Thursday Tech Tip: Polyjet Build Management Best Practices
Each week, we have guest blog contributions from our team of Applications Specialists, providing you with some insight into getting the best performance out of your Stratasys 3D Printers. Continuing with our series of Thursday Tech Tips, this week we have Applications Engineer Brendan Lewis with a post on best practices for Polyjet Build Management.
It is often required to track various jobs and costs associated with different projects when using a Polyjet printing solution, whether it be an Objet 30 or a Stratasys J750. Defining project specific costs allows the end user to define budget constraints, outsourcing options, and in-house cost/time savings. Allowing the printer operator to clearly view parameters such as Job ID, Date, Build Time, Material Consumption, etc… can be very useful in tracking ongoing projects, determining operational costs/revenue, and forecasting material budgets for future use. Association with specific jobs means that material consumption, time, and number of prints can be tracked on a per-project basis, whist leveraging the powerful computation capabilities of Excel.
Objet Studio can be used in conjunction with Microsoft Excel to optimize the process of managing Polyjet builds. Parameters such as Job ID, Date, Build Time, Material Consumption, etc… can be ordered by various columns and managed accordingly. Users can sort specific jobs by the corresponding job name or ID, add entire operating costs for defined periods, and track specific parameters to charge internal departments or external customers for machine use.
Process - Printers Leveraging Objet Studio
This process consists of preparing your job logs to import correctly into Microsot Excel from Objet Studio. If you are running a designated host computer without Wi-Fi access, you will also require a USB stick to bring the files to a computer with Excel installed. Alternatively, you can instal Excel on the host computer to keep all tracking with the printer itself.
- Step 1: Open Objet Studio, and select the Job Manager tab located at the upper left hand corner of the screen. Proceed to select the “tools” menu on the upper right hand of the screen. Select “Report Log File” and save this zip file locally (this may be on a separate computer, and files can be transferred via a USB drive).
- Step 2: Within the zip folder there are two text files labelled “Objet Job Data Collection”, and “Objet Model Data Collection”. Both of these files will contain information regarding the job history and can be copied into Microsoft Excel.
- Step 3: Once the data has been copied into Excel, select the paste (Ctrl) option below and select the “Use Text Import Wizard”.
CimTip: The J750 uses GrabCAD Print - this program has printing reports build directly into the software, enabling easy reporting for inside and external applications. Simply click reports, and you will be guided to their online feature providing you with mateial consumption, printer utilization, and printer history statistics. Or, select your printer from the menu, and the printer history can be exported from the settings menu.
- Step 4: Ensure the following two screens of the “Text Wizard” have the same parameters as shown below.
- Step 7: Ensure the “Delimited” and “My data has headers” boxes are checked
- Step 8: Deselect the space option, and select the comma box. Proceed to select finish.
The data should now be organized and formatted in the Excel Spreadsheet as shown below. Verify the data has transferred correctly, and it can now be used to improve the management of Polyjet Builds.
With four simple steps, you can now accurately manage and track your Polyjet builds. As Canada's leader in 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, Cimetrix has over 23 years experience helping our customers develop innovative 3D Printing solutions that meet even the highest demands. If you'd like to learn more about Polyjet Build Managemet, or have any general inquires, please feel free to get in touch with our Applications Specialists. Be sure to tune in weekly for news, product announcements, tech tips, and more!