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AutoMaker version 2.00.01

There have been a lot of changes in this release, below are some highlights and explanations of new features but this is just the surface. Behind the scenes are changes to the way small perimeters are handled and a host of changes to the way Robox is instructed to deposit filament. Ease of use has been the main consideration but the framework for future additions has been designed in to provide some very clever features based on the way we use Robox day to day. Please report bugs here, if you use AutoMaker in a language other than English you may notice some missing translations, please help to fill the blanks or correct mistakes here.

 

NOTE – AutoMaker version 2.00.02 will be released shortly to address 2.00.01 beta issues.

Status Page

The status screen has been altered to show multiple extruders and reels as well as displaying the currently connected head.
The left hand panel always shows printer status

Layout Page

The Layout page no longer allows colours to be chosen – we felt this was confusing. Instead you will see blue objects where material 1 is chosen and orange objects where material 2 is chosen.

Settings Page

Print settings (for example material choices) will be automatically altered based on the hardware configuration you have.
The Settings page shows the printed parts in their correct colour based on the material loaded or chosen.
Material choices are changed automatically on the Settings screen if they aren’t supported by your current hardware configuration.
Try to print a dual colour model with a single material head and you’ll see a single colour model on the settings page.
The ‘advanced’ pull out tab has been removed. All of the functions that were in this tab can be found on the Preferences page – just click the gear icon at the top of the screen.

Support material

If you’re using a dual-material head you can choose which material you want to use to print raft, brim and support.

Multi-material models

AutoMaker supports STL and OBJ model formats. Both types of file can be used for complex dual-material prints.
You can view multi-material prints in AutoMaker without a dual-material hardware but will only be able to print in a single colour.

AutoMaker defines which material is used to build each model by assigning a material to a model, to create a print which uses multiple materials you should place either an .obj which contains 2 separate models or add multiple .stl files at the same time.

When creating models for use with multiple materials, or simply to be aligned in a certain way for printing, it will be much easier to manipulate and align them in AutoMaker if the Origin or Centre of the model is the same for each model to be grouped.

If a .stl file has multiple complete meshes within it it will be possible to Ungroup this into separate parts. This is very useful when downloaded items are nested in undesirable ways or a part of a nest of parts is not required.

To choose a material for each model simply select it then click “Material 1” or “Material 2” to assign those colours.

To select multiple files you can hold CTRL and select files you want or use the shortcut CTRL+A, then use the material buttons or the new Group button to alter them.

Using STL files

You can add files in several ways:

  1. Drag and drop more than one .stl file onto the build plate in AutoMaker.
  2. Press +AddModel and use your CTRL key to select 2 files from the same folder then click Open.
    In each case above the files will be automatically grouped, read below to learn more about grouping.
  3. Load models separately and choose a material for each or group them as described below.

Using OBJ files

Create a .obj file with multiple objects in it. Load this into AutoMaker and it will be a group of objects, read below about groups.

Group/Ungroup Button

Select more than 1 object and press the new Group button in the lower tool bar. This groups the items, you can then manipulate them as if they were 1 item. Double click on an item to enter the group and you will be able to move that item without moving the other items in the group, click away from the items to exit the group.

It is possible to create a group which contains another group.

To ungroup a selection just click it so it is selected and then press the Group/Ungroup button. When you ungroup a selection of parts each part will be moved to the centre of the build area.

Print Management

We’ve introduced SurePrint – a behind the scenes print management system which detects and attempts to resolve problems then alerts the operator if more input is required.
SurePrint works even when Robox isn’t connected to AutoMaker.

Loading

When you load filament an automated process starts which you are probably familiar with already, a new addition to this process will move the head to the right side of the build chamber automatically. We found that this position has less chance of a problem while loading as the bowden tube is straighter. Some materials are much stiffer or more flexible than those commonly used, this simple change helps to add more versatility to the system. Please note that this is a new behaviour and will make you jump the first few times it happens. 😉

Timelapse support

BETA
For those of you with a WiFi enabled GoPro camera, you may be excited to know that you can now take layer-by-layer images automatically.
This feature is disabled by default. Press the settings button (gear icon) and then choose Camera to control the GoPro settings.
NOTE – this is a beta function that we’re still developing. Your GoPro password is stored unencrypted and may be found by anyone who has access to your computer. Do not use this function if you are in an environment where security issues are a concern. You need to join the computer you are running AutoMaker on to the GoPro default WiFi network for this feature to work. AutoMaker must be running for the entire print.