ProfileMaker Update – and an apology!

Last week, in an attempt to improve ProfileMaker I actually made some things worse – including screwing up the calculations.  So, if you ran some calculations last week and got some terrible results, that’s why.  Extra apologies to Tyler, since this was his first experience with ProfileMaker.

So, what’s different?  Well, a lot.

  • I added a rollover image of Albert Einstein to the “Advanced” link.  This just makes me happy.
  • I’ve moved the “thread width” option to the “advanced” section.  Overall, I find that the best results for thread width, and by extension the various “width over thickness” (W/T) parameters, are when you have a resulting W/T of 1.6 or greater.  The W/T is basically about how much the plastic is squished down when it is extruded.  If the plastic is not squished at all, such that the W/T is equal to 1, then the plastic extrusion doesn’t have a lot of contact with the layer below.  The problem with this is that the bond between the layers1 would be very weak, creating a weak finished product.  This is a long way of saying that if you don’t touch the advanced settings, you’ll get a W/T of at least 1.67 or greater generated by ProfileMaker.  This should give you a good strong result each time.  If you just have to tinker with those numbers, you can still override this default by specifying a new “thread width” in the advanced section.
  • I’ve added “nozzle diameter” as a new variable.  Tony Buser suggested in a recent conversation that the optimal thread width is probably equal to the nozzle aperture diameter.  I suspect you could get away with little bit more than this – probably equal to the nozzle diameter itself – as in the measurement from the outside edge of the nozzle to the opposite outside edge of the nozzle.  My reasoning is that the thickness of the metal that comprises the nozzle should be able to help squish down a little more plastic.  In some senses, this is really a better determination of a nozzle’s precision than just the nozzle aperture itself.  If you think about it, if your thread thickness setting is exactly equal to the nozzle aperture, then when the nozzle lays down a thread the edge of the nozzle will have to run over the thread next to it.  I should think that this is not optimal – since it could cause the nozzle to mess with the layers nearby.
  • I’m working on adding a few suggestions to the output that will only pop up when people use unrealistic values.  There may or may not be an Easter egg in this if and when it is completed.
  1. Usually called interlayer adhesion []
January 21, 2012 | Comments Closed

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