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Weaved Structures in detail

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

NOTE: this post was written with the old version of Slice-Up in mind. The new Slice-Up Beta has a different interface. All other information contained in this tutorial are still useful and relevant to new Slice-Up Beta.


The aim of this tutorial is to give a detailed explanation of the Wave module.

By the time you are done reading, you will have a deeper understanding of all the creative possibilities that lies in this powerful module.


Input

To keep things simple I will use a cylinder as an input. You can use any input you desire, even an input which is already a weave (we will examine this scenario at the end of this tutorial).


Parameters Overview

We can organize the different parameters in 2 main groups, depending on the function:

  • Visualization Parameters are meant to help you better visualize your tool-path.

  • Weave Parameters allow you to define the type of structure you want to create.

Visualization Paramaters

Visualization parameters are pretty much the same across most slice-up modules:

  • Show Input: when ON - the input curve is displayed in yellow. It can be used as a reference

  • Input Type: set to weave to visualize a smooth curve, primitive to visualize a sharp curve.

  • View Layers - From/To %: they get stuff out of the way. They are useful if you want to focus on a few specific layers of your toolpath, or if you want to see your print grow from top to bottom. They range from 0 to 1, where 0 is the base of the print and 1 is the top.

Weave Parameters

Let's begin by analyzing what happens on a single layer, next we will take in consideration the entire tool-path.


Weave Density: it controls the total number of peaks + dips by subdividing each path to the specified number. If you use extremely low numbers, you will cause the original shape to 'degenerate' to an approximation of itself. On the contrary an excessively high number of points will result in a very dense pattern. Both extremes can be employed creatively, but a moderate use of this parameter looks as follow:

wave-density
weave density - 20 vs 40 vs 60

Peak/Dip Amplitude: these parameters control the amplitude of peaks and dips(mm). Peaks will move to the outside of the geometry, dips to the inside. The following example shows three different scenario that share the same overall weave amplitude of 10mm. Visualizing the input curve is useful as a reference.

peaks-dips-amplitude
Peaks/Dips Amplitude - P5/D5 vs P0/D10 vs P10/D10

Weave Pattern: You can define any sequence of peaks and dips by designing a pattern of 0s and 1s: a 0 indicate a dip while a 1 indicates a peak. Use a dash in between numbers (0-1). The 0-1 pattern can be as long (or as short) as you want, it just gets gets repeated throughout all peaks and dips in the path . Following you can see some examples that all have constant density (40) and peak amplitude (10). Different patterns can define an infinite number of different topologies.


wave-pattern
Weave Pattern 0-1 vs 0-1-0-0 vs 0-1-1-0-0-1-1-0-0-0-0-0-0 vs 0-0-0-0-1-1-1-1 vs 0-1-1-1

This cover the basics. You can add an extra layer of complexity by introducing a vertical pattern, or combining two or more weaves together. Let's see how.


Vertical Pattern: This parameter works across different layers. As before, you define a pattern using 0 and 1. The pattern is repeated from the first layer to the last. Layers corresponding to 0 will maintain the original wave pattern, while on layers corresponding to 1 the wave pattern is mirrored. Here is a 0-1 vertical pattern applied to the previously defined waves (note how weave 2 and 5 are the same:)

vertical-pattern
Vertical Pattern 0-1 across different Weave Parameters configuration

It is important to remember that this pattern happens across different layers, hence the only contact point in between 0 and 1 layers is at intersection. Power and responsibility: a poorly designed pattern can fail to print!


Following is an example of different vertical patterns, applied to a simple 0-1 wave pattern:

vertical-pattern-01
Vertical Patterns --- 0-0-1-1 vs 0-1 vs 0-0-0-0-1-1-1-1 vs 0-0-0-1-0-1-1-1-1-0-1

Importing a waved curve

It is possible to import a weave curve in a weave module. If you do, this is what happen:

  • The new weave is generated from the primitive curve that underlie the wave you imported. In other words: you can not ‘weave the weave’, instead, you will start from the beginning again.

  • You can visualize the former wave enabling ‘Show input’. This will show you how the two weaves interact when you load both paths together in the same gCode module.

  • When you hit the export button, you will only export the new wave, not the old one.

Following are some examples:

double-weave
Examples of "double weaves"

Adjust Seam Parameters

The adjusted seam parameters allow you to control the seam of 0 and 1 layer separately.

They can be useful for a bunch of different reason, for example:

  • Shorten the travel between seams

  • Hide the seam to the inside (or outside) of your design

  • Make sure that the seam happens as close as possible to the intersection, to reduce the chance of artifacts being visible.


seam-point
Different Way of adjusting the seam point

Conclusion

Dialing in different combinations of each parameter can result in tons of different configurations. In fact, so many options are possible that it can be easy to to get lost, or even to get stuck.


Here are a few things to think about that may help:

  • Sometimes, less is more. You don’t necessarily have to use all the parameters every time. Limiting yourself can be good for creativity.

  • Of course, sometimes the exact opposite is true.

  • A good exercise is to explore as many possible variants while focusing on a single parameter at the time. Gradually increase the number of parameters involved once you get confident.

  • Always think about the physical properties of your extrusion while you design. What will happen when you go from the screen to your machine?

Above all, do not be afraid to experiment and have fun! If you have any question, doubt, or need help with a specific problem, feel free to ask on our discourse forum.



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