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estimating time and materials for print jobs?

Posted by michaelmccoy 
estimating time and materials for print jobs?
February 06, 2009 02:48PM
I have loaded the software and run through everything up to the "hitting print" point sending the G-code to my not-yet-in-existance reprap, but I haven't had it populate the time remaining field.

Is there any software that one could load a STL or g-code file into and get an estimate on time and materials? I'd like to know how long certain parts will take to print, and also would be nice to make sure I have enough material on hand.

Re: estimating time and materials for print jobs?
February 06, 2009 03:29PM
LOL! Minimum purchase of ABS filament is about 5 lbs. That's a lot of plastic.

Making all the parts for a Darwin takes 3.1 lbs. You typically know when you are about to run out of filament long before you actually do.

As to print time, that depends on what kind of reprap machine you've made. The published numbers I've seen so far on Darwins have had them running at about 8 mm/sec. Running at that speed and assuming that you are actually printing, as opposed to just moving the head around, means that you are going to go through about half a pound of ABS in 24 hours of printing.

Now Darwin can move the print head a LOT faster than 8 mm/sec. A head speed of 30-40 mm/sec is not unreasonable given how it works. I quote 8 mm/sec, because that was a published figure given by somebody, Vik, irrc, who was actually printing things with a Darwin.

I think that both Adrian's printer driver and Skeinforge can both give you estimates of plastic used for a given print density, though I can't swear to Skeinforge doing that. Enrique, who wrote and maintains Skeinforge, is the sort of detail oriented guy that would have included that feature, I am sure. Enrique or Nophead can give you more information on that issue.


Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison
Re: estimating time and materials for print jobs?
February 06, 2009 11:06PM
If you play with skeinforge, the statistics tool will give the time to print and volume. The statistics tool is on by default, but if it is ever off, you can turn it on by bring ing up the analyze tool, from there click statistic, in the statistic window turn on the "Activate Statistic" checkbox.

Skeinforge and I believe also the reprap host software, underestimates the time to build by very roughly 20%, because they don't take into account segment pausing on the Arduino. However, Nophead's firmware and Tony Fletcher's firmware have insignificant segment pausing, and if you end up using firmware like theirs, the time to build should be correct.
Re: estimating time and materials for print jobs?
February 09, 2009 09:04PM
Thanks for the replies.

I have started playing with skeinforge now as well. wonderfully powerful piece of kit, though it may take me a while to figure all of it out.

Is there a recommended max print area/volume of a "standard" reprap? Also, for objects larger than that area, is there a "most accepted" method of cutting the model into smaller bits for printing? Any utility in the software, or should be done in the preferred CAD package instead?
Re: estimating time and materials for print jobs?
February 10, 2009 01:01PM
They said to me a shoebox with values of 300x300x100mm should be good for a standard reprap, if you want to get bigger the best thing is to cut it in smaller parts. I never used skeinforge, so i cant tell you the best options.
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