June 14, 2018
MatterControl has gone through some major changes to deliver to you the first of its kind design, prepare, and print software for any Maker. From a facelift to improved slicing operations, the experience of using MatterControl is what you've grown to love with even more robust features. One of the biggest changes is the ability to design and model within MatterControl using "Design Tools". These tools will allow you to add and subtract together basic objects to create interesting and complex designs. To give you the best start with Design Tools, I'm going to give a tour of what it is, how it works, and what you can do with it. Let's jump in!
When you start MatterControl, you have a series of folders and shapes to pick from. The folders you can find are:
In the side bar, the biggest difference is the full array of modeling "primitives," the term for the basic shapes that can be used to create more complex and creative models. All primitives can be modified in the basic width, depth, and height, but some of them have more advanced options. For example:
There are many different ways you can utilize these features to make some incredible objects, but these are just the basics so be creative and figure how to mash these together to make just the right shape.
Now that we have the basic models understood, we can talk about what really makes Design Tools tick: the functions to combine, alter, and subtract different parts to make one intricate part. At the basic level, you can organize and break down models using a couple tools.
More advanced but still introductory tools can be found in the next section of the top bar. These will allow you to better place your parts around each other for things like plate optimization, support structures, or simplifying prints by ensure the flattest surface is on the bottom.
The next section gives you even more advanced functionality. This is how you will actually be able to modify and create new objects, shapes, and models.
When you want to create a repeating shape, the array section is where you're going to look. Whether you wants your parts in evenly spaced rows, a circular pattern, or a mix of the two, these are the tools you need.
The last section is most useful for text, in that certain shapes won't respond well to the modifications.
That about sums up the massively new variety of tools, models, and abilities that have been added to MatterControl. Of course as time goes on, the team will be adding more features to help spur the creativity of you and other users and make the process even easier to get started and harder to want to stop.
We'll be creating lots of documentation, tips, and guides for how MatterControl works to make it easier to get crafting, so stay tuned for more to come.
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