Do you want to print more than one copy of an object at once? The Multiply feature in Skeinforge cuts your build platform into cells and prints one copy of your object in each.
Skeinforge, as you probably already know, is what ReplicatorG uses to slice your 3D models — to break the solid object down into layers your MakerBot can print. When you use Print-O-Matic to set layer height and infill, the numbers you input override settings in Skeinforge. But you can also change things in Skeinforge directly.
First, scale your object and make sure it’s centered on the platform.
Now go to GCode>Edit Slicing Profiles. You’ll see a list of the profiles your copy of ReplicatorG has saved for the machine you’re using. If you’re working with The Replicator and you haven’t edited a profile before, you’ll see just one: Replicator slicing defaults. Use the Duplicate button to create a copy of the profile you’re using and give the copy a new name.
Once you’ve named your new profile, the Skeinforge Settings window will open. There’s a lot of different stuff here, and it can be confusing, but you can ignore most of it. Underneath Profile Type and Profile Selection, you’ll see a line with a few different buttons: Analyze, Craft, Help, etc.
In general, all the settings you’re going to want to play with will be under Craft. With Craft selected, you’ll see a whole new set of options. Each of these leads to one or more settings that will affect a specific aspect of the printing process. The layer height setting in Print-O-Matic comes from the Carve section, while the infill options are under Fill.
Find Multiply and click on it; a new menu will appear below. Check the Activate Multiply box to turn the feature on. The two settings we’re going to want to look at are Number of Cells and Separation over Perimeter Width.
Number of Cells is where you tell Skeinforge how many copies of your model you want, and how they should be arranged. The number of columns determines how many copies of the model run from left to right on your build platform, and the number of rows determines how many run from front to back. For three copies of your model, you might choose three columns and one row, especially if you’re using a Replicator, which has a build platform wider than it is deep. If you wanted six copies, you might keep your three columns and add a second row.
Separation over Perimeter Width determines how far apart your copies will print. The default setting is 15, which will print your copies about 7mm apart, depending on other settings. I found that halving the separation over perimeter width was a good predictor of the distance in millimeters between two copies of an object.
Another Craft setting you might want to activate is Skirt, which is the same thing as Outline in previous versions of Skeinforge. This creates an outline around the object or objects you’re printing, and it’s a good way to make sure, right at the beginning of the print, that your Multiplied objects aren’t going to take up more space than your build plate allows.
Click the Save All button at the bottom of the Skeinforge window to save your profile and close the window and the Edit Profiles window.
When you go to generate Gcode, make sure you select your Multiplied profile from the dropdown menu at the top of the window and then print as you would normally. You won’t see anything different until your bot starts printing lots of copies at once!