MatterControl 1.5 Released
Posted on Feb. 18, 2016 by Lars Brubaker
MatterControl 1.5 adds a new support system, real-time position tuning, and improved print reliability and quality. All this and more, and available to everyone.

MatterHackers is excited to announce the latest release of MatterControl, its open source, 3D printing software. This update, version 1.5, represents a significant advance to the 3D printing experience, adding features, improving performance and delivering the highest level of reliability. Thanks to our dedicated user community and diligent developers, the last four months have been spent working to bring the very best printer control and advanced slicing to this release. Now let’s dig into what’s new, and show off a few of MatterControl 1.5's many improvements.

Download MatterControl's newest release here: MatterControl.com

Overview

MatterControl 1.5 introduces the following improvements:

  • A new, vastly improved, support system
  • Position tuning while printing (aka baby stepping)
  • Ability to slice merged/intersecting parts
  • Improved seam-hiding while printing
  • Ability to cancel printing while heating
  • Plus more...

New support system:

MatterControl 1.5 features a total rewrite of the support system. The new system has much better detection of which areas require support. With that, it is now much easier to remove support after the print is complete. The main advancement that this new system brings is the ability to detect what parts of the print are actually sitting on a support surface, and print them with special new settings. Let’s look at some of these new settings to get a better idea of what is going on.

Breakdown of new support settings:

Support Percent - controls how much of the printed line segments that need some support will be supported. All printed segments that are in air will always be supported, but this setting tunes the segments that have some lines under them.

Interface Layers - the ability to set interface layers. These are the layers that are printed on top of the sparse support and below the parts of the model that need to be supported.

Air Gap - this is the setting that allows the supported part to be removed from the supports. It controls how high the layer on top of the support will be offset when printed. This helps the line segments have as little contact and as much cooling as possible while being printed.

Support settings now include Air Gap and Perimeter Toggle


A complicated part that might benefit from support


Demonstration of all the areas that need support from the bed. Red lines are normal support. Yellow lines are interface layers.


Break down of the first layer that is printed on top of support. Blue lines are printed at the air gap height to allow easier removal.


Position tuning while printing:

Positing Tuning is an incredibly exciting feature for the novice and the experienced user. With this feature, you can adjust the extruder position up and down to ensure a perfect height on your first layer. Some of you may know this as Baby Stepping, but with its inclusion in MatterControl it is now available to everyone. Enjoy this great new feature regardless of the firmware that shipped with your printer.

Movement controls now allow micro-adjustments during printing.


Perfect printing of merged items:

With this improvement, when you put down multiple overlapping parts, MatterControl intelligently determines all the intersection and overlaps to create the perfect union. It is now possible to add bases or hold downs, combining multiple primitives to make new designs, or add manual support structures where you need them on parts you don’t have the designs to - and it “just works”.

Arrange parts anywhere on the plate and they will seamlessly join when printed


Reset 3D View button:

So simple, but so convenient. If your 3D view gets off to some unknown position, just click the ‘Home’ button and your view is reset.

New Home button to reset 3D views


Improved seam hiding while printing:

3D printing can be very complex and optimizing the quality of every print is one of our top priorities. One of the many ways we do this is by working to choose the best point on a model to start printing each layer. If chosen well, the start and end position can be hidden in a seam or crack. Our latest work has come a long way to ensure that this choice is much more optimal.

Ability to cancel printing while heating:

Standard 3D printers often refuse to take any new commands while they are waiting to get to temperature at the start of a print. This can make it very inconvenient if for any reason you wish to stop, adjust or change something about what you wanted to print. With this new version we have added the ability to cancel the print at any time. It may seem like a small feature, but it makes a big difference to the printer workflow and experience.

Additional new features:

  • Set if we are going to retract when changing islands
  • Made it possible to have the first perimeter have a different extrusion width to compensate for more accurate small holes
  • Added top infill speed
  • Add support for closing MatterControl while printing
  • Put in reporting of hardware errors
  • Improved the local search feature
  • Added visual indicator for http failures
  • Made it possible to render translucent extrusion paths
  • Support drag and drop onto the settings widget will still add to queue
  • Fixed the macro window to grow in y
  • Implemented scroll wheel in the terminal widget
  • Added user configurable library folders
  • Finished Braille 2 functionality
  • Velocity during rotation of 3d view
  • Improved MatterControl Touch printing
  • Improved Android soft keyboard support
  • Only process the most outside perimeter with spiral vase
  • Fixed slicing to handle badly wound polygons

Bug fixes:

  • Now reporting bed and extruder heating state for Repetier firmware
  • You can now type a partial entry to a count or mm field and not have it get messed up if you are slow
  • Make sure we turn off all heaters when we shut down
  • Ability to save to the queue on save as
  • Suppress error reporting and abort on COM Access Denied errors
  • AMF save progress reporting
  • Fixed first layer speed issue
  • Better thread safety
  • Made the leveling page easier to use on MatterControl Touch
  • Made message box easier to use on MatterControl Touch
  • Allow invalid image file formats to return a load failure rather than throw an assert
  • Group objects move correctly on the bed when scaled
  • Made it possible to edit the 3 point leveling positions even after you have set up 7 or 13 point leveling
  • Making the save feature always go through a separate file so that we don't get collisions with files in use
  • No crashing on corrupt zip files
  • Fixed bug when opening and closing EEProm window
  • Restore Clear Cache functionality
  • Loading large GCode file no longer pauses Android
  • Loading repetier EEPROM settings no longer pauses Android

Please enjoy MatterControl 1.5 and keep on the lookout for more future goodness.

To discuss MatterControl 1.5 release visit the MatterHackers Forum

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