I love Modifiers!

Does anybody use modifiers in the Orca or Bambu slicer?

I learned about them kind of by accident.

I was printing a bambu plate holder and when I saw it printing the infill, I thought I was looking at support structures within the infill, later I realized that they weren’t supports, but were just slits to accommodate the part that sticks out on the plate where the nozzle cleans itself.

But before I realized that, I wanted to figure out how to make supports within the infill so I could make stronger parts and also use less infill with the help of the supports. That is how I came upon modifiers.

For those that don’t know about it. A modifier is just a regular 3d object you design, you just change the type from part to modifier in Bambu Studio. If you make a modifier sub-component and move it into your main component, so it intersects with your main component and shares part of the same space. You can then change properties of the modifier, like changing color or infill density or infill type and most other settings available in the left side panel of Bambu Studio. This will change those properties in the sections of your main 3d model that overlap with the modifier.

This video shows how to do it in the Bambu Studio. He first shows how it is done in Prusa slicer and a bug in the Bambu Studio, then he does how to do it in Bambu Studio.

I didn’t have to split up my part like the person in the video. In Fusion 360, I made the modifiers components within the component I wanted to modify. Then you just have to bring the step file into Bambu Studio, go to the Process section of the left panel, click Objects instead of Global. Then click the arrow beside the step object and it lists the modifiers with the name you made for the modifier component in Fusion 360. I assume it works the same with other CAD programs. Click one of the modifiers, then right click it and select “Change Type”, then choose Modifier.

Currently, I am using it for the same purpose as the person in the video, for extra supports around some screw holes. I am printing the holes vertically, so I made 100% concentric infill 2mm around the holes.

I plan on using it for many purposes, like support within infill, or changing the density of infill in different parts of the model so that thinner parts have higher density and the center of a large body has very little. There are so many possible uses.

14 Likes

I use modifiers in >50% of the models myself. And it’s worth experimenting with them. That’s why it’s interesting to read what other users use them for.

Best regards!

Great Topic. :+1:

I used modifiers extensively. On another thread here, I commented on using modifiers as being possible to act in place of supports for certain troublesome geometries. I took the theory and applied in practice on a rod shaped item and here were my results. They were much better than using the generic supports feature in the slicer.

Here was my original settings. I used a cube primitive of 10x10x100 and then used a modifier of a cylinder primitive to create a solid rod inside the cube. Then I changed the cube to have no walls, now top or bottom and only using 5% gyroid infill. This produced the following lattice structure around the cylinder. The cylinder was 100% infill 100% aligned rectilinear at 180 degree orientation. This provided lengthwise extrusion down the entire Rod. Colors used as illustration

These were the settings that mattered. The max Length of the Infill anchor was key to providing enough separation from the filament to allow easy separation. Also, I think

image
these other patterns might also hold promise. and I plan to experiment later today.

Although this was a rush print(both models side by side in under 40 minutes), The results out-of-the-box were amazing. I was able to peel off the lattice in such a way as to leave negligible contact marks. The rod that used standard supports did not fair even half as well.

See for your self.

As it appeared on the plate. You can already see that the standalone item with supports did not fair well.

This is where the cube primitive lattice was peeled away. You can see how cleanly this removed.

Some side by sides. The one on the right(larger) was squished and deformed. It did not produce a circular rod. Whereas the one on the left(smaller) was almost perfectly circular

This turned out so well, that I plan on experimenting with other models that I’ve saved in a folder named “Problem Models” that defied one-piece printing. I also want to see if I can make a high resolution version of this in CF and see how close I can get to reproducing a true Carbon Fiber rod.

6 Likes

Interesting stuff! I don’t know what supports you used for the “normal” rod, it should come out better than that. Also, a “true Carbon Fiber rod” is made of ~50% carbon filament and ~50% epoxy, you’d get ~30% carbon powder and ~70% softer plastic at best…

In your example, the support is the model (3D cube) and the final model is a modifier. Is there a way to embed a complex model in such a support cube?

The thing I find most frustrating about the modifers is that depending on what changes you end up with two objects whose outer walls touch, which often defeats the purpose of trying to get stronger parts.

1 Like

I think an complex model should work just as well. You make a cube shape to cover the dimensions of the model, then bring in the model as a modifier.

@Olias, That is a cool use of the modifiers that I didn’t think of. I will likely try that at some point, but use a second modifier to make a thin support material layer in between so it will come off easily and cleanly.

I tend to use them a lot, they are awesome.
Besides for infill, color change and support I do use them to offer additional variants within my uploaded print profiles. I even asked for more options when it comes to using them (Toggle on/off button for modifiers).

Example taken from a scheduled update to my Life Counter 0-99:

Axles with optional sideways facing indicators, just a question of which modifiers are active or deleted.

When it comes to including a color change from one layer to the next, a modifier is THE option to use as well - instead of the “Change filament” option in the preview tab. → The calibration prints within my AMS Calibration - V2 and new Gcode by AMT_MW - MakerWorld rely heavily on modifiers for the color changes.

Are the variants you do mostly symbol/texture/color differences on the surface?

Also, for the pictures you showed that had some raised areas, are the raised areas part of the main model and you use a modifier to hide it? I am trying to understand how the modifiers are used in the scenarios you showed.

Mostly, yes. Color changes and simple additional things that I consider not to be worth an additional upload as separate model are my use cases.

Regarding the pictures:
Those are separate parts (.stl files) that interact with the main body via Boolean operations. But since there is no difference in regards to what the influencing geometry is and where it came from, they are modifiers from my point of view.

Modifier: Some geometry affecting the main part to be printed, usually but not necessarily with at least one different setting.

Instead of deleting your object addition modifiers, you could turn your objects off by turning them into modifiers to hide them. If you don’t change any parameters, they don’t change anything in the model or outside of it.

I have been using modifiers for my RC printed Airplanes. Came across this article and it took me some time to wrap my head around using them this way. Wow! I figured out how to alter the interior structure of my wings exactly how I needed them. I used the process to make a 25% gyroid infill on a swept and curved leading edge on my sailplane wing. Thank you for sharing!

Care to share some pics, perhaps of the slicer?

When exporting the parts in step file format you must bring the original part and the copy that you cut into pieces. I name the cut pieces in Fusion and when you open in BS it will bring in the names also.

1 Like

Nice work on the modifiers!

Hi AMT,

Modifiers seem great, but I’m confused about a couple of points.

Given that many models are generated as step files to retain better mesh clarity, would it not make sense to utilise the split-to-parts function over modifiers? Unless I’m missing some core fundamentals of modifiers, can you not use the parts selection to adjust colour, pattern, and infill in the same, if not easier manner? I understand modifiers in the case of the RC wing where different areas need different infill within a part, but beyond that the use of parts seems simpler.

Not having a stab, just ignorant.

You can split STL, OBJ or other files if they contain information about individual parts. You can change the type of the individual parts, not only, but also to “Modifier”.

I do think that question arises due to my understanding of modifiers. As pointed out before: Some geometry affecting the main part to be printed, usually but not necessarily with at least one different setting. => Even a “Negative Part” is a modifier to me.

If you already have separate geometry information (stl, step, whatever) it currently does not matter if they are called “Modifier” or “Part”. You can even change the type on the fly and achieve the exact same result. – As “Modifier” (slicer type) it does not require you to split and re-assemble things with overlapping geometry in some instances.

image

There are many roads leading to Rome and which to pick is mostly down to personal preferences. My workflow is centered around getting done as much as possible in CAD, exporting the assembly as stl files with a common reference point and importing all into the slicer, then simply juggling secondary stuff as “Modifiers”.

The split-to-x function is of no use to me because I do not export that way from CAD, and if I do the slicer options don’t cut it for me. Example Modifier vs split-to-x :

vs → no thanks

But I am always happy to learn about new routes and would prefer the better preview in the prepare tab given by a “Part” :slight_smile:

It’s not ignorance if you’re pursuing knowledge. There’s just some discovery’s you have yet to uncover. :wink:

I believe that working on individual parts separately can be a great approach, and that’s usually my first go-to tool as a CAD user. However, one frustrating limitation of current slicer technology is its inability to perform separate operations on multiple components that have been merged into a single part. This is where modifiers become very useful for me. With modifiers, I can apply operations to a specific region, and as a CAD user, it’s especially valuable because I can use a second instance of the same part as a modifier, I simply grow the part by 0.5mm in CAD. This allows me to make isolated process changes in that specific region.

Here’s a simple example from a project I did a couple of months ago making an articulating arm. It uses links.

In this example I use exaggeration and color to show the use of a Nut and partially merged it with one section of the pivot link for illustration purposes only.

After slicing, You can see that this quick use of modifiers allowed me to make changes to the structure of the part that are simply impossible to perform any other way. All I did was change the parameters on the modifier to get a different infill, strength, pattern etc.

______________________________________________________________

An even better example.

This is a carbon filter box from printables.

I printed his Box and it took almost 3 hours with lid. I’m like WTF? It’s only a box. Thinking I had really screwed up my slicer settings I took his CAD files and re-drafted everything myself without the grid holes and as one would expect, it took less than 50 minutes to print the identical geometry.

So I pulled a trick that I saw someone do on the web. I took a simple cube geometry from only using the slicer mind you, no CAD involved. I placed a modifier inside the geometry and used 50% infill honeycomb. But here’s the trick, I used 0 for bottom and top layers which exposed the honeycomb infill pretty much imitating his CAD-based pattern.

Here’s what they look like sliced. Now note that they are almost identical but the slicer sees my honeycomb infill where it sees his pattern as walls hence the color difference.

But the printer doesn’t know the difference and by using the modifier, the slicer figured out a much more efficient way to create the same effect. In fact, my lid and his lid are slide-in and interchangeable on his box design.

Side by side of my slicer-based honeycomb grid in red versus his CAD derived grid as seen in front of a light source.

The real payoff

His object.


image

My object


image

I ask you, which one would you rather print?



5 Likes

I am building a sign with my wife’s business logo to stick to a window using suction cups. The sign will have her logo embossed on one side and also the logo flat on the bottom side of the print. The flat side will be visible outside while looking through the window and the embossed side will be visible inside.

Since it is going on a window, I wanted prevent light from shining through it, so my plan was to use modifiers to print a few solid black PLA-CF layers in the center, but not visible from the sides, so I made the modifier a little smaller that the width of the sign.

I don’t have enough slots in my AMS to do it with the black PLA-CF, so I am instead using the modifier to print a few solid lines of the base color of the sign (white), hopefully that is enough to prevent enough of the light from shining through so it doesn’t show the infill or the other side of the sign. I considered using one of the darker colors of the logo for the modifier, but none of them are PLA-CF, so I was afraid it wouldn’t block enough light and might tint the white background when the light shines through.

I think I will also increase the top and bottom layers to help block the light.

Don’t rule out the use of something opaque to place inside the print. Create a cavity for some object such as foil duct tape comes to mind. Then pause the print at some middle layer where you provided for that cavity. One the layer is paused, apply the pre-cut foil tape and resume print. You may have to experiment with different types of tape or opaque film but the principle is no different than when one embedded let’s say nuts, washers or ball bearings for weight within a print.

I think I will test to see if the thicker layers are enough. If not, I will try something like your suggest.

Should I print a thin plastic piece to put over top of the tape so I have a better surface to print the next layer on, or will it be fine to just print over the tape?