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!

https://github.com/hradec/chemshapes

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:

https://github.com/hradec/Sprinter

have fun!!

Comments (9)

  1. 2:28 am, January 15, 2012Rod  / Reply

    Hello, I have been following your blog with great interest. Are there any updates on the windows software?

    • 6:39 pm, February 9, 2012hradec  / Reply

      @Rod
      Things have being a little quiet on this front due to a number of personal issues, including me changing day-time jobs last year. But things are finally coming back to normal and I’m getting up to speed with the host development again. So, stay tuned for great news soon!!

      Thanks for the patience so far… we really appreciate!!
      cheers…
      -H

      • 3:07 pm, March 20, 2012Martin  / Reply

        @hradec
        Thats are great news. i want to help in the developement of cs1 host.
        too bad that i am not a programmer. but maybe i can help elswhere. maybe a not too small donation or sth. like this. Hradec, please contact me via email for further contact and informations. i would really appreciate hearing from you!!
        cheers

        Martin

  2. 5:16 am, January 15, 2012Daniel  / Reply

    Have you looked at the slicer built into rhinogold v3.0? I have no printer to try it on yet, but it looks pretty good. you can download a fully functional demo free for 30 days at http://www.en.rhinogold.com/download.htm
    Regards,
    Daniel

    • 6:44 pm, February 9, 2012hradec  / Reply

      @Daniel
      I haven’t… I’ll take a look as soon as possible. But we really want to get our own slicer running in realtime with a good GPU hardware, which most nvidia/amd video boards these days have already and nobody is making use of then! So we really wan’t to take advantage of that! But it can definitely be an option. We have in our agenda to include an option in the host to use pre-generated slice data, so users will have the option of use they own slicer of choice! So people would be able to use skeinforge, netfabb, slic3r, rhinogold or any other slicer software out there with our host software. Although, with the realtime GPU slicer, I really don’t see much of a point in doing so, but you’ll have the option! :) :p

      thanks for the tip, Daniel… really appreciate!!
      cheers…
      -H

  3. 10:12 pm, February 11, 2012Joris  / Reply

    Will there be an option to export the slices?

    • 6:52 pm, February 13, 2012hradec  / Reply

      @Joris
      Yep… this is on the list of features, although the focus is getting the realtime slicer working first. After that, exporting would be just a matter of screenshot capture the realtime slicing and saving out as a bmp/png/etc image sequence or quicktime/avi movie.

  4. 5:35 pm, February 20, 2012Eduardo Souza  / Reply

    This is an interesting slicer (http://www.freesteel.co.uk/wpblog/frontpage/)

    • 9:22 pm, February 20, 2012hradec  / Reply

      @Eduardo Souza
      Interesting indeed. Too bad it’s not open source! :(
      But it looks like a good Windows option to slice an object into multiple images.

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