Mathias Dietz began 3D printing in 2012 by purchasing a RepRap Prusa Mendel Kit. While he says it took him a few weeks to assemble the kit, build a custom chassis and start printing, he was greatly impressed by the support he got from the community and by the large number of available tools at his disposal.
Dietz, a software engineer who works at IBM in Mainz, Germany, codes on the IBM Spectrum Scale project during the day, but during the evening he spends his time 3D printing and writing code to make the technology easier and more efficient to use.
“I was fascinated by the 3D printing toolchain and respect the complexity of slicer tools like skeinforge or slic3r,” Dietz says. “But after a while. I figured out that due to the complexity of the slicer tools, many things can go wrong – and they do go wrong. The most time consuming part of the calibration is to configure and understand the slicer options.”
So Dietz says he began researching quick and easier ways to check the the output of a slicer. He says he found reading gcodes less than satisfying and found that other tools failed to provide “the granularity and details needed.”
“I decided to write the GCodeInfo tool,” Dietz says. “It helped me with understanding some details of the sliced model like material use and cost, and with improving the print speed by showing some statistics about the speed distribution.”
Not content to stick with the status quo, Dietz then wanted to understand what’s happening via graphical illustrations. That led him to take the existing code base of GCodeInfo, used to visualize the gcodes, and build his GcodeSimulator.
“To my surprise it was quite easy to visualize the gcodes and show the corresponding details because GCodeInfo already provided the most important things,” he adds.
Now Dietz has released his GCodeInfo App as an adjunct to his other programming efforts. He says this latest app can analyze 3D print model files to show detailed information like material price and how long a particular object will take to print.
According to Dietz, the GCodeInfo App can also help optimize the print time of a 3D model and reveal the average print speed by layer.
In addition to those handy features, the App can predict the length of filament needed, show the layer height and number of layers required, display information about the slowest and fastest layer output times and display the print time for each layer.
You can download GCodeInfo App in the Google Play Store for free, and you can get more information about Deitz’ other apps, GcodeInfo, GCodePrintr and GcodeSimulator, at his website here…
Will you use any of these Android apps to help you out with your 3D printing tasks? Let us know in the GCodeInfo App forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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