« Posts under host software

New CS1 Host version out- Fullscreen Printing!

I just realeased a new version: 0.3.0!

This one is the first one with proper fullscreen printing!! That’s right… Full screen display, respecting the exposition time, and in-between null RED frames during Axis movement.

The Axis movement is still the same from the previous 0.2.0.


First test of the print movement…

The first test of the print movement with realtime slicing!!! (no “blank” frame between slices yet)

Haha!! Just load and print!!! no pre-processing!! (without support structure!)

This test is running the official firmware on our CS1 Shield for arduino.

I’m now working on the vat-release control and we’re ready for the first REAL PRINT TEST!! UHUU!!

Haa… I also need to make the host disable the screen-saver, as you see in the middle of the video!!! LOL

If you want to try it yourself: http://chemshapes.googlecode.com/files/CS1_Host_v0.2.0.zip

Although, without our firmware it will probably freeze after the first slice, since a normal ramps firmware have no concept of feedback when an axis movement is finished.

Right now our firmware only works with our shield, since the pinage is different. I’ll see if I can add a ramps version, but unfortunately,  our firmware will be imcompatible with ramps very soon since we have a dc motor controller and opto-switch for a simple encoder that controls the vat-release tilt.

I suppose we could even keep a simpler RAMPS version of the firmware, if necessary, but without vat-release. Will see!

New update to Windows version of CS1 Host software

New beta version 0.1.2 out which brings the following:

  • a fix for a issue 3 that was preventing the software from load up correctly in some Windows installations.
  • when loading geometry it now shows up a progress bar in the bottom part of the viewport.

As before, just unzip and run!

Please report any problems in the “Issues” section of our google code project.

CS1 Host software – Windows binary!

I finally got a windows binary for download, using pyinstaler now… much better than py2exe!

CS1 Host for windows

Just unzip and run! no install required!

Please report any problems using our issue tracker:


Don’t forget to attach the log_<computerName>.html file!

New video testing the Host software in Windows!

This video was done by Henrique Muringa, another Brazilian who is starting to help on the Host software development. He recorded this test video on his Windows 7, were he tests the host comunication layer by connecting to his Prusa printer.

He also demonstrates the slicing speed on his  AMD HD 3200 Video Board, which has a GPU unit compatible with OpenGL 2.2. Also, the HD 3200 is a fairly low-end GPU of the AMD line, which demonstrate that the host software doesn’t  require too much GPU power to achieve really good results.

Thanks Henrique!!

CS1 Host software – GPU Realtime slicer in action!

Unfortunately, the recorder software couldn’t capture as fast as the host software can slice it! 🙂

Windows and OSX executables are not ready yet, but if you’re running Linux, just download the latest TRUNK from the svn depot at google code and type “make” in a shell!

Load “happy.stl” and simulate a slice!

The Host software requires a video board with a GPU that supports OpenGL version 2.0 at least, at the moment. Make sure to update the video drivers in case the host software fails to run on the first try.

Make sure you have these packages installed in your linux distro:

  • PyQt4
  • PyOpenGL
  • PIL (if you want to save slices as PNG)

Keep in mind that when saving PNG images it won’t be as fast as just simulating due to the I/O time it takes to save the image buffer to disk!

In case you run into trouble, please report any issues through google code issue tracker, and please make sure you do the following to speed up the support:

  • always attaching the log_<computer name>.html file created by the host software. I’ll find that file in the same folder after trying to run it.
  • specify your system specs, including:
    1. OS name and version
    2. video board name and brand
    3. video driver version

We’ll do our best to give as much support is possible. Keep in mind that, as this is an open source software, we only have our spare time to work on it, as well as to give support, so please be patient!


Host Software – Enough with GITHUB!

So, just a quick note on the host software side: We decided to move over to Google code as our main depot instead of github!!

The reason being I (Hradec) personally CAN’T WORK WITH GIT ANYMORE!! I think I’m getting to old or something, but I simple can get my head around git, to the point I have lost some code a few months back due to wrong/bad submissions.

Since then, I have being working with all the host software code in my personal Subversion depot, and now that we’re finding some people willing to help, I’m moving it back to the open, but this time at google code.

So, here it is: http://code.google.com/p/chemshapes/

It’s now on good and old subversion, which is what I known best… 🙂

The host is maturing, and I have sorted a lot of issues in it and have finally centralized the rendering code into one place, so booth viewport preview and print/slice is calculated from the same place.

Also, all OpenGL rendering is deferred (yep, deferred rendering, like most games these days), which means I can finally make use of lots of image processing power give to us from the mighty GPUs theses days to get our realtime slicer up and running.

Stays tuned for the Windows/OSX releases which should come up really soon… by the way… WITH SLICING OUTPUT TO FILES,  to start with!!! So you guys can start using it for testing with your own slideshow/firmware setup (including with Jon Watson Macro for mach3 to control powerpoint!!)

stay tuned!

Realtime Slicer proof of concept using GPU

It’s being a while since my last update on our software, but I got some exciting progress to report at least…

Images are better than any description, so check it out for yourself:


This video shows my first successful test on slicing a model in realtime using GPU shaders!

I’m cleaning up my code right now and you should be find the first public version of the CS1 host software on our github by today afternoon!


or you can download a “zipball” of it directly by clicking here

I invite everyone to download it and give it a try! I really wan’t to known how the GPU code will behave in different computers with different setups, to see how feasible it will be to rely on GPU for our base software. From what I known, GPU shaders is something very common on hardware these days, and it has being for a few years now, so I’m hopping you guys computer setup already have a reasonable good video board that will support GPU shaders. Maybe not as fast as a computer game would need, but fast enough to slice and display slices in realtime. But to confirm that, I need you guys to test the software asap!

To download the software, theres a big “DOWNLOAD” button on the github page. Download it as “.zip”. After uncompress it, go to “host” software, and if running Windows, just double click on:

“Click here to run Chemshapes Host Software.cmd”

and it should launch it.

If you find any issues, bugs or suggestions, please report it on this page: https://github.com/hradec/chemshapes/issues

The host software can read booth .obj or .stl files… please try it out and let me known!

The viewport camera has some issues, like not automatically adjusting the frustum and clipping planes when loading new geo, so keep in mind that you may have to zoom in/out to see a model you just load, in case it won’t show up automatically!

Apart from the slicing demo, the communication with the electronics also works, and it connects successfully with  the reprap Sprinter firmware, and should connect fine with any other reprap/gcode compatible firmware over serial port.

If your electronics is arduino based, I strongly recommend you to install our fork of the Sprinter firmware, found at:


have fun!!

Config Save/Load upon exit/start of software…

Just finished the config file saving and loading, so now when exiting the host software will save the current state of the software.

The next time you run it, it will restore everything the way it was!

Latest version of the host software, running on windows and moving the axis stepper in “live” mode.

I made this video to show everyone the development evolution. The host software now detects the available serial port devices, list it on the combo box. Select the right one and hit “connect”. It connects successfully to the Sprinter firmware running on the arduino.


From there, the host software just need to send GCode over the serial device and that’s it! Now I’ll work on the homing procedure, the refill procedure and next, I’ll “glue” skeinforge into it to slice an object. The print procedure is also done, but in a separate script. I’ll try to “copy and paste” in the host software so I can record a small preview of a “print” simulation!