This article is for those who use Simplify3D and have print quality issues at the same area of a part every time they print it. 

Why Use Multiple Processes?

Simply put, multiple processes allow you to change certain settings at different heights of the print. By having a process that slows down the printing speed, increased the infill, or even lowers the primary layer height at specific points of your print, you can make certain areas of the part have improved quality.


 

(Model is "Flower Box 2" (rosetteboxv2.stl) and was designed by Rob Keers, www.thingiverse.com user "braveheart", published 12.04.15)

 

As you can see from the photo, you could divide this model into 3 processes. While Process 1 and Process 3 could remain relatively the same, Process 2 may be set to print slower so that the other two to ensures that you get better details with the flowering detail.

How to Set the Height of Multiple Processes

1) You'll first want to just start with one process and get it completely set up how you would normally print the entire first lower section to be. This will be your standard for adjusting any additional processes for your model (there is a reason for this, which will be explained in step 6 below).

 

2) Click the "Add" button under the process section in Simplify3D how ever many time you need to create additional processes. Simplify3D will create processes based on the last settings that you've made. Therefore, if you set your settings correctly in "Process 1," subsequently added processes will mirror those settings. Do not edit the settings of your 2nd process before adding your 3rd process ("3rd" based on the example above; you may have more than 3 or only 2, all depending on your model).

 

3) Now that all processes are created, go to the first one, double click it, and look at the settings to the "Advanced" tab. You'll want to measure your model before hand to know at what height in millimeters you want the first process to stop and when you want the second process to start. For the example model above, we've found that 9mm is a good stopping point for the first process and starting point for the 2nd:

Once you've calculated this, you can click the OK button to apply this to the 1st process.

 

4) Do the same for the second process, except this time you will need to tell it to start at 9mm and stop at whatever height from the bottom of the model to the top of the flower; we have found that 26mm from the base of the model is a good stopping point for the 2nd process:

 

5) Do this for any additional processes, but in our example, there are only 3 processes. When you reach the last process, you'll simply un-check the "Stop printing at height..." box and put the previous process' stopping height as the start height. In our example, since process 2 stopped at 26mm, process 3 will start at 26mm and simply finish the print:

6) Now, go into your processes and change the various speeds, infill percentages, or layer height.

 

 NOTE: Changing certain settings may cause a conflict with other settings. If you do a test print and see strange behavior (could be anything from temperatures randomly changing to the wrong extruder printing), you should consider making note of which settings you change in case you need to reverse the changes later.

 

7) When you're ready, click the "Prepare to Print!" button; here you would keep all 3 processes selected and click "OK."

 

You might not see any definite change in the preview. Just to emphasize where the processes start and stop, I've changed the 2nd process in this cause to have a different Layer Extruder and Infill Extruder than the other 2 processes; the preview looks like this:

(Again, yours will only look like this if you change the extruder in the second process; it was only done here to show where one process ends and the other begins.)

Final Tips

► If you do not know which heights to set the processes, you can temporarily do this to your middle process and generate several previews, making changes to the "Start at height..." and "Stop at height..." settings until you get the correct heights. (This is what we did here to find the 9mm and 26mm stop/start/stop points, rather than wasting filament by printing the model and physically measuring where the bottom and top of the flower are.) Just remember to change the Layer Extruder and Infill Extruder back.

 

► Like any other process, you may need to try several test prints with these processes, adjusting the settings each test to improve the quality.

 

► This works in some cases to improve the quality of some prints. Other factors that would effect the quality of the print are retraction settings, partially clogged nozzles, bad temperature settings, overall quality of the .STL model itself, and more.

 

► We would not recommend this to those new to 3D printing and/or to Simplify3D.