Preform Cloned Items Mass updates

I recently had to print Batches of the same item for prototyping. I was able to fit up to 32 copies of the same item into a single print. Prefrom was snappy and fast with the first item. But after I cloned/copied the item a couple dozen times it began to run very slowly. Clicking on an item to move it in layout mode would take a few seconds on a Surface Pro 5, i7, 8GB ram and 500+ GB HD. Very slow software on a very fast machine. So it took me about 10 minutes to get all 32 item positioned on the build plate. After the first print I noticed that there were very small sections of the items that were de-laminating. It didn’t ruin my batch but I wanted to fix it for the next few batches. So I had to Add two additional supports to each of the items. I had two choices. Edit the supports on each of the items or delete all but one make the change and then re-clone and re-position all the items again. it took a long time. After that batch I noticed a little more de-lamination so I have to add some more supports. Sigh. Same process again to fix it.

It would be really cool if Preform was smart enough to remember that the copies are clones of a primary object. Then I could make my changes to my primary object and have all the same changes get copied down onto all the clones. So in my example I could add a few more supports to my primary object and the same support edits would be applied to all the clones.

It would also be cool if the Auto Layout was smarter. I find it is so useless that I never use it. I am always manually keeping track of where previous parts were printed so I can spread the load and not ghost the same area of the tank. I am always moving object around so then can print close together without supports cutting through other items.

Continuing to improve performance for PreForm is a top priority for us and we’re continuing to work to streamline the user experience.

An ‘apply to all’ function is a great idea and I’ve forwarded your suggestion to our Software team. There are some cases where a user might want to make clones and edit each of them individually so an optimal workflow might be to edit one instance and then use a sort of ‘apply to all clones’ button.

We’re working to improve the auto-layout tool as well. Upgrades to intersecting geometry detection and improved part packing are on the roadmap for us so stay tuned.