Heat maps in Dashboard instead of Preform?

I think the new heat maps look perfect - except - why are they in Dashboard instead of Preform?

I think that taking advantage of them by comparing an image and guessing where to place objects really diminishes the usefulness of them.


I understand the business decision to have them in the dashboard…going forward cloud based software just makes more sense. Maybe Preform 3.0 will be cloud based…who knows.

That being said, for the time being it would be infinitely more helpful to be able to project the heat map on the floor (ceiling?) in Preform.


I am a software developer and can’t say I agree. Preform is the software sending the jobs to the printer, so it should certainly be able to keep track of the prints.


I am a software dev too. I realize Preform sends the jobs to the printer, my only point was maybe a future version of Preform would be cloud based (i.e. Preform wouldn’t exist as a standalone app but as a browser based app).

That being said if it were an Amazon based app then no one would be able to print today!!! :slight_smile:


I really hope not. Given the choice between cloud based software and software running local, I would pick local hands down any day.

For one, my Internet connection proves to be less-than-reliable half the time, and it would be lame if I can’t print because I can’t connect reliably to the Internet.

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I mostly agree with you there. In the case of printer software (be it traditional printing or 3d printing) it does just make sense that everything be local.

Today’s S3 outage caused websites and other internet based services to go down including Internet connected light bulbs. I’ll be completely honest and say idk wtf an internet light bulb is (smart homes I imagine?), but IMO the basic function of a light bulb should not be dependent on the internet (nor should a 3D printer).

Yeah, thats just bad design. There is no reason why the “smart” light bulb can’t communicate with a local controller. The controller could connect to the cloud, but you would still have the ability to turn on the lights without an internet connection…

Back to the OT, maybe in Preform 2.11.x or more realistically 2.12.x there could be an “Import Heat Map” function. It could be as simple as you right clicking and saving a heat map from the dashboard to your computer and then importing the JPG, PNG or whatever it is into Preform.

Edit: lets be optimistic and hope something like this is already in the works!

That would be better than nothing, but I don’t understand why Preform just doesn’t display it for you. Connecting to the Dashboard, loading the page, downloading the image and finally importing the image would become pretty tedious each print.

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True, but its disappointing to see such a potentially useful feature missing and without anyway of knowing if or when it will become a part of Preform. Its just in the wrong place.

Yar, my comment was actually a weak bandaid fix. It would be cool to do exactly what you put…allowing you to change heatmaps on the fly via the dashboard. Should be relatively simple to implement.

I guess we could go back and forth about this all night, but alas this isn’t a stackoverflow discussion and we aren’t preform devs. I think our convo has run its course…hopefully a FL employee can shed some insight.

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For those of us, and I suspect there are many, who operate behind a corporate firewall, and thus cannot access any dashboard functionality, having a really useful feature on the dashboard is, well, useless.


How exactly are you going to have Preform handle all of this with multiple users? For businesses that have multiple PC’s and machines it’s not exactly easy to track all of this data without a central storage location.

I have no issues with this being in the dashboard. It would be nice to be able to pull the heat map into preform as an overlay on the base but the data should be in the dashboard.

I’ve never seen a business that wouldn’t open up the network for business related sites. Here we just spend a ton of money and complain until it’s fixed. Management understands money better than English.


Bringing the heatmap into Preform I think is absolutely necessary, since it’s not super useful in the dashboard.

As far as a Preform cloud app, I think that can be a possibility, but it shouldn’t be the only option. But I think it’d be cool to have that since you could share files with people easily


I’m sure there have been several FL meetings on this topic. I would say in the long run (and to @FredB’s comment) a central repository (online) is probably the best solution for this. For the time being it is a bummer not being able to overlay our objects onto the heatmap, but who knows, that option may be coming soon.

Thinking out a UX design, Preform would initially require a login to the dashboard (optional). Then the initial Print Setup dialog would have to be reworked to select (connect to) a printer, then select a heatmap/resin tray (to accommodate multiple users/printers/computer scenarios).

In addition, Form2 users who have been connected to the dashboard this whole time have a history of their prints, therefore heatmaps for currently owned trays. Form 1/1+ users I would think have no such history.

I’ve reached out to one of our developers and implementing heat maps into the Dashboard is logistically simpler than implementing into PreForm. It also comes with the advantage of things like multi-printer / tank tracking. We’ll certainly be following the interest and use of heatmaps in the Dashboard.

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Far from perfect…but if you REALLY wanted to…

Of course then proceed to import/place your models and delete the 3D heatmap!


@Frew I’m just curious as to what that means…following chatter on the forums? Page views in the dashboard?

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We’ll most likely be interested in what percentage of dashboard users make use of the heatmap functionality. The forums are where many of the suggestions for tank heatmaps originated :slight_smile: