Different color instead of darker color for layer by layer review

I have two Form 2 printers that run pretty much non-stop. So I spend a lot of time setting up new .form files for new parts. To insure maximum print success I take the time to go layer by layer and look for unsupported spots.

But I print in Tough and the dark green is REALLY difficult to see on either of the laptops my business uses for the unsupported spots as we go through. I don’t have the budget or the space to get a bigger screen to do the work with and I don’t want to change the way my entire laptop shows colors to address this (in and out of PreForm).

What I think would be a very simple option to add. Can I have a toggle to change the color of the layer being shown. Or if not an option to pick my color … could I just get say bright yellow instead of dark green when I’m viewing Tough.

I personally find PreForm very difficult to use as the colors are just not friendly to work with and really would like to beg, plea, bribe? someone to move the color of layer to something much more easier to view and work with. I lose way too much time each day with how slow I have to view the layers in order to catch these dark green spots.

Image below was an example. On the right side of the screen at the bottom of the top of the arm is a new dark green spot that I need to put a support to. Very difficult to see as is … if that was bright yellow … it would be so easy its not funny.

So please FormLabs … save my eyes!

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@gtl … any chance for some hope on this request. My eyes and the quality of my prints would be eternally grateful.

@Thomas_Anders hmm, you shouldn’t need to scroll through every layer to find local minimas that need supports, we added minima detection late last year to help with this - it will highlight them in bright red. Is minima detection not finding the spot you are indicating? Could you send another screenshot or two of the model from another angle, and maybe one showing the whole model (not in layer preview)? Or just send me the .form file? I’d like to solve this for you!

@gtl I find supported areas all the time that are not detected.

Also when I had my video phone call with the support expert that comes with the Pro Service plan he told me doing the layer by layer review was the best way to insure perfect prints (and now I agree with him since I’ve been doing it for the last 6 months and my failure rate for printing is WAAAYY down).


Here is an example of the supports added by PreForm and when I go through by layers see the spot not supported. I add a support there … get perfect prints all the time. And yes PreForm had finished looking for areas needing support.

Here is the 2nd one I found on the same figure.

@gtl … found 4 spots total on the model that were un-supported when doing layer by layer … this process would be so much faster for me if the layer was bright yellow.

And like I said … I was informed to do this by the Pro Service video call to get the best prints out of PreForm.

@gtl … I was enjoying having someone talking to me about this issue. I’m hoping you could still help.

If I work with Durable in PreForm the layer is blue which is SOOOO easy to see. It has to be a real easy change to make the layer for Tough a color that is easily seen instead of slightly darker green on dark green. Sorry to keep on this but I lose a lot of time due to the colors every day.

Tom @ Impact!

Why haven’t you made the minima visible? it is so much easier to find them when they are red.

@billb … I have done that. These are minima that PreForm is not catching. If you do layer by layer on your own models (assuming they are similar to the files I am printing) you’ll find them as well especially on fingers on hands.

Same here… prints marked as OK but clearly there were minima. Takes some more work to get prints done by checking everything… But at least you’re aware it can happen so I check everything manual anyway, even with auto supports.

Thank you for that confirmation.

Even the video support team at FormLabs agree that this needs done to get the best possible prints.

Okay so since getting colors I can actually see is not getting any responses.

@gtl If I load a new STL as Durable and set it up with a minimum of 0.40 supports and then switch the material to Tough and keep the support locations and size would this work??? At least Durable has a layer color you can actually see when doing the work unlike Tough.


@Thomas_Anders sorry for the slow response - I’ve been out of office the last two days. We can certainly look into changing the layer cross-section color for Tough to a different shade of green that shows up much better against the model color. Your workaround of editing supports in Durable and then importing them to Tough should also work and help you solve the problem right away.

That said, if these are minima that affect printing and are not being flagged by our minima highlighting, solving that seems like an even higher priority since I would like to save you from clicking through every layer if possible! We can adjust the minima highlighting thresholds - currently if a minima is below a certain (very small) size we don’t highlight it since very tiny minima shouldn’t affect print success even if they don’t come out, and having hundreds of tiny minima highlighted that don’t really matter / won’t affect printing can be annoying. However it is entirely possible that we should perhaps set this threshold a little bit lower. Would you be able to send me that .form file (you can DM it to me to not share publicly if you prefer).

@gtl I have to be honest … you are contradicting the video call I had with the Tech guy from Formlabs that came as part of my Pro Service Agreement a bit saying the software should catch everything.

Also quickly need to say … NOT a differnt color of Green … how about completely different color … like Yellow … something to really stand out.

Since I’ve started searching for my missed minima myself my print success rate has skyrocketed … I almost never have a failed print any more which was definitely not the case before I started doing this.

Also when I find the 3 to 5 minima that were missed … if I had not found them … is that not the laser creating a small cured piece of free floating resin into the tray. I am a big believer that the reason my resin stay so clean throughout an entire 1000 mL cartridge is because I am catching these minima now and not getting those particles into my resin tray.

Going to difficult to convince me not to do this since I was told to do it by Formlabs and have had such amazing high success now since I have started doing it.

I’m going attach a file that I just processed with my next message.

My understanding is that PreForm has been designed to catch all the minima that the average users would care about without loading the figure with an oveburden of supports. I think that IS the right answer to how PreForm should work. I’m FINE doing a bit of legwork to add a few extras myself to get an even better print. I REALLY do NOT want PreForm to be automatically forcing more supports on my models … so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT make the threshold lower … that to me is NOT a good answer.

@gtl … I just wanted to start by saying once again … I REALLY do not want PreForm filling my figures with automated required supports. That would make me unhappy if that is where this conversation led to. All I want is a color (like Bright Yellow) that I can see to do my own support editing. So I really don’t want to see my figure overly flooded with red circles … that would be a horrible result in my opinion from this conversation and would definitely not be working for what I want or need. So please do NOT do NOT do NOT adjust the minima highlighting thresholds. You are right in that you will severally annoy everyone (including me) if you do that.

Can you just change the color from dark green to yellow … seriously … I was a computer programmer for 18 years before I started my own business … this has to be a 2 minute change in the code to change the reference color for the layer for Tough … and the only reason it might take 2 minutes is because of the loading time. If you’d like to email me … my email is public so no worries posting it … it is impactminiatures@gmail.com … happy to discuss this with anyone on the phone at Formlabs if they want to reach out.

Okay as for an example file for you … I am attaching one to this message (cancel that … too large … so attaching a Dropbox link for you @gtl )

When you review the file layer by layer … I added an extra 0.40 support on layers 141, 335, 341 477, 504, 506, 692, 717 and 926 … this was much more than normal as it is normally only 2 or 3 extas I add … so I knew this file would be a good example.

Try doing the layer by layer on a 15" laptop monitor like I do and you might personally go in the code and change the layer color to yellow for Tough for the next version after seeing what I do for multiple files every day. :wink:

This has been asked a few times before but no response at all.

Some colors are really annoying to place supports as it is hard so see edges and small minima. It would be so much easier if there was just one general color option and highlighted edges like what you can do in most CAD programs…

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@fantasy2 … most programs would have an option to let us pick the colors to use for the material and the layer from a palette to make it adaptable to any color blindness issues. So I very much agree with you that that would be the more optimal answer … but heck at this point … I’ll take the 2 minute fix and just beg to not have a darker shade of the same !@#!@# color. :smiley:


@gtl … I gave it 3 weeks to not be pushy. Any chance of an assist for my poor eyes in a future version.

This was triggered for me to follow up because my company uses a piece of software from the company CrowdOx. I needed a new future to help my business. They said they understood my explanation and within 1 hour!!! they sent me a patch to use to get the feature I needed from their software.

So for something I know from being a programmer for 18 years is just a 30 second code change to make the color being more vivid and contrasting … I’d really appreciate it.

I had to set up 25 miniatures today and my eyes are killing me now from looking at dark green on green.

I wanted to show two images to show just how bad the situation is for us using this feature.

Attached in a layer by layer view in Durable. If you are looking at what is printing for that layer … can anyone except people working for the Pantone company really even see the layer.

Now look at the 2nd image … PreForm does not do it this way … but it is what it would look like if the layer was blue and not the different color of white that it is currently programmed as. Some difference eh?

I’m not sure how any programmer could look at the image from PreForm of how it currently works and not agree this is something that needs fixed.

What Durable looks like in layer by layer view in PreForm

What Durable COULD look like in layer by layer view in PreForm with very minor code changes

I was asked by support to bump the thread since even the folks at Formlabs Support are saying after seeing the difference in Durable with how it is and how it could be that something should be done in the PreForm software.

The newest version of PreForm made this problem EVEN WORSE. Dark Grey on slightly less Dark Grey. Come on please please please can the layer be a different color so that you are not making my techs need to take 3 times longer than they should to set up a file for printing each day? Many thanks for fixing this problem in PreForm as soon as possible as I cannot believe it was actually made worse by the new version.

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