Peopoly, creator of the exceedingly popular Moai SLA 3D printer kit, has just launched its first dedicated print preparation software. Called Asura, the program is currently in open beta for Windows users and lets you auto-generate supports for your prints.
Users of the Peopoly Moai will be acutely aware of the lack of dedicated print preparation software for the monolithic slab of a printer. We noted this as one of the few lamentable drawbacks to an otherwise excellent machine.
Forced to use other programs for support generation, before preparing g-code in a modified version of Cura, the process of turning an STL into a Moai-printable file was a little tedious, at best. Thankfully, there is a glimmer of an end in sight, with Peopoly lifting the lid on its own custom software purpose built for the Moai.
Dubbed Asura, the program is currently in beta for Windows machines only, with an .exe and supplementary files available via Peopoly’s Google Drive.
A post on the Peopoly website explains a little of the purpose behind Asura, describing it as a program to “streamline Moai workflow with new users in mind.”
This initial release only features automatic support generation, which means the multi-program shuffle when using the Moai remains. However, the blog post announcing Asura claims that slicing models for the Peopoly Moai will eventually make it to the program.
After poking around Asura for the morning, we can report that — with the exception of some in-your-face bugs — it seems a pretty solid first step. As described, this initial release is limited to automatic support generation, executing the function in a simple manner with a few optimization settings allowing you to adjust the density, thicknesses and angles as required.
Booting it up, you’re presented with comically tiny window that’ll need expanding before you can work on anything. Maximizing the window, you get a pleasingly neutral color scheme, with a toolbar containing the expected object manipulation tools (scale, orientation) and the aforementioned support generation option.
Loading up the Warrior D&D Miniature (by MakersLabCZ, via Thingiverse) and playing around, we were able to achieve a support structure that looks robust enough to survive the trip through the Moai’s resin vat. Our Moai’s spot in the All3DP print room is currently taken by another printer under review, but when we get a chance to we’ll take Asura for a spin proper.
In some ways using Asura is similar in simplicity to XYZprinting’s XYZware program — you can generate ample supports with just a few clicks.
Some users on the beta forum have noted (and we ourselves found) that occasionally Asura will omit supports from areas it shouldn’t and overdo it with excessive supports in others. Additionally you are sometimes left with support strands hanging into thin air.
Fine tuning your model’s orientation and support settings can remedy these, but it’s a little tricky.
But, to a degree, it works. And it’s important to remember that Asura is still only a first release in beta.
Going on the support offered by Peopoly founder Shu Peng on the Peopoly forums, it seems assured that the program will improve and gain new features after feedback from its users.
No word yet on if or when Asura will make the jump to Mac or Linux, but it is still early days. Peopoly Moai owners using Windows can check it out here.
License: The text of "Peopoly Launches Asura Print Preparation Software" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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