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  1. #1

    Can't convert my STL to Gcode

    I'm a newbie with a Powerspec Ultra from MicroCenter store. I've generated some 3d models (about 2.5"x2.5"x0.7") in Sketchup and exported to STL. Then using the software that comes with the Powerspec and I also tried using Slic3r downloaded from the web, I can view the STL and the model looks good. But when I export to a Gcode file, the file is only a few K. I tried printing it, just to see, and it started trying to print something before temperatures were barely started to heat up, and then spent seconds on the platform and then it was done with zero to show for it.

    So I am wondering if somebody would offer to take my STL file (or my Sketchup SKP file) and convert it into what I can print on my Powerspec Ultra -- presumably a gcode file... and tell me what I need to do to make Slicer work or maybe advise me on what conversion program I need.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    isn't the powerspc ultra a replicator clone ? So it most likely uses x3g files.

    So when you bought your printer - did you read the instructions ?
    It would have come with a slicer (usually replicator g, which is crap - but can turn a gcode file into a x3g file)

    Read the instructions, they'll most likely tell you where you are going wrong.

  3. #3
    Technologist
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    The Powerspec Ultra 3D is Flashforge Dreamer clone, not any replicator clone. You have to use slicer profile for Flashforge Dreamer. I recommend Simplify3D software ($150).

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmorris View Post
    The Powerspec Ultra 3D is Flashforge Dreamer clone, not any replicator clone. You have to use slicer profile for Flashforge Dreamer. I recommend Simplify3D software ($150).
    Thanks for the responses.

    Yes that's correct it is a clone of Dreamer. And to the fellow who asked if I read the instructions.... I feel like saying "what instructions"... this product is not well supported with any explanations AFAICT. Also, Google hits specifically about this product are surprisingly rare. But it seems like a good value: $599 for a two extruder printer.

    Thank you Jeff for that advice. But I was surprised that Slicer (that came with the unit on the SD card) and the Slic3r that I downloaded from the web, both did the same thing. They showed my STL model seemingly just fine, but seemed to not be able to make g-code out of it. Not just incompatible with my printer but obviously a 6K gcode file cannot be enough code for a complex model that was much much bigger in STL and SKP format.

    It seems funny to me that Slic3r didn't say something like "unable to convert" instead of producing some tiny little output and with no indication anything is wrong. BTW you can also "preview" in Slic3r the output, and it was obviously some pitiful little sputter... didn't look anything like my input.

    So I'm going to take your advice and spend $150 on Simplify3d.

  5. #5
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    Did you try printing the test cube that came on the SD card?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    gcode files are very small.
    Good info on which clone it is to :-)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmorris View Post
    Did you try printing the test cube that came on the SD card?
    Yes,
    but it got loose from the platform about midway through so I shut it down. Went and bough some blue tape, hairspray, and purple glue. But it seemed to be printing the cube correctly, otherwise.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    gcode files are very small.
    ...
    Very small? LIke only 6K bytes? The preview looked like it was a tiny little piece of raft or something. I suppose the data really could be a list of vectors, even in ASCII, wouldn't have to be so big. Maybe you're right.

  9. #9
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    If you want to send me the STl or Sketchup file I can look at it.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wirlybird View Post
    If you want to send me the STl or Sketchup file I can look at it.
    Thank you wirlybird for your kind offer. I'll keep it in mind if I get stuck but I think I'm off and running now. I took Jeff's advice and bought Simplify3d this morning. I just let it convert to gcode without my telling it anything except the STL file (exported from Sketchup) and the machine I have (Powerspec Ultra) and had it write the gcode to the SDcard.

    The preview looked correct and so I put the SDcard in the machine and I started the print. So far, so good. I am stoked -- can't wait to see the final product.

    I'm unstuck (for now ?).

    The instructions that come with the printer ought to say:
    1. Buy blue tape, hair spray, and purple glue.
    2. Buy simplify3d software.

    If I had already known to do those things, I'd have been printing days ago (well....hope I am not speaking too soon... haven't seen the first print finish yet -- but it is off to a good start).

    (On the other hand, maybe all I had was a dumb error. I drew my model in INCHES in Sketchup. Maybe the slicer thought it was mm. That would have made my whole model not much bigger than the filament. Doh! I just now thought of it because Simplfy3d asked me if I wanted it in inches because otherwise the model was too tiny. But still Simplify3d is much richer and the fact it noticed an error on my part and allowed me to correct it, is worth the $150.)

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