MakerWare 2.2.0 | Release

MakerWare 2.2.0 is now available for download. This powerful software is your go-to tool for translating 3D designs to printed objects, and an integral part of the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the major improvements we’ve made to the MakerBot Slicer, our slicing engine, with this release.

We have improved support material for objects with overhangs. We have all new rafts that are easy to detach. We have better handling of narrow features, new infill patterns (cats included), and so much more. Let’s dive in:

IMPROVED SUPPORT
Meet Laurana, a 3D printed version of a bust by Italian Renaissance sculptor Francesco Laurana. In the pictures that follow, you’ll see support structures generated using the old version of the MakerWare 2.1.0 (left), and how this has been improved in the new release, MakerWare 2.2.0(right). Support structures are extruded materials that MakerWare can add to a 3D model in order to reinforce objects with overhangs. For example, Laurana’s Romanesque nose would droop under its own weight without support material. The new version of MakerWare is much smarter about generating supports only where they are needed. We’ve also changed the pattern of support material, so it’s much easier to break away. Objects use less plastic and print faster than ever.

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IMPROVED RAFTS
We’ve also equipped MakerWare 2.2.0 with improved rafts. A raft is a thin foundation of extruded material that helps your object stick to the build plate during a print, keeping it level and secure. Our new rafts detach more easily, creating a smoother bottom surface. We printed a gear bearing to show how well our new rafts print on objects with detailed first layers.

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IMPROVED  NARROW FEATURE HANDLING
Previous versions of MakerWare occasionally missed details on thin or narrow features. Not anymore: MakerWare 2.2.0 offers the best handling of narrow features. Below, you can see how the new version of MakerWare seamlessly printed a single-walled bracelet.

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NEXT WEEK: NEW INFILL PATTERNS AND MORE
We’ll be highlighting additional new features from MakerWare 2.2.0 next week, including new infill patterns like the “catfill” pattern featured in the picture below. In order to turn on cat-shaped infill, just create a custom MakerBot Slicer profile and change the “sparseInfillPattern” setting from “hexagonal” to “catfill”.

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We’ve also released Firmware 7.3.0 today. It contains a few improvements and bug fixes, including an automatic pause for changing filament colors during a print.

Stay tuned for updates, and be sure to download the full release today. We’d love to see how MakerWare 2.2.0 improves the way you print, so send us your before and after photos and any feedback to thoughts@makerbot.com.

Click below to see the full MakerWare and and firmware release notes.

FULL RELEASE NOTES

New features in MakerWare 2.2.0

  • Improved default print settings
  • The high-resolution default now uses MakerBot Slicer instead of Skeinforge
  • A number of MakerBot Slicer improvements:
    • Easy-to-remove rafts
    • More minimal support
    • Easy-to-detach, wavy support pattern
    • Better handling of external spurs (as seen in the Stretchy Bracelet)
    • Removing diagonal lines from surface walls and first layers
    • New smoothing algorithm
    • Better Bridging
    • Multiple infill patterns (“hexagonal” is the default; other patterns can be selected in custom profiles)
    • A number of new experimental settings have been added that are turned off in the defaults, but can be turned on in custom profiles. See the custom profile support page for specifics.
      • Dynamic speed calculations
      • Internal spurs
      • Backlash compensation
  • A new Skeinforge default profile has been added
  • Users can choose from a subtle skybox option
  • It is now easy to set extruder temperature when using custom MakerBot Slicer profiles
  • Added a homing button for Thing-O-Matics
  • MakerWare now supports Ubuntu 13.04

Firmware 7.3.0

  • Added print time to the interface board during prints. The interface now toggles between print percentage and print time.
  • Users can now swap filament at specific layers by using the Z Pause Height option during prints.
  • Small text display bugs in the LCD interface have been fixed
  • During mid-print filament changes the stepper motors now lock to prevent the extruder from becoming misaligned
  • Changing filament during a print will now timeout after 15 minutes and turn into a cold pause
  • Added better error handling for heater errors

Congrats! You read to the end. Head over to Thingiverse and find your favorite Collection of things to make with your new MakerWare download.

UPDATE: MakerWare 2.2.1 is now available. The only change from 2.2.0 is added connectivity to our new RevH MightyBoards.

UPDATE 2: MakerWare 2.2.2 is now available with the following changes:

  • There are now separate custom profile templates for high, standard, and low resolution prints.
  • A number of minor print quality bugs have been fixed, including the missing roofs and floors bug.
  • MakerWare can print over USB to MakerBots running Sailfish firmware.

Changes in Firmware 7.4

  • Bug fix for the LCD display rolling back to 0 hours when a print time exceeds 10 hours.
  • Z-Pause now resets to ‘off’ after a cancelled print.