Simplify3D: Confusing First Layer settings

First Layer Height and Width:

Simplify3D 4.0 is a powerful 3D mesh slicer program for 3D printing with many options and settings, some of which are non-obvious. Such is the case with the First Layer Settings, under a process' Layer tab. Until I happened upon a post in Simplify3D's forums I didn't understand the effects of changing the First Layer Height and First Layer Width settings, causing me a lot of frustration and failed first layers.

First Layer Height:

Both nozzle height and extrusion amount can be affected by this setting, but perhaps not in the way you think.

If set below 100%:

  • Amount of extruded plastic is UNCHANGED.
  • Layer height (distance from nozzle to printing bed) is REDUCED
  • Values below 100% ONLY lower the nozzle closer to the printing surface. Essentially squishes the standard amount of plastic into a lower layer height.
  • This is meant to help with adhesion.

if set above 100%:

  • Amount of extruded plastic is INCREASED.
  • Layer height is INCREASED.
  • BOTH extrudes more plastic AND pulls the nozzle slightly away from bed so as not to squish the layer.
  • This is used primarily when printing fine layer heights and/or on slightly uneven printing beds. The extra height and plastic volume makes thin layers thicker and also helps smooth out bumps and inconsistencies in bed surfaces.

First Layer Width:

Width changes ALWAYS AFFECT extrusion amounts, but leave Layer Height UNCHANGED.

If set below 100%:

  • The amount of extruded plastic is REDUCED.

If set above 100%:

  • The amount of extruded plastic is INCREASED.

 

For reference, here's the full thread in Simplify3D's forums: https://forum.simplify3d.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2292&start=20#p18419

Using Regular Expressions to change case

You can change the case of text with Regular Expressions in some applications and programming languages by placing control strings in the replacement expression indicating the type of conversion you want.

NOTE: The following examples were tested in BBEdit which has a great grep search/replace functionality and which uses \ to indicate capture groups rather than $ as is common in other RegEx implementations.

  • \U: Start converting all letters to uppercase. Ex:
    • Source text: Hello World
    • Selection RegEx: (Hello) World
    • Replacement: \U\1 World
    • Final value: HELLO WORLD
    • Comments: Notice \U starts uppercase conversion and affects all text following it, regardless of the capture group.
  • \L: Start converting all letters to lowercase. Ex:
    • Source text: Hello World
    • Selection RegEx: Hello World
    • Replacement: \LHello World
    • Final value: hello world
    • Comments: With or Without capture groups, the case control string \L affects all text that follows it.
  • \E: End most recent conversion setting. Only necessary if you're not using additional control strings to change text case, but wish to stop the initial conversion at some point before the end of the replacement string.
    • Example 1:
      • Source text: hEllo FuNnY WorlD
      • Selection RegEx: ([a-zA-Z]*) ([a-zA-Z]*) ([a-zA-Z]*)
      • Replacement: \U\1 \2 \3
      • Final value: HELLO FUNNY WORLD
      • Comments: The initial \U control string converts all characters that follow uppercase.
    • Example 2:
      • Source text: hEllo FuNnY WorlD
      • Selection RegEx: ([a-zA-Z]*) ([a-zA-Z]*) ([a-zA-Z]*)
      • Replacement: \U\1 \L\2 \U\3
      • Final value: HELLO funny WORLD
      • Comments: We set a conversion control character before each capture group, resetting the conversion that takes place.
    • Example 3:
      • Source text: hEllo FuNnY WorlD
      • Selection RegEx: ([a-zA-Z]*) ([a-zA-Z]*) ([a-zA-Z]*)
      • Replacement: \U\1\E \2 \3
      • Final value: HELLO FuNnY WorlD
      • Comments: A \E control string is used after the initial \U\1 (which converts the first capture group to all caps). \E ends the uppercase conversion, leaving capture groups 2 and 3 unaffected by the initial \U.

More complete info at: https://www.regular-expressions.info/replacecase.html

Repair Video: MacBook Pro 15, Late 2013 Battery Replacement

For the last 10 years, or so, along with my friend Flavio I've been recording a popular Spanish-language podcast called Puromac, about all things Apple. We also have a YouTube channel which, up until recently, only had videos in Spanish. Well, I recently replaced the battery of my MacBook Pro using an iFixIt kit and made two videos about the experience: one in English and the other in Spanish. Below is the English version for your viewing pleasure:

Fed from Puromac walks us through replacing the battery on his 15" MacBook Pro, Late 2013, using a kit from iFixIt. He also shows an alternate technique for safely removing the battery pack without completely disassembling your MacBook, by using a nylon string and adhesive remover. [English Version]