PreForm essential workflow improvements

I see a lot of request for new features, but to me, these are some basic abilities that I think should have higher priority than new bells and whistles. These are mainly basic workflow issues.

• Ability to hide the grid. All my support editing is done from the bottom up, and sometimes the grid is annoying.
• When clicking an arrow on the navigation widget, don’t zoom to the whole platform, zoom only to the active model.
• Ability to reload the active model, and maintain model orientation.
• Ability to regenerate supports layout (or make a best attempt), after reloading the active part.
• Allow the user to type a value into the support density and support size fields. The sliders are too small and feel hard to use.

I feel that these improvements would really help between iterations.

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  • PreForm should remember its placement and window size. Every time I open the damn thing it’s back to a default that’s way too small for, and smack dab in the middle of my display.
  • When editing supports, PreForm should not go through the “printability” analysis for every point added or removed. In models with a large number of supports, this makes it painfully slow to edit. On some of my models, the fastest I can make changes is one click every 10-15 seconds. Let me add/remove as fast as I can click, and do the analysis only when I “accept” the edits (or give me a checkbox I can use to turn this off if I want).
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  • Ability to have an upside down view of the print (this is how we print after all). Sometimes it becomes confusing where I want to print for any specific reason.

Is it just slow for you? I’m able to place supports just fine, the update to show the red shading is very slow on complex prints, but I don’t have to wait for it to finish updating after placing a support, it just restarts each time.

Hmmm… I think I tried to add more supports when the update thing was running (the little progress bar that appears at the top of the screen) and it wouldn’t let me. But I’m getting ready to load a new print and when I do I’ll check it out for sure. I suppose of the two possibilities - PreForm being stupid or me being stupid, the odds are it’s me…

I’ve run Preform on a few different computers, the only performance slowdown I’ve experienced is a slight slowdown while scrubbing through the layers, otherwise it runs very smooth even with a lot of stuff there.

Well, my computer is running Win7 x64 on an i7-3930 unlocked processor cranking at 3.9Ghz, sitting on 64GB of 1666 DDR3 memory, sending video to a 3-head setup via a GTX980 video card (also overclocked) and talking to 10TB of RAID-5 SAS SSDs via a Gen3 PCIe LSI 9260 SAS HBA (good for sustained transfer rates in excess of 1GB/Second).

I’m pretty certain that when PreForm is doing something slower than I’d like it’s because of PreForm and not my hardware…


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Perhaps, but you’re running windows :slight_smile:


I have a couple more for your list.

  • Support Edit Mode - Slider should show layer number and should match support generate screen
  • Single Layer Adjust - Layer height should be micro adjustable to the layer, by using the arrow up or down keys to aid in locating and placing support for “islands” that the auto generate misses on more complex models
  • Slider Direction - should work in the same direction for both Support edit mode and in the support generate mode. This is just super annoying
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Totally agree with you! :+1:

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