Broke down and bought a license...

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Broke down and bought a license...

Postby 0110-m-p » Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:51 pm

...fingers cross I don't regret dropping this kind of money on software when ever other option is free.
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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby jdurand » Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:05 pm

Since I use 3D printers for business, I'm considering a license when we get the printer together. From a business view, it's fairly cheap software.

Looking forward to reports of how you like it.
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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby nitewatchman » Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:44 am

I purchased the license about a month ago and I like it. Very quick, economy of movement and the support can be edited or manually changed, deleted or placed.

Biggest weak spot for me is in the infill. I would like to see a honeycomb and different patterns available for top and bottom layers.

I would purchase again.

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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby JFettig » Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:13 am

Agreed, I would also like better infill. I never use random placement and it seems to help

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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby mhackney » Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:54 am

Maybe I'm an anomaly but after testing it for over 6 weeks (exclusively using it and no other slicer) I asked for a refund. I sent the developer/owner a 15 page document on my experiences from good to bad and why, at the end of the day, the product isn' worth my investment. This is the first time I've ever requested a refund for software. It wasn't about the money at all, I was just very disappointed in the entire "S3D experience". Starting with getting the license key - which took 4 days(!) to sort out, to their forum that requires them to moderate all new posts from new users (which took 48 hours for my first post), to their lack of replying to questions/issues I had via email and the forum, and culminating in the way they handled "me" and my request for a refund.

I had simple issues like printing the same part multiple times side-by-side on the platter giving significantly different results (and none were very good prints). I included photos and descriptions. Other than the refund email from his wife - who runs "marketing" and goes by a different last name - there was no feedback that they had actually read and understood my input. I work in high tech software and if I had a customer who went out of his/her way to be as constructive as I was, I would bend over backwards to learn from it and try to retain that person, involve them in the beta test process and earn their business. I do this in my fly fishing reel kit business too. That's how you make successful businesses and make and retain "wildly happy" customers.

Since then (May) nothing on my list has been addressed in the new versions. I've been reluctant to publicly voice my experience with S3D until now. The product may be fine for some users but I had a very difficult time getting the results I expected. Many people put a lot of weight on its support generation capabilities. I don't and wouldn't use that feature. For me, it is far better, faster and gives much better results both from a quality and print time perspective to design support into the object, or, in the case of an existing STL file, to modify the STL with supports. An excellent example is Johann's ball bearing carriage for the mini kossel printer, the support is critical to the success of that design. Not everyone can or wants to do CAD, I realize that. But I wasn't able to get a single print that met my (maybe high) expectations for quality. And I gave the software a very fair shake and had 4 other S3D owners with more initial experience than I attempt to slice a few parts for me and all were equally bad.

Sorry for the rant but I decided I just can't sit silent any longer. Caveat emptor.

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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby Polygonhell » Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:16 pm

I wouldn't pay for it again, and I wouldn't recommend it to Anyone else.
Way too many issues, and the inability to post ANY negativity be feedback on the forum.
It has it's positives, but I use free alternatives by preference almost every time, and I didn't get a refund, so I still own it.
Even it's much touted support is worse than free competitors because it lacks an interface layer and has a full layer gap between it and the model. Sure that makes it easy to remove, but at the cost of very ugly layers sitting on the support.
I find the printer driver unreliable, it randomly restarts a print mid print crashing the head into the model. So I'm forced to export everything to a file and use repetier host.
And I recently noticed it was completely removing small features on a model when slicing it, while other slicers did not.

Having said that some people seem to like it, so your mileage may vary.

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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby mhackney » Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:36 pm

Thanks Polygonhell. Sometimes I feel/felt like I was being irrational and maybe it's just "me". I have had others tell me in private that they've stopped using it and/or got a refund but no one has gone public with that. I think yours may be the first public criticism besides mine. I'm not at all out to "get" the company, I genuinely wish someone would develop a next generation slicer and really do not care who does it. I'd even pay a lot more than $140 for a slicer if it does some of the things I want to do. I just dropped 25x more than that on a new CAM package for my mill and lathe work and it was worth every penny. The problem is, there are no prosumer or professional options for slicing software yet.

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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby 0110-m-p » Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:33 pm

Well that's disappointing to here both of your experiences with this software since I tend to trust you guys' experiences more than most others (no offense meant to anyone else).

I truly love (and I mean truly) two things about it.
1) The fact that I can add and subtract supports without needing to do. I'm not scared of CAD (I use Creo everyday for a living), but I'd like to not have to modify every file I send to my printer to get the supports the way I want them.
2) Multiple parts with completely different print setting in the same build. I tailor my settings for every part I make, so two very rarely share the same slicer configuration. This is the big feature for me.

With that said though, I'm going to give it a true try but can't say my confidence is extremely high (was slightly higher before reading this thread today, but not much). I already printed the same part 3 times for my first 3D Hubs client with it and wasn't super impressed. I'm now printing it again with kisslicer to see if it looks any better.
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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby mhackney » Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:44 pm

I'm sure you will but give it a fair and open minded shake! As I said, supports are a non-issue for me. I would never use them.

I happen to be in Chapel Hill until the first visiting my sister in law's family. I see you are in Raleigh.

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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby precisionpete » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:00 pm

I don't want this to come off as bad but a couple of points which have been brought up before.
I almost bought a license after reading a bit about how great this slicer is.
Not having a trial is a real turn off in today's software environment.
I wonder how much of a hassle it was to get a refund plus the lost time and investment in learning their software before giving up.
$140 is kinda expensive for most people since this is supposed to be a hobby.
I bought my orion printer as an extra tool in our shop to make money so if I have to buy something to support this it's no problem.
Most of our software is in the thousands of dollar range and a trial is always available with support that is top notch. If I waited for 4 days to get a license they would loose a sale.
That would speak to how their support in the future is going to be.
Moderating the forum so nothing gets said they don't like is never going to fly, imagine if the guys at seemecnc did that here? How long before people would start talking?

I haven't tried it yet but the free craftware slicer seems to be just what these guys are selling for $

I am sure everyones mileage varies but I notice when slicing things in slcr3 or mc I get different results. MC is my go to right now and seems to do the job okay for my needs.
And yes, having a good model to begin with makes a huge difference.

Mhackney I really appreciate your input (seeing your reels and the response from this forum sold me on buying my orion)

Experience is a real good teacher if you listen.

My motto "Go slow you get further ahead"

I tell this to the guys in the shop every time they bring me a part that's fubar and I tell them "drill a hole in it, put a chain on it and give it to your girlfriend" now go start over and go slower!

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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby 0110-m-p » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:18 pm

mhackney wrote:I happen to be in Chapel Hill until the first visiting my sister in law's family. I see you are in Raleigh.


Yep I'm in Raleigh...just got back from visiting family for the holidays yesterday. Lots of good beer around these parts if you get too bored with family stuff and want to grab a few.
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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby BenTheRighteous » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:24 pm

If you guys start planning a Raleigh meetup, I want in!
nitewatchman wrote:it was much cleaner and easier than killing a chicken on top of the printer.

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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby jmpreuss » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:15 am

precisionpete wrote:Moderating the forum so nothing gets said they don't like is never going to fly, imagine if the guys at seemecnc did that here? How long before people would start talking?

Have you ever been to the simplify forums? Clearly this claim is incorrect. Yes they manually approve the first post from a person but that does not mean complete scrubbing of every post, big difference.

Many of the criticisms are correct, the lack of a trial being the worst. It seems the company is completely focused on programming and doesn't have much care about people skills.

I personally have used it as my only slicer for about a year now. A big reason is that it performs well on sailfish/makerbot machines and is much better than the mess makerware/desktop is. It has also handled my rep2 upgrades including the aftermarket heated build plate. I also have an Orion and a Max and it is easy for me to switch between printer worlds using the exact same software.

Features I like include being able to change settings between and within objects. The speed is also very nice, I sometimes slice very complicated models and things that would take hours on other slicers only take seconds here.

At the end of the day the choice of slicer is very individual and there is no slicer yet to rule them all. I know of people who still use rep g because it does one thing different than any other slicer (probably a bug that got fixed). On the other hand I know lots of people who have dropped the $140 on S3D and had zero regrets. As always YMMV.
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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby JFettig » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:59 am

I haven't had quite the issues that some have. I have limited experience with other slicers as well but I have noticed that some slicers do a much better job of certain things. One of the things is hiding seams. I have S3D dialed in for one of my spools to almost perfectly hide a seam. The best way to do it is hide them in a sharp corner by grouping them to a point, but in my opinion that is a bandaid to the problem.

I had some support issues with the latest version, I've been chatting with them about that, hopefully we can get an update soon. I also have been chatting with them about infill, not sure they will do anything to make that any better but they made some suggestions - which might only work with the latest version because it doesn't work with 2.1.2.

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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby 0110-m-p » Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:20 pm

So I wasn't happy with my first couple of prints, but the part really wasn't the kind of part I like printing. Calibrating the extrusion width of my red ABS now with Simplify3D so that I can make something more familiar to me...high infill, strong parts. Fingers crossed.

BenTheRighteous wrote:If you guys start planning a Raleigh meetup, I want in!


I'm game for a meetup sometime...coffee or beer is good for me.
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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby JFettig » Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:02 pm

I attached my ABS settings from V2.1.2, it gives me rather nice seam hiding using these. Printing is a little fast for super nice edges. I set the seam side to that corner from the part I was printing, I line up seams to one side that has an edge.
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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby mhackney » Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:38 pm

This is exactly one of the issues I had. With a round part that is seen from 3 or all 4 sides, there is no place to hide the seem. No one, including me, that I had test some of the fly reel parts (see my avatar) was able to print the back plate without an ugly seem right through it. Like I said, it may be fine for some users but this is the type of thing I continually ran into. The single perimeters at a time was a show stopper for these parts:

Image
Image

Not to mention that I could not come close to doing an "open weave" pattern like this. I even went so far as to slice in S3D and KISS and then graft the gcode files together in an attempt to get concentric shell fill (which KISS does not do) and open weave like this (which S3D does not do).

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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby heathenx » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:04 pm

It's a shame that you had such a terrible experience with S3D. It's the only software that I trust for great prints everytime.

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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby mhackney » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:10 pm

You cann get the Valentine box on thingiverse I posted it earlier this year. Slice it and show us the results!

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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby 0110-m-p » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:14 pm

Trying something very neat with S3D right now and if it works I'll be hard pressed in asking for a refund.

Got a customer print that needs to be strong and has a small diameter pin interface that needs to not break easily. What I did was setup the print at 75% infill with a 100% infill layer every 10 layers. Then I split the print into 3 processes so that I could make a truly solid 1.2mm thick interface between the main part and the pin.
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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby Holy1 » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:23 pm

heathenx wrote:It's a shame that you had such a terrible experience with S3D. It's the only software that I trust for great prints everytime.


Me too, works great. Worth every penny.

I really don't like it when people rant about something when no one asked their opinion. But that's my opinion :lol:
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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby mhackney » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:53 pm

I don't disagree and I thought long and hard (and it has been 6 months) before I've commented. And I've said that it might work fine for some but I do what I do. I've posted the challenge above, and I'm happy to admit that I'm wrong if anyone can print a nice version of my Valentine Box with S3D. Until someone does, I stand by my personal experience and opinion.


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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby heathenx » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:44 pm

Well, I think it would be disrespectful of anyone on this forum to disregard your opinion. You were obviously trying to accomplish something very specific and S3D failed. You've already learned that one of S3D's "weaknesses" (I put that in quotes because it's relative) is its lack of infill types. For instance, is there any other slicer that offers that pretty rounded infill found in KISS? I actually like the triangle infill in MatterSlice.

As for the infill type that is offered, I find it rather strong and quite adequate for everything I print. 90% of my prints are functional product prototypes. They are not decorative designs. Moreover, of the decorative pieces that I have printed, I bet I've only ever printed several without a top and bottom surface exposing the infill. In that regard, S3D is more apropos for my type of prints. Perhaps there are more like me and maybe that's why we put S3D on a pedestal. Works well for us and not so well for folks like you.

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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby heathenx » Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:09 pm

I took a stab at the heart today (pun intended) just for the hell of it. Unfortunately, I was no where near my RMaxV2 so I printed it on my FlashForge with the latest version of S3D. I have no reason to believe that my RMax would have printed any differently (except maybe for a little extra retract stringing). 35% infill at 60mm/s. Wife is happy with it. ;)
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Re: Broke down and bought a license...

Postby mhackney » Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:41 pm

Thanks heathenx for taking the time to print this. Please do not take this personally, as it is not intended that way! The print looks good and many would be delighted with it, but to be honest, even in these photos I can see exactly the type of issues I experienced with S3D. I spent many, many hours tweaking and testing and studying (with a magnifier) and was never able to do as good as I can get with other slicers. I don't think your printer or slicing parameters are the primary contributors, in fact, your print of this box looks as good as the best I could do with S3D - kudos on that! Realizie that the following comments are based on your photos and my looking specifically for the problem areas I experienced, here's what I observe:

  1. around the small hearts in the top, the perimeters have gaps where they should touch. You can see this clearly in the center section where the tips of the hearts meet in the second and third photos
  2. the lower box sides also show incompletely bonded perimeters - this can be seen in photo 3 if you zoom in - on the left side of the box as it hears the point it is most clearly visible.
  3. this one is stretch but perhaps you can scrutinize the lower box sidewalls (on the outside) and describe or photograph the quality - it looks like there are areas of blobs just visible in photos 3 & 4 if I zoom in, but again its a stretch.

In addition to these, I can't tell from the photos but I experienced this in my print of this box (and there are reports on the S3D forum about this issue on other STL files) that the transition from the base "shell" to the sidewalls is particularly weak due to the way the slicer creates its bonding layers from the base shell to the sidewall. I spent a lot of time analyzing the gcode produced for this part and for my reels in all of the slicers I use. It isn't so much a problem in a print like this but the joints of the pillars and spindle on my fly fishing reel needs to be strong in order to take the stresses of fishing. S3D puts down one layer (that I call a bonding layer) at this junction. It is not strong enough. Using S3D's ability to change slicing parameters by layer helps but has the negative (and show stopper for this reel) side effect of leaving visible artifacts due to the different slicing parameters on the sidewall of the reel frame itself (which is highly visible to the fisherman) since the center spindle actually sits in a pocket in the frame.

The other major problem I had, and since you printed the box with an open fill bottom I can't verify it with your print, is that the first layer has a pronounced seam line from the shell fill. I know it looks like the box bottom on my photos has exposed infill but it actually has 2 solid shells top and bottom - the PLA is translucent to expose the fill pattern, a subtle and attractive effect). The problem was even more pronounced with my fly reel back plate, no amount of tweaking eliminated this problem and every one of the other folks I had test this part with S3D had the same issue (and one of them had been an S3D user since it first released). I'm happy to send you the STLs for the reel if you want a challenging print! And even f you don't fly fish, it is a great stress reliever. It makes a pleasing click when you turn it.

Cheers and Happy New Year and thank you again for your work.

Michael

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