Pathio Users

Sins of Slicing

Dear Boys,

Work on slicing , man.

Will you buy a washing machine which looks neat, clean, smart, glossy with plethora of function but do not wash cloths ? No…

Leave other priorities apart and work on slicing, that should be your numero uno priority.

I can bare all sins of a software except its core functionality. Sole purpose of PathIO is slicing and not a glossy user interface with lot of functions.

Hope you take this as a positive jolt in arm…(P.S. : Slicing hangs up each and every browser. I am having Core i5 2.4 GHZ, RX580 4 GB Graphics card, 8 GB ROM — still running PathIO for slicing is a bad bad bad experience)

Hi cyberspider,

I fully understand where you are coming from.

We’re constantly working hard on getting new features out there as soon as we can - since launch we’ve already pushed out vase mode, a new innovative support structure and a lot of small tweaks and bug fixes. I would say that’s pretty impressive!

Furthermore, we’re hoping for the community to drive the direction that Pathio goes, meaning that we’re holding back on some features, like manual supports, to get suggestions from what the community thinks. You can see that in action already, and you can contribute as well! (thread).

Please also keep in mind that this is still beta software, so it’s of course not going to be as feature rich as some of the other slicers.

I hope you understand.

Could you tell us where the experience is bad on your machine? I.e, is it the slicing, viewing the model or viewing it after slicing?

Again, if you want to add any suggestions or feedback, we’d love to hear it - It’s what makes us improve!

Daniel

Dear Dan,

Fully agree - it’s beta and beta are supposed to have teething issues which may hang up the system.

What I see is, on 1 to 10 scale with 10 being best,

  • user interface is at 7,
  • Feature richness is at 6,
  • User friendlyness is 6 but
  • slicing is where it lakes , i would give only 2 points.

I understand from your response that my comments may have pinched you and/or your team and that’s what the intention was but with a positive connotation and intention.

Dan, Work on speeding up slicing please. People would love and appreciate fancy support structures and another things but please please get slicing speeded up.

What happens exactly when slicing ?

  1. When slicing starts mouse starts sleeping i.e. load on system resources.
  2. When slicing reaches midway, it hangs up browser - for that matter any browser running. Quick question - is the pathio slicing engine uses network communication for slicing.
  3. As slicing progress, system becomes more and more non responsive sluggish, than not repsonding to ctrl+alt+del and finally white screen appearing.
  4. 2 out of 7 times, system needs reboot. Quick question - my programming experience says you have lot ot memory leaks in your coding or pathio is not threading friendly or threads are not properly synchronising or slicing is being done as whole and not in chunks…Ask your development team with a paper weight in one hand ( :grinning: No need to throw though… It worked some time with my team…lol

Hi cyberspider,

Thanks for the feedback, it is, again, appreciated.

One of the main contributors to slow slicing times is our new slicing engine we’ve developed - it’s much more complex than other slicing engines, to allow for a variety of improvements such as strength and quality. We’re certainly working slicing times, we know they aren’t the best!

For an answer to your question on point 2. The main cause for slow browser times is probably due to a lack of ram which browsers, as you probably know, need plenty of. We do use a network connection, though we only send over a couple of packets. So it shouldn’t be an issue.

It’s interesting its being slow for you - something I found was to make sure that Pathio is using your dedicated graphics card, not the integrated graphics, which it typically defaults to, at least with nvidia cards (which I have).

Another cause for this could also be if you’re running programs in the background.

We could potentially have memory leaks, though I would doubt it. We’ll be hopefully able to address optimization soon.

Thanks for the feedback and hope to hear from you soon!

Daniel

This is interesting, Dan.

nVidia uses GSync while AMD uses FreeSync.

I am having AMD RX580 with FreeSync montior (LG Make, 27")

Try on some AMD machine also just for a test.

Because I believe, I have one of the better (Not the best) configuration of AMD in terms of computing power and I also believe that average user will have at least some low range dedicted graphics card.

Hi cyberspider,

I don’t think g-sync and freesync apply to this - those are to combat screen tearing, unless I’m mistaken.

I unfortunately don’t have an amd graphics card so I can’t test it out on that.

I’m assuming that if you have intel processor, then you probably have integrated graphics. Could you try and make sure that you are defaulting to your dedicated card, rather than your integrated graphics?

Thanks,

Daniel

Dear Dan,

You are right about sync technologies and might not have anything to do with slicer issues just in case.

I am using Exp GDC doc for externally docking the RX580 graphics card with my laptop. Yes, this setup does not use all 16 PCI lanes. But even than this setup achieve some decent 75FPS in heavy end games. I have connected my external display with this external card so internal graphics card is out of question. Moreover, opengl based render such as craftware slicer runs damn fast and slice complicated model in a breeze. Just a suggestion, can you provide me a standard reference model which as per your opinion is fairly complecated? I would render it and let you know time it took for each slicer on my system which is intel plus amd.

I appreciate your prompt and courteous replies.

Thanks,

CyberSpider

Hi @cyberspider,
Let me clear up a couple of the things mentioned in this comment thread.

  1. Pathio does not do any slicing on the cloud, and only sends a tiny amount of log data back to us (basically just saying that you clicked the slice button, nothing personal about what you’re slicing). I can guarantee you that network traffic is not a problem when using Pathio.

  2. Pathio’s slicing is currently all done on the CPU, so your graphics card will not impact slicing times. We’re interested in working on GPU-based slicing but that is a very significant piece of work which will not be happening during Open Beta.

  3. Pathio’s 3D view (the print preview), however, does use your GPU, so if Pathio is not running using the correct graphics card, your print preview might render and update slower than you’d expect. It sounds like in your particular case there’s no problem on this front, as you only have one graphics card. From our internal testing it seems like Pathio performs pretty similarly to other slicers in terms of rendering performance, but if you are noticing that we’re slower please let us know so we can do a bigger battery of tests to check.

  4. As for the slowdown that you notice while slicing, Pathio uses practically all of your CPU time available to deliver your slice as quick as possible. We are very aware that even with all of that CPU power Pathio is still rather slow at slicing, and are planning to do major work on this a little bit down the line. At the moment the developer team is hard at work solving several bugs that cause failures and errors when slicing (usually due to models with imperfections, but sometimes due to issues in our slicing process) - hence why we haven’t prioritized slicing speed.

  5. In terms of threading and parallel processing, we’re not currently aware of any significant problems. There are some slices we’re noticing that take extremely long to slice (>10 minutes). We’re currently looking at those cases and exploring if there are problems with our slicing algorithm, or if people are simply slicing extremely complicated models that take a long time to process. As long as your slices are completing, you’re not running into any potential problems here, though.

  6. Last, Pathio also uses quite a lot of RAM while slicing. Due to our internal analysis we don’t think we have much in the way of memory leaks, but there’s more work to be done to optimize the slicing process for memory usage. Much of the slicing speed improvements will also cut down on RAM usage as well. With 8GB of RAM, you might have a better experience closing other applications that use lots of RAM while slicing with Pathio (web browsers, CAD tools, etc). The easiest way to see if you’re running out of RAM while slicing is to keep the task manager open.

Can I ask what slicer you’re used to using? It’ll help us in our internal comparisons. Thanks again for all your feedback.

1 Like

Hi Gabe,

Thanks for your clarifications.

Point No : 1…slicing on cloud… : Log data sending is just fine.

Point No : 2… slicing on CPU and not on GPU… : OK

Point No : 3 …3D view… : Once rendered. PathIO displays ok

Point No :4 … slow down… : Understand from your comment that it will take time as developer team is busy killing some bugs. Perfectly fine.

Point No :5 …threading and paraller processing…: I am simply slicing laughing buddha object which is fairly simple. Even than it takes considerable time in PathIO. If you wish, I could mail you that particular model also.

Point No: 6 … lot of RAM…: Now here is a problem. Why for running a slicer program an user would close other programs. Do you want me to close WinAMP while it is playing my favorite tunes for the sake of slicing ??. I better change to another software if some software forces it to do so i.e. prevents/hinders multitaksing. . A piece of software in Windows parlance should be healthy in sharing memory with its colleagues, you see. If it can not, God saves that software,dear.

Predominantly, I use Craftware. It is just awesome. It renders fast, it displays fast. This is the generation where everything is require on GMSGMF basis (Give me straight, Give me fast). I have been experimenting with lot of slicers (some antique pieces also). I found this particular slicer fastest in every aspect. Yes, there are still some bugs in it. But speed wise…it can take any slicer head on. …Do explore please.

Craftware is not good at generating custom supports neither it is good at manual ones. Cura is champ in types of supports. But has tendency to get hang randomly.

Thanks for your responses.