I was just watching a YouTube video on how another program helps the user orient the model before generating supports. I think the program is called Cura.
I have great difficulty changing the orientation with PreForm on a model. There are the little icons where you can click the side of the cube, or you can change the angles with up and down arrows, or use the arrow to choose the base (almost never works on my models, by the way). Preform has the little cubes that show a side to choose as the bottom, but these should be color coordinated with an axis at the very least. They have no relevance to the model on the stage.
In this video I saw another program using a virtual “ball” around the model, and the navigation of the model was SIMPLE. When they clicked on one axis, it turned green to let the user know it was active, and even displayed feedback on the angle.
I’m making jewelry, and having problems with PreForm’s supports, so I have just delved into making my own supports, and they are working much better. I need precise placement to minimize work after the item is cast.
If you are looking at ways to improve PreForm, this would be a significant improvement in usability. As it is, it’s a great program, but probably better suited to people who are printing large items. I think the key to making it work better for jewelry is smaller supports and more flexibility with orientation.
Here’s the YouTube video… Own a 3D Printer? Prepare for 3D Print Requests... - YouTube