This page describes how to install and use MOSTMetalCura to slice a 3-D model (.STL file) and generate G-code for the MOST's open-source metal 3-D printer. Full explanation: Slicer and process improvements for open-source GMAW-based metal 3-D printing

Introduction[edit | edit source]

MOSTMetalCura is a customized version of CuraEngine v.15.06 (Latest version that supports Delta machine.) that converts a 3-D model (.STL) into G-code for the MOST's open-source metal 3-D printer.

MOSTMetalCura is also called a slicer program because of the core operation of it, slicing. The CuraEngine is written in C++ and use the library called Clipper which is included in the source code. MOSTMetalCura is a console application without the GUI.

MOSTMetalCura was customized to support the MOST's open-source metal 3-D printer. Configurations were added to the setting file, fdmprinter.json:

  1. machine_metal_printing (True/false; if false, then it operates as normal CuraEngine)
  2. machine_welder_on_gcode (G-code to turn on the welder)
  3. machine_welder_off_gcode (G-code to turn off the welder)
  4. machine_min_dist_welder_off (Minimum distance to travel that require the welder to be turned off)
  5. machine_layer_pause (True/false; pausing between layers)
  6. machine_layer_pause_gcode (G-code to specify how long to pause between layers)

MOSTMetalCura uses these and other settings to generate the proper G-code for the MOST's open-source metal 3-D printer. For more details about settings, please see below.

How to Install[edit | edit source]

This is mainly for Linux OS machine.

  1. Clone or download a zip file of the repository from MOSTMetalCura (Ongoing development!). If you download the zip file, unpack it to a wanted directory.
  2. Install Protobuf (See more details in README2 file.)
  3. Install libArcus (See more details in README2 file.)

Cmake compilation:

  1. Go to the MOSTMetalCura directory
  2. Execute the following commands
    1. mkdir build
    2. cd build
    3. cmake ..
    4. make

Configuration[edit | edit source]

You may want to adjust some settings to suit your printer in the configuration file, fdmprinter.json, which can be found in the MOSTMetalCura directory. The significant settings are:

  • machine_start_gcode (Additional G-code to be inserted at the beginning of the G-code file.)
  • machine_end_gcode (Additional G-code to be inserted at the end of the G-code file.)
  • machine_metal_printing (True/false; if false, then it operates as normal CuraEngine.)
  • machine_welder_on_gcode (G-code to turn on the welder.)
  • machine_welder_off_gcode (G-code to turn off the welder.)
  • machine_min_dist_welder_off (Minimum distance to travel that require the welder to be turned off.)
  • machine_layer_pause (True/false; pausing between layers.)
  • machine_layer_pause_gcode (G-code to specify how long to pause between layers.)
  • machine_gcode_flavor (Which machine that generated G-code for?)
  • layer_height (Printed layer height.)
  • wall_line_count (Number of shell or perimeter lines.)
  • wall_line_width (Width of a perimeter line.)
  • infill_line_width (Width of inner fill line.)
  • top_bottom_thickness (Thickness of top and bottom layers.)
  • top_layers and bottom_layers (The amount of top and bottom layers respectively.)
  • material_diameter (The filament diameter.)
  • speed_print (Printing speed.)
  • fill_sparse_thickness (Infill thickness.)

How to Run[edit | edit source]

MOSTMetalCura can be run from the terminal as command line.

  1. Go to the MOSTMetalCura directory.
  2. Edit "path/to/output/MOSTMetalCura.gcode" and "path/to/model/MOSTMetalCura.stl" in the following command and execute the new command.
    • ./build/MOSTMetalCura -v -j fdmprinter.json -o "path/to/output/MOSTMetalCura.gcode" "path/to/model/MOSTMetalCura.stl"
  3. The generated G-code file will be in the directory you changed "path/to/output" to.
  4. You can load the G-code file into Franklin if you are using it as controlling software for your printer.

<!-==Equipment or Bill of Materials==

Calibration & Tolerances[edit | edit source]

Operation & Procedure[edit | edit source]

Shutdown[edit | edit source]

== References == -->

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Authors Yuenyong(Ake) Nilsiam, Joshua M. Pearce
Published 2016
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
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