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Slicing Ideas

IdeaMaker – A Beginner’s Guide to Raise3D’s Slicer

Picture of Amir M. Bohlooli
by Amir M. Bohlooli
Oct 24, 2018

IdeaMaker is one of many slicing platforms, but what distinguishes it is its sleek compatibility with dual extruder printers and highly customizable print settings. In this tutorial, we go through the basics of slicing with Raise3D's IdeaMaker.

IdeaMaker – A Beginner's Guide to Raise3D's Slicer Downloading and Installing

The IdeaMaker installation screen.
The IdeaMaker installation screen. Source: Amir M. Bohlooli // All3DP

IdeaMaker is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. To find the latest stable version for your platform, check out Raise3D’s website.

Once you download it, run the executable file. The installation is simple and straightforward. Just make sure to check both of the auxiliary installations in case if you don’t have them installed on your system.

IdeaMaker – A Beginner's Guide to Raise3D's Slicer The Configuration Wizard

The Configuration Wizard.
The Configuration Wizard. Source: Amir M. Bohlooli // All3DP

On your first launch, the configuration wizard will pop up. But if it doesn’t, simply go to the “Printer” tab and select it manually.

  • Select your printer type from the drop-down menu.
  • In the next screen, choose the number of extruders. This is one of the brilliant features of IdeaMaker — the smooth control of dual extruder printers. Next, check whether you’ll be using a heated bed or not.
  • If you have two extruders, you’ll be asked to select the sort of the filament that you use most often (type and diameter).
  • If your printer isn’t one of Raise3D’s then choose “Others” as the printer type. Once you do, a setting screen will pop up for you to insert your printer’s attributes. The main ones should be the bed dimensions, nozzle diameter, filament type and the connection frequency (baud rate).

And that’s it! Your printer is set up. Just keep in mind that currently IdeaMaker only supports printers using Marlin firmware, but don’t give up if your printer uses another firmware! You can always use IdeaMaker as a slicer and export the g-code.

IdeaMaker – A Beginner's Guide to Raise3D's Slicer Adding and Repairing Your Model

Image of: Adding and Repairing Your Model
Source: Amir M. Bohlooli // All3DP

To add your model, click on the plus icon in the middle. Choose your file and it will be loaded onto the screen. Use the “Pan”, “Move” and “Rotate” tools to look around. You can also use the shortcuts.

One thing you might notice is an orange warning sign. This means your models are “Invalid” and that they need to be repaired. If you unselect them, they will be colored red. Repairing is a very smooth and efficient process in IdeaMaker. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Select the model.
  2. Click “Repair” on the toolbar!

Note that repairing may take some time depending on the model.

IdeaMaker – A Beginner's Guide to Raise3D's Slicer Transforming Your Model

The Transform tools.
The Transform tools. Source: Amir M. Bohlooli // All3DP

With IdeaMaker, it’s also possible to transform your model. The tools are basic but often enough to get the job done.

You can move, rotate and scale your model using the tools in the toolbar. Here’s how to transform your object:

  1. Select your model, and then choose the tool you want.
  2. 3D axes will appear on your model — lines for “Move” and “Scale” or circles for “Rotate”. Click and drag the lines to transform your model.
  3. Alternatively, you can insert manual values for the transformations in the window that pops open on the left.
  4. If you want to print the model as big as your printer allows, you can use the “Max Fit” tool. This scales the model to precisely fit your printer.

The “Free Cut” tool allows you to partition the model into multiple pieces. This is handy when you want to print something in parts, for example if your print bed is too small. Here’s how to perform a free cut:

  1. Select your model, and then choose the “Free Cut” tool.
  2. A cyan square and 3D axes will appear. The square displays the virtual blade that will cut the model. You can rotate the blade using the colored circles and move it with the colored arrows. You can also manual values in the “Cutting Plane” window on the left, similar to transforming.
  3. Once you have the blade where you want it, click “Start Cut”. IdeaMaker will now start cutting your model in the specified plane.

Keep in mind that, once you “cut” the model, you’ll need to repair the resulting ones to get rid of the non-manifold edges.

The support tool allows you to add supports to your model, either automatically or manually. You can also activate auto-supports in the print settings. Here’s how to add supports:

  1. Select your model, and then click the “Support” tool.
  2. The “Support Structure” window will pop up on the left. The support structure is made of pillars which hold the model, you can change their size to your liking. Smaller pillars are easier to peel off your print.
  3. Click “Create Auto Supports”. IdeaMaker will generate your supports, which by default will be yellow in the preview. 

The auto-supports function works decently well and usually covers all the required parts. If it doesn’t, or if you want to have supports only in specific places, you can manually add them. Once you have your model selected, add manual supports in the following way:

  1. In the “Support Structure” window, Click “Add” from the “Manual Supports” section. A green pillar will appear.
  2. Move your mouse to get the pillar in position, and then left-click to place it. 
  3. You can edit each pillar separately by selecting it and then clicking on “Edit”.
  4. You can remove a pillar if you’ve put it in the wrong place. Alternatively, if you’ve made a mess of the supports, you can click “Clear Supports”. This will remove all supports, including the auto supports.

IdeaMaker – A Beginner's Guide to Raise3D's Slicer Setting up the Print Settings

The print settings.
The print settings. Source: Amir M. Bohlooli // All3DP

Now that the model is ready, the settings need to be configured:

  1. Click the play button and the template window will pop up. Select your printer and filament type. There are three preset templates for Raise3D printers — High Quality, Standard and Fast — which differ in layer height, speed, and other settings of the sort. The presets are decent settings to print with, but you also have the option to customize them.
  2. If you want to create your own template, or if your printer falls in the “Others” category, click on “Create”.
  3. Next click on “Advanced”.

The settings are abundant and you can adjust almost anything you can think of in IdeaMaker’s settings tab. From “Coasting Distance” to “Infill Acceleration”, there are settings present in IdeaMaker that usually aren’t present in other 3D Slicers. In case you’re lost in all the options, here’s where to find some typical settings:

  • The layer height and print speed settings are located in the “Layer” tab.
  • The retraction settings and the extrusion width can be found in the “Extrusion” tab.
  • The infill pattern, speed, and density can be set in the “Infill” tab.
  • If you want to set up a raft, a skirt, or a brim, you can do so in the “Platform Additions” tab.

Once you’re done adjusting the settings, click “Okay” and then “Save and Close”.

IdeaMaker – A Beginner's Guide to Raise3D's Slicer Slicing and Printing

The preview window.
The preview window. Source: Amir M. Bohlooli // All3DP

After setting up the print settings, it’s time to finally slice it into g-code:

  1. Click on the play icon labeled “Start Slicing” or use Ctrl+P. It might take some time to slice the model.
  2. Once the slicing is finished, you’ll see a window indicating the estimated price, print duration, etc.
  3. If you’ve connected your printer, you can print directly from IdeaMaker by clicking “Export”. However, if you don’t have your printer connected, it will export the g-code file.
  4. Selecting “Upload” will upload the g-code to the printer wirelessly. This is the case for Raise3D printers.
  5. If you want to preview your g-code, click on “Preview”. The preview screen itself will take some time to load.
  6. The preview screen displays a sketch of the printer’s movements. Play around with the “Layers” scroller to see your print progression in different stages of the process. You can change the color guide in the bottom right. The “Extruder Color” will show two colors for each extruder, optimal for dual extruder printers. The “Structure” will change the color guides to show the different structures in your print, such as “Support”, “Infill”, “Raft”, etc. Lastly, the “Speed” option will color the print preview based on the nozzle speed. Dark blue being the slowest and red being the fastest.

And that’s it! Happy printing with Raise3D’s IdeaMaker!

License: The text of "IdeaMaker – A Beginner’s Guide to Raise3D’s Slicer" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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