Flashprint advanced print settings by editing the default.cfg configuration file

Flashforge supplies its printers with their own slicing program called Flashprint. It is compatible with the Flashforge Dreamer, Creator Pro, Finder and Guider 3D printers. The software is easy to use and contains most of the features required for everyday use. However, programs like Slic3r and Simplify3D offer more advanced options for situations where the standard settings do not deliver the desired print quality.

If you do not want to invest time in setting up or buying a different slicing program there is also a way to change quite a lot of advanced settings within Flashforge’s own Flashprint program.


Update 9-May-2016:

Flashprint 3.10.0 was released this week. It includes a new expert mode, which eliminates the need to go into the configuration file for tweaking advanced settings in most cases. For the 2 examples discussed in this article, the features first layer speed and path length have actually been included in the expert print menu! See gallery below:

It is very good to see that Flashforge is continuously updating their slicing program with useful features. 

If you still feel some features are missing, follow the instructions below to edit the configuration file.


Flashprint reads the settings for the slicing process from a plain text file which can be edited by the user. The file is called “Default.cfg”and is located in the same location as the Flashprint executable file, see screenshot below:

Open default.cfg in Notepad++
Open default.cfg in Notepad++

To open the file, right click on it and select your favorite text editor. I use the freeware program Notepad++, but Wordpad also works. Do not open the file with the regular notepad as supplied with Windows, since this program does not deal with the word wrap function at the end of the text lines correctly.

Once the file is opened, all of the available settings can be verified and changed as needed. See the gallery below for the available parameters. Click on any of the thumbnails to enlarge it to full screen.

The settings are neatly grouped in categories and at the end of each line the range within which each variable can be set is shown, including the default value.

If you have changed a setting and want to save the file notepad++ will indicate that administrator rights are required. Press yes to enter administrator mode and press the save button again.

Notepad++ administrator mode
Notepad++ administrator mode

Any changes made to the default.cfg file will become effective immediately when a new G-code file is made with Flashprint using the print button. It is not necessary to close Flashprint when changing the default.cfg file.

In this article I will describe 2 examples of changed parameters and show how they affect the generated G-code file. The first example is changing the speed of the first layer and the second is changing the length of the pre-extrude path. Although I have not tested the effect of changing each parameter, all of the listed parameters can be modified.  Make sure you save a backup copy of the file before making any changes, so you can return in case of a mistake. Also I have noticed that the contents of the file may change during an update of the Flashprint software, so it may be necessary to redo your changes after an update.

 

Example1: change first layer speed

In this example I have changed the speed (feed rate) of the first layer from 20 to 40 mm/sec by changing the firstLayerMax parameter:

Default.cfg adjusted first layer speed to 40 mm per sec
Default.cfg adjusted first layer speed to 40 mm per sec

In the screenshot below the effect of this change is shown. The G-code in the top file was generated with the default setting of 20mm/sec and the bottom file with 40 mm/sec. The speed for the first layer changed from 1200 mm/min (=20mm/sec) to 2400 mm/min (40mm/sec).

G-code example for Default.cfg adjusted first layer speed to 40 mm per sec_
G-code example for Default.cfg adjusted first layer speed to 40 mm per sec_

 

Example2: change pre-extrude width and length

Under the preExtrude category several parameters are available, like pathwidth and lenght. In this example I have changed the pathWidth from 1.6 to 0.4 mm and the length from 120 to 200 mm.

preExtrude settings
preExtrude settings

In the gallery below the effects of these changes are shown:

Of course making changes to the default.cfg file takes a bit more work than changing settings in a program like slice3r, where they are available in the interface. However, if you prefer using Flashprint, then this method may be your only option for some advanced tweaking of print settings.

 

 

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