We often print components for different customers in one go (nesting parts to save print time, print overnight, etc.). In order to calculate the amount of resin used for each customer, we have to manually set up the individual components in PreForm to see how many mL it uses, then multiply by number of part printed, and so on… As you can imagine, this gets tedious, especially because we do a lot of low-quantity, one-off parts for our customers.
Ideally, I think the print history would have a little more fidelity to it. Could be something like this:
Print A - 100 mL Grey Pro
Component A - 20 mL - Qty 3
Component B - 40 mL - Qty 1
We’ve been using another manufacturer’s printers for all of our FDM-style printing that uses a similar recording method for print history. We’ve had success in automating the calculation of material used for each customer, prior to which we were manually calculating like we are with our Form 3 prints.
It sounds like you could benefit from using our Dashboard; you can register your printer(s) and track your progress remotely as well as being given a great deal of information regarding supply levels and more. Please read up a bit more on the details here, and see if this is similar to what you’re looking for. If not, I am happy to help further.
One other tip is putting the print information (resin amount, time, resin type, etc) in the Job Title, for example: Mandalorian, Grey Pro, 250ml, 12h30m. I personally use this system so that I can quickly tell which print I have time to run. I hope this helps!
I’m familiar with the Dashboard, and we do use it. I think a limitation with the existing “Prints” page is that it just groups together all of the models when telling you how much material was used. Your naming convention is a great idea in the use-case you provided, i.e., only one model or one customer; however, like I mentioned previously, we often print for multiple customers at once, so the naming suggestion gets more complex.
Take this screenshot of a job we did recently as an example:
There are 4 different models in this “combined job”. Each of the models was for a different customer. As far as I can tell, the only approach to calculate each customer’s material volume (and ultimately, cost) is the following:
Slice each model separately in PreForm to get the material
Manually record that in a separate log
Multiply by quantity printed in “combined job”
My request would be to show more information as to what is included in each print/job in the print history, so that this information could be accessed at a later date. Just to have something that breaks down the volume of material used for each individual model in a print job would be useful. This would increase efficiency compared to the current method above, as you wouldn’t have to slice the individual models prior to setting up a combined job.
Hopefully that was a little more clear, let me know if that made sense.
Well… if you add the first model, and write down its predicted resin usage, and then load the next model and write down the new usage number, and then you subtract the 1st from the 2nd, you’ll have both model’s individual resin usages. Add a third model, subtract off the number you got after you’d loaded the 2nd model. Lather, rinse repeat as each model is loaded.
So model #1 gets loaded and Preform says 10mL. Then model #2 gets loaded and Preform says the combined job will use 17.3mL. You then know that model #2 requires 17.3-10=7.3mL. Load a third model and the total resin now needed goes to 26.5mL. Subtract off the number Preform gave you with just the first two loaded and 26.5-17.3=9.2mL is how much the third object will use.
And when you’re done loading all the models you’ll be ready to print. You won’t have to go set the job up again like you would need to do if you’d loaded a model, then removed it to load the next, to get the data you wanted.
You have to go through the process of loading them individually, anyway, so the numbers you need are generated implicitly. You just need to write them down and subtract. Not as convenient as Preform being able to tell you how much resin is needed for a selected item instead of the full build plate, for sure. But you only need to do this once for all the objects you’ll print and then any future rearrangements can use the data you gathered the first time you ever loaded the object. Save to an Excel file and you’ll know how much resin you needed forever more by just summing up how many of each object you printed…
Wouldn’t it be easier to load all models, hide them, and see one by one how much resin they’ll use?
At least that’s how I do it and it’s incredibly helpful when I need to compare resin usage either for different models or for supports in multiple orientations of a particular model.
It’s as simple as deselect all from view, and select the one I need to know, deselect it and select a new one l, and so on. No calculations needed.
Also helpful when I need to check print times in different orientations, not only resin usage.