Frostforge.py

Overview

Frostrforge.py is a script that will convert a .gcode file generated by skeinforge into a file suitable for controlling your Frostruder MK2. The process is pretty simple: first you update Skeinforge with your Frostruder preferences, then you run a 3D model through Skeinforge and then you run Frostforge on the resulting .gcode file and you're good to go. One extra step and you can be 3D printing in frosting.

See the Frostruder MK2 usage page for information on where to download frostforge.py and the rest of the tool 'sweet'.

Step 1: Create your STL File

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There are many different ways to create a 3D model which are beyond the scope of this document. For more information on how to get or create a 3D model, see the How To Print page here on the wiki.

Step 2: Backup Skeinforge

Skeinforge can be a tricky piece of software to use. There are dozens of configuration options and many of them are confusing. Fortunately if you follow the steps below to update your preferences, then things should go smoothly for you.

Before you do anything else, make sure you backup your existing skeinforge preferences. Since skeinforge stores its preferences globally, you will need to keep a copy of that folder for your Plastruder preferences as well as the preferences for each different Frostruder material you're using. This is something we hope to address with the developers of Skeinforge in the future, but for now we just have to cope.

In Linux / Mac, the skeinforge preferences are stored in ~/.skeinforge. (If you're using a version of skeinforge found within ReplicatorG, you might need to look for these in your .replicatorG folder…in a subfolder called something like sf_35_profiles)

You can copy your preferences like so:

Linux:

#create a backup of your plastruder prefs in linux
cp -r ~/.skeinforge ~/skeinforge-plastruder

#switch back to your plastruder prefs in linux
mv ~/.skeinforge ~/skeinforge-old
mv ~/skeinforge-plastruder ~/.skeinforge

Mac:

#create a backup of your plastruder prefs in mac OSX
cp -a ~/.skeinforge ~/skeinforge-plastruder

#switch back to your plastruder prefs in mac OSX
mv ~/.skeinforge ~/skeinforge-old
mv ~/skeinforge-plastruder ~/.skeinforge

Windows:

On windows, your directory will be located somewhere like this: C:/Documents and Settings/user/.skeinforge. Navigate to that folder and create a copy of the .skeinforge folder and name it skeinforge-plastruder.

When you want to switch back to your plastruder prefs, rename the .skeinforge folder to skeinforge-old and rename the skeinforge-plastruder folder to .skeinforge

You can create as many preference folders as you like, and skeinforge will look in whatever folder is currently the .skeinforge folder for the preferences to use.

Step 3: Update Skeinforge preferences

If you prefer to take the fast route, there is a folder called frostforge-prefs in the frostruder tool suite. Move that folder to the appropriate spot and rename it .skeinforge to automatically inherit all the changes below.

If you prefer to understand what configuration changes happened under the hood, here are a list of the modifications you should make to your skeinforge preferences:

  • Disable 'Clip'
  • Disable 'Cool'
  • Disable 'Hop'
  • Enable 'Oozebane'
  • Set Oozebane / After Startup Distance = 0
  • Set Oozebane / Early Shutdown Distance = YOUR STOP DISTANCE.
  • Set Oozebane / Early Startup Distance Constant = 1
  • Set Oozebane / Early Startup Maximum Distance = 0
  • Set Oozebane / First Early Startup Distance = 0
  • Set Oozebane / Minimum Distance for Early Startup = 0
  • Set Oozebane / Minimum Distance for Early Shutdown = 0
  • Set Oozebane / Slowdown Startup Steps = 1
  • Enable 'Raft'
  • Set Raft / Base Layers (integer) = 0
  • Set Raft / Interface Layers (integer) = 0
  • Ignore all temperature related options.
  • Disable 'Stretch'
  • Disable 'Unpause'
  • Set Carve / Extrusion Width over Thickness = 1.45
  • Set Carve / Layer Thickness (mm) = (YOUR LINE WIDTH / 1.45)
  • Disable 'Comb'
  • Disable 'Fillet'
  • Set Speed / Feedrate (mm/s) = (YOUR XY FEEDRATE / 60)

Once you have modified the preferences, you need to update a couple files. This is true even if you use the preset preferences from the tool suite.

Replace your skeinforge/skeinforge_tools/start.txt file with the following text:

G92 X0 Y0 Z0 (You are now at 0,0,0)

Replace your skeinforge/skeinforge_tools/end.txt file with the following text:

(end of the file, shutdown routines)
M107 (pressure off)
M126 (relief open)
G92 Z0 (zero our z axis - hack b/c skeinforge mangles gcodes in end.txt)
G1 Z10 (go up 10 b/c it was zeroed earlier.)
G1 X0 Y0 Z10 (go to 0,0,z)
M18 (drives off)
M127 (relief close)

Step 3b: Changing Frostruder Materials/Nozzles

Once that is complete, when you wish to switch to a different material / nozzle size, etc it is very simple. All you have to do is update the following preferences in skeinforge:

  • Set Oozebane / Early Shutdown Distance = YOUR STOP DISTANCE.
  • Set Carve / Layer Thickness (mm) = (YOUR LINE WIDTH / 1.45)
  • Set Speed / Feedrate (mm/s) = (YOUR XY FEEDRATE / 60)

For a list of materials/configurations see the Frostruder Materials List.

Step 4: Create your GCode

Creating your GCode is pretty easy. It is a 2-step process that is fairly straightforward. First run your 3D model through skeinforge. Then, run the frosterize.py script on the resulting .gcode. The gcode file will be modified in place and ready for printing.

#run skeinforge on an stl file
python skeinforge.py myfile.stl

#generate gcode with standard settings
python frostforge.py myfile_export.gcode

#generate gcode with custom start/stop delays
python frostforge.py --start-delay=25 --stop-delay=100 myfile_export.gcode

Step 5: Run your GCode

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  1. Startup ReplicatorG (0015 or later) and make sure your Frostruder entry is selected
  2. Open your newly created GCode
  3. Position your Frostruder tip so that it is touching the middle of the build surface.
  4. For a test-run, disconnect the air pressure. For a real-run connect the air pressure
  5. Click 'Build' and watch the magic of Frostrusion.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under GNU Free Documentation License.