is made up of any number of polygons that follow the same mechanical and geometric property trends.

Select the hatched square icon button from the plugin tab (see outlined in blue below).

 

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The command line will prompt the user to select the polygons that will be under that area operation, and press Enter when all polygons have been selected.

The user will be able to add more polygons to the operation once it has been created.

 Select the operation in the left-hand list panel to view the profile settings for the area operation.

 

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Area Polygon Operations

Add Path

Select this button to add one path to the operation, which the user selects from the list. 

Add Multiple

Select this button to add multiple paths to the operation. Once one or more paths is selected from the scene, press Enter to solidity the selection. 

Once more than one path is present in the list, they will be numbered in the order they are printed. To change the order, drag the paths by holding down the hamburger on the right side of each path bar. 

Delete Path

To delete any path, press the X on the right side of each path bar. 

Delete All

Select this button to delete all the paths in the operation. 

Select All Paths

Press this button to select all the operation paths in the field, which can be used with the following Rhino commands:

  • Hide
  • Show
  • Lock
  • SetPt
  • Group
  • Translate
  • Rotate

Flip Paths

Flip the direction of printing all paths in the operation. To flip the direction of a single path, select that path and command 'flip'. 

 

Extrusion Parameters

The initial extrusion parameters are set using profiles at the top of the window. Once the desired (or as close as possible) to the desired profile is selected, proceed to the parameters below.

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The following parameters should be adjusted to fit the fabric prior to editing other fields to customize the design. 

 

 

Multiplier

Unitless value to control extrusion rate. This can be used to account for absorption into the substrate.

Stiffness

Controls the flexibility and hardness of the polyurethane, and is independent from geometric parameters. 

A range from 0 - 1, where 0 is the softest formulation and 1 is the hardest formulation of the material set.

Viscosity

Controls the measure of polyurethane's resistance to gradual deformation by shear stress or tensile stress.

A range from 0 - 1, where 0 is the lowest viscosity and 1 is the highest viscosity. Viscosity is heavily dependent on stiffness, and its range decreases as stiffness increases.

 

If the desired physical properties are not achieved using the control of multiplier, stiffness and viscosity, proceed to further customization by pressing the button for Show All Fields...

 

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Thickness

The thickness (in the Z direction) of the area. 

Actual thickness is dependent on distance from nozzle to substrate. 

Height

This value represents the actual height of the nozzle above the media plane, and should be the same as the thickness unless printing is done on a previously printed layer. While this height overrides any designated height of polygons in the scene, the user may choose to Calculate Height from Polygons.

Infill Angle

The angle at which the infill occurs for polygons. By selecting the button to Calculate Angle from Scenethe user can select two points in the scene to define the angle. 

 

Advanced Extrusion Parameters

In order to further customize an area operation for extrusion, the advanced parameters provide optional controls, which are generally untouched for most area operations. Access the advanced parameters by selecting the collapsible arrow before the Advanced section.

 

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Print Speed

The speed at which the nozzle moves on the media during printing operations.

 

Order by Closest

Override the automatic order of path printing defined by the polygon list and increase efficiency by printing each polygon as quickly after the previous as possible. This also allows the user to define where the starting point of the operation is, manipulating the direction of the infill.

 

Enable Singlepath

If true, areas of the input path that are too thin to be printed with a perimeter will be attempted to be printed using a single pass of the extruder.

 

Min Singlepath Width

Minimum width to consider valid for a single path pass.

 

Max Singlepath Width

Maximum width to consider valid for a single path pass.

 

Outer Perimeter First

If box is checked, perimeters are ordered outside in.

 

Number of Perimeters

The number of times the outline of the polygon is printed in polyurethane, starting from the outer edge and continuing towards the center of the area at discrete spacing, if outer perimeter first is selected.

 

Overlap Factor

A multiple of the nozzle width, this defines the percentage by which the interior infill overlaps with the perimeter. 

 

Stepover Factor

The discrete spacing between parallel paths of the polygon infill, where 1 is the nozzle diameter. 

 

Height Shift

 

Width

 

Infill Density

How close the infill passes should be, with 1 signifying 100% density. 

 

Travel Settings

These settings define the movement of the nozzle when not printing an area on the media. Same as the advanced options, these should not be altered unless creating an advanced shape.

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Lead-In Corner Radius

The radius under which the nozzle approaches the starting point of the print. This is in effect for material accumulation not to occur at the start of the print due to the acceleration of the trace.

 

Retraction Height

The height to which the nozzle moves (at 150mm/s) after completing an operation.

 

Finishing Overlap

The distance that the nozzle proceeds past the starting point of the perimeter to ensure that no gaps are left in the perimeter trace.

 

Vertical Ramp Angle

The vertical angle under which the nozzle retracts after the completion of a trace.

 

Horizontal Ramp Angle

The horizontal angle under which the nozzle retracts after the completion of a trace.

 

Ramp Length

The length which the nozzle retracts at the vertical and horizontal ramp angles after the completion of a trace.

 

Minimum Gap Distance

The spacing between neighbor traces for which retraction is not required due to their proximity.

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