[Plugin Idea] 3D visualisation of print preview

I just installed the plugin referenced in the other thread and it works. Using the OctoPrint Plugin Manager, just plug the URL into the "...from URL" and click "Install". Did this not work for you?

It is pretty ugly and I'm not sure much can be done about it but if you need it, it works.

Think of this as a very expensive/intensive plugin to build and maintain. For whomever accepts the challenge, they'll be rewarded with months of work and little financial reward. If you want something like this then the best way is to offer someone money to build it otherwise, it's not likely going to happen.

I can say from experience that 3D rendering and the involved libraries and subsystems on Raspbian/Debian/Linux are problematic and subject to breaking with every major release of the operating system. They're pretty much guaranteed to require hardware acceleration from the GPU and tweaks to the RAM ratio between CPU/GPU. It's going to be a headache for anyone who takes this on.


oh yes!!! and if you take into consideration that not everyone run this on rpi but also opi, different x86 boards etc etc...

now, tbh I'd rather just shoot the whole g-code into browser and let browser do the visualization .. webgl is powerful enough to handle that and I guess whatever user looks the octoprint web trough is more powerful than soc board octoprint is running on :slight_smile:

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Well, sure. Webgl should be able to tackle it... if only it has the mesh file rather than the gcode file.

  1. Use the github 3D rendering technology by somehow getting it the mesh file, outsourcing the work to them in the cloud in realtime
  2. Similarly, use wikifactory's 3D rendering technology in realtime
  3. Use webgl to render the mesh file on the browser in realtime
  4. Use the (Cura) slicer to include a nice preview image, uploading this to the .octoprint/uploads area before the print has even started

Personally, I've just not seen many good-looking results from attempting to render a 3D graphic from the gcode tool paths.

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there were few decent STL preview libraries for javascript that were doing pretty good job, dunno if they are still around or not.. anyhow previewing mesh is not a big deal, visualizing g-code on the other hand is a big deal and good visualizers are rare.. as I mention one that I really like I'll up a preview image :smiley: so what I find a "good looking result of a rendered gcode toolpath" :smiley: (both files were sliced by S3D)

The approach that I'm taking now with the project I'm on is to use Cura to slice for an Ultimaker S5 printer. This produces a .ufp file which unzips to reveal a good-looking preview. (I don't have an Ultimaker S5, for what it's worth.)

You don't have to slice for an UM S5 to save an .ufp file; File -> Export after slicing should give you the option to save as Ultimaker Format Package with any printer.

Brilliant. Now all I need is a Cura plugin that will—with an added button—just do that to a temp folder locally, upload that to a folder on the Pi, rename/uncompress that and then drop/rename the preview file into another folder.

Is there a template-y Cura plugin tutorial somewhere? I guess I should just go to school on your own connection plugin.

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This is going rather off-topic, but wouldn't it make a lot more sense to write an OctoPrint plugin that accepts and unzips .ufp files? If you do, I'll make sure they are supported in the OctoPrint Connection plugin.


For the average-use case, yes (that would be great). For this particular project I can't have the user trying to initiate a print job via Cura since they haven't yet prep'd the printer (laser sintering).

That sounds like an interesting project. I don't personally use Cura but could probably throw something together for that. Now I need to download Cura I guess. What version should I use to create a ufp file?

Any version starting from Cura 3.3 can create .ufp files, but I would just go with the current version (4.2.1).

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did you stop development of your 3D preview plugin ?

It would be good if you can implement a 3D print preview like simplify 3D

Pretty much. I don't have the time to get into the complexity of webgl. That plugin was basically just enabling the parts that were left out from the original gcode.ws library used for the gcode viewer tab to enable the 3d view.

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So I've been able to put together a rudimentary plugin that is able to extract the thumbnail and gcode file from a ufp, just have to figure out if there is a way to override the filename in the preprocessor hook or if I'll have to change it over to using the StorageInterface to add the gcode file. As it stands now, the file keeps the original ufp filename but is able to be loaded and theoretically printed from the filelist. It's just not getting analyzed and therefore the additional information expansion arrow doesn't enable. That's where I wanted to put the thumbnail preview as a test. I guess I could add a button that opens a new window with the thumbnail instead.

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Can I have a look at what you have now, so I can start supporting it from the Cura OctoPrint Connection plugin?

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Just pushed an update to the plugin that hacked the filename issue, and queues the file for analysis. Adds a button to the file list items that opens a modal thumbnail viewer of the uploaded png file as part of the ufp package.



Wow. I think I would have tried a different route but it looks like you've gotten some traction on that. Guess I'll have to take a look at what you've done. :sunglasses:

What would you have done differently? Always looking to improve my thought logic/ programming work flows.