ActiveLab™
MULTI-MATERIAL 3D PRINTER
Visual start guide

Creating an Extrusion Contour Operation

A contour operation is made up of any number of paths that follow the same mechanical and geometric property trends.

Select the rounded arrow 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 paths that will be under that contour operation, and press Enter when all paths have been selected.

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

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

 

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Contour Path 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.

 

 

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

 

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Width

Nominal width of the trace in mm. Actual width is dependent on height from substrate and material viscosity.

 

Thickness

The thickness (in the Z direction) of the area.  Actual thickness is dependent on distance from nozzle to substrate. 

 

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.

 

 

Advanced Extrusion Parameters

In order to further customize a contour operation for extrusion, the advanced parameters provide optional controls, which are generally untouched for most contour 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.

 

Height Shift

 

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.

 

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 closed contour operation to ensure that no gaps are left in the 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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