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Sigma ProGen. Sigma R17

What you will read

With the new Sigma R17, the new Hotend Family, new verified materials and new
quality presets, offering proper profiles for our slicers and for each machine
combination was not a human task. So, we developed the Sigma ProGen which automatically generates proper profiles for
Cura and Simplify3D according to mounted Hotends, loaded Filaments and quality
finishes. It offers base parameters, using a smart algorithm that takes care of
all the elements with one main goal: get outstanding quality on your prints while
working in the fastest way.

Introducing the Sigma ProGen

In BCN3D we always want our customers to get the best quality out of their
prints. That’s why we design and manufacture the Sigma in Barcelona, using high
end parts and with a Premium standard in our mind.

However, not using the proper settings while slicing your models can ruin it all. So not only we need to offer a first-class workhorse, but it’s very best slicing settings to fulfill our customers’ needs and print easily with a stunning quality standard.

Offering this settings pack is easy if you have a quite small amount of verified
materials, a pair of nozzle sizes and some basic quality presets. But when the
new Hotend family came to the stage, machine configurations started to grow
exponentially. Then, if we wanted to expand our verified materials range, as we
do, the possible combinations quickly reach to tens of thousands. And if at the
end we wanted to offer a set of quality pre-configurations playing with speeds
and surface finishes, this number became so big that we would need years to
text all configurations. Let’s see a real-life case:

A Sigma beta tester wants to print a big part with high detailed surface, but
wants it fast. He has the new Sigma R17 and just got a brand new 0.3mm Hotend,
and a 0.8mm one. So, he needs a profile for Simplify3D to print a very detailed
shell with the 0.3mm Hotend with Colorfabb XT, 45 microns layer height, and go
fast printing the infill with the 0.8mm Hotend and a cheaper PLA, 400 microns
layer height.

After this nice approach to the IDEX system capabilities, another client asks for a good
profile for Cura. He doesn’t care about surface finish so much, but wants to
print a Dual model using Colorfila PLA and Colorfila TPU with 0.6mm Hotends.

Good. And after that another Sigma owner asks for… Well, you can see how many
combinations can exist. That means, if we wanted to offer you the optimal base
settings for any Hotend combination and any materials loaded, hundreds of
thousands of parameters would need to be adjusted manually.

At this point we started considering a tool to facilitate all this process of
setting up the correct parameters to slice the models and generate the gcodes.
We needed something where our customers can say “I have X Hotend combination on
my Sigma, Y materials loaded, and I want the final part to be printed with Z
quality” and then give them the best base settings available.

The good thing is filaments behavior can be mathematically modeled, so do our Hotend
designs and of course the quality presets we offer. Therefore, we needed a
smart enough algorithm to combine all these variables and deliver the best
settings for each possible combination. Not just that, but we wanted it to be
modular, so we could add new Hotends, new verified filaments or custom quality
presets to the database and keep getting awesome profiles. And of course, we
wanted it all to be transparent to the final user.

So here we go, very proud to introduce our new tool Sigma ProGen. A web based profile generator for both Cura and Simplify3D to get the best of our Sigma machines.

To use it:

1. Select how you want your profile and download it.

Progen capture

That’s it. Plug and play.

Using a web interface allows us to make sure all our customers can always have the
latest adjustments and filaments available. Also, we know some special prints
may need specific tweaking. That’s the reason why we offer a base profile which
delivers highly successful results, while at the same time it allows everyone to
adjust all parameters in the software before the slicing starts.

Nevertheless, we know some of our customers prefer to work offline. That’s why we have
developed a command line interface to use the algorithm locally. This software is
available to download from github and allows to locally generate all the desired profiles, absolutely offline. Also, it offers some experimental features we’re currently developing at BCN3D so everyone can test them and give their feedback.

Stay tuned for the upcoming posts, where we will go deeper on how the algorithm
works and how to add your custom filaments, quality presets or even Hotends!

And give us your feedback about the ProGen!