Saturday, March 20, 2010
Time isn't free
Slice and Dice takes up a lot of disk space because it creates and operates on bitmap images, each one of which takes up 22 megabytes, and keeps half a dozen for each slice of a print. That eats up the gigabytes in a hurry.
The problem is that if you have a nasty STL that you've pulled out of Thingiverse, for example, you have to repair the faulted slices. On the recent torso that I printed about 6-7% of the slices were faulted. This usually meant dotting in one or at most two bits on an image to put things right. The problem is that after you've done that on 30-40 slices you're rather hesitant to throw all that work away because you need the space.
Some weeks ago, I discovered that if you zipped bitmaps you could reduce their size by about 95%. This morning I looked into converting over the storage modules to do this using a compression/decompression api. I quickly realised that this kind of job was going to require 3-4 man-days to do. Instead, I went down and bought a two terabyte external disk.