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!


Comments (16)

  1. 1:31 am, April 5, 2012Jon Watson  / Reply

    Will there be an option to change output resolution of the png files? This will be nice for oversampling slice images. Creating large png files the sampling them back down (batch process in Photoshop) you could get really nice anti-aliasing along the edges which may provide smoother prints. Just a thought. 🙂

    • 1:48 am, April 5, 2012hradec  / Reply

      @Jon Watson
      Hooo… I have something MUCH BETTER in my sleeve, my dear Jon! 🙂

      Multi-sampled anti-alias and other realtime post-process effects, all done in the GPU! 😉

      The idea of using GPU for the slicing is not just to make it faster, but also to be able to attach a chain of post-processing filters to improve the printing quality.

      For example:

      – Multi-sampled anti-alias
      – inverse lens-deformation to compensate for the projector lens deformation
      – inverse brightness compensation to fix the brightness centre-edges decay of the projection
      – infill density
      – support structure
      – etc…

      so… forget about photoshop, man! 🙂
      The host will do it all, in realtime!!!

      off course, as long you have a fairly reasonable GPU available in your display video board! 😉

      • 1:54 am, April 5, 2012hradec  / Reply

        Also.. forgot to mention…

        As the slice is done in realtime, this allow us to experiment with continuous curing, by very slowly moving the axis up as the host continuously slices the geometry, matching the position of the axis, in perfect sync!!!

  2. 2:43 am, April 5, 2012Jon Watson  / Reply

    Nice! That sounds good to me. Do you have any screen shots of the support structures? How will it generate supports? Will they be adaptive so you can control the amount of support? Would love to see more. Of course I’m running Windows so I can’t wait til you have a windows version ready.

    • 4:31 am, April 5, 2012hradec  / Reply

      @Jon Watson
      I’m still working on the support, and to be fair, me and Tj agreed to postpone the support generation to finish after we have the printing procedure working, so we can do a proper print test with the CS1 prototype.

      The support will be adaptive, and if all goes well, it will be based on a tillable stl/obj mesh, which will reside in a support/patterns folder. This way everyone can create custom support structure variations.

      The base support area is being defined using the GPU as well, using stencil volume projection, which is a technique normally used in games to draw shadows, and a depth buffer from bottom up.

      Later on I’m planning on evaluate the tangent and binormal of each vertex to take the surface angulation into account.

      If you want to give it a try in windows, there’s a “dev” mode way. First you have to download the full SVN depot, including the support and trunk folders.

      You can use tortoiseSVN to check out the depot from google code.

      After checking it all out (it’s pretty big), go to the trunk/host folder and double click “win.cmd”… that should launch the host software!!

      Apart from installing tortoiseSVN to download the svn depot, nothing else is needed to be installed, as all the necessary libraries and scripts are self-contained in the support folder.

  3. 3:12 am, April 5, 2012harvey  / Reply

    Hi guys,
    I’m new to this site but not new at all to this printer that we’re all trying to build.
    I’m lucky enough to have a few closed look at the EnvisionTec Desktop Printer. I will try to load some pictures up for you guys to see, just show me how.
    This is how they prep a job: 1st they load a STL. file into Materialise Magics, Boleen the model, build support, then save as one file. All these are done in a few seconds.
    Then the saved model being loaded into Perfactory desktop which slice the model and load into the printer’s harddrive to be build.
    We can use Materialise Magics to build supports for the model and then load into Host software, and so on…
    I made a copy of their software and tried to installed into my computer, but couldn’t make it work for my printer.
    If you guys know better I’ll be glad to pass the software to you guys to work it out. Maybe we can all learn somthing from it.
    Let me know.

    • 5:48 pm, April 5, 2012hradec  / Reply

      Thanks a lot for the offer, Harvey, we appreciate. But at this point, we prefer not to use any commercial product as a reference to avoid anything that could resemble a copywrite infringement.
      Having said that, feel free to share your experiences with it, we really appreciate all the input we can have! 🙂
      Regarding the support build, I’m not too concerned about it at the moment, since we wan’t to get the software working with the hardware now for a real print test asap!
      Although, if you want to try this approach, generating the support in another software and importing it into the CS1 Host, feel free to do it, and we can help you with support on get it working, if it doesn’t already.
      Also, please share all your experimenting, findings and experience with the Host as most as you can… we’ll gladly post pics and info in our front page!! 😉
      good luck, man! Let me known if you run into any problems with the host software by adding an issue to googlecode issue tracker:


    • 10:21 am, April 6, 2012TJ  / Reply

      Thx Harvey
      I want to throw in my 5c too please ,
      Not so much just on your comment Harvey but to every one pitching in on Chemshapes. We appreciate all the help and info we can find, but Please guys don’t post photo’s or any other copyrighted material,videos , code etc. on copywrited material. We are developing our own software and hardware styles and tecniques .WE ARE NOT GOING TO “PIRATE ” OR” HACK “ANYTHING ILLEGAL., so please guys.

      After all ,we are all here to come up with new ideas . We should culture the integrated creative and inventive pattern of our human knowledge, beliefs, and behavior that depends upon man’s capacity for learning .

      That will transmit knowledge to our succeeding generations for them to build and improve upon.

  4. 3:57 pm, April 5, 2012Jon Watson  / Reply

    @hradec, Once I install the SVN software, where do I find the files? Sorry, not familiar development-type stuff. 🙂

  5. 11:21 pm, April 5, 2012Jon Watson  / Reply

    Cool. I’m going to install it on a very minimal machine and see if it runs ok. It’s a secondary machine with built in ATI graphics on the motherboard so we’ll see how it performs. If not, I’ll put it on my main machine. I’ll let you know. Thanks!

    • 11:34 pm, April 5, 2012hradec  / Reply

      @Jon Watson
      Cool… if it doesn’t work, don’t forget to send me the log_.html file and the video board model!!

  6. 11:55 pm, April 5, 2012Jon Watson  / Reply

    Ok, So once it’s downloaded, I can copy the folder to any computer to run it? By the way, it didn’t run on the first computer. The interface was there, but the 3d window was all blocky looking, couldn’t see anything. I’ll send the log file

  7. 12:00 am, April 6, 2012Jon Watson  / Reply

    I just sent you an email with the html file and a screen shot of what it looked like.

  8. 12:55 pm, April 8, 2012Sergey  / Reply

    Hi, its great and so easy! Thanks masters! But little problem with STL files greater then 36 Mb. It impossible to load.

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