jmil edited this page Sep 13, 2010 · 37 revisions
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The purpose of this app is to simplify use of Skeinforge. Admins/Experts configure groups of Skeinforge settings. Then users just select a few settings and are off to the races.

If you don’t have a Mac, you can still get the very latest skeinforge that we are using. just download the app, then navigate to SkeinFox.app/Contents/Resources/ . The latest skeinforge is named 2010-02-25_skeinforge_withRaftless and our default .skeinforge settings are in the same Resources folder, named .skeinforge . This .skeinforge folder is actually it’s own git repo, so you can use git to switch between PLA and ABS configs.

OS X 10.5 Leopard or 10.6 Snow Leopard
PPC or Intel
git 1.6.4+ (it may work on older versions of git, but I haven’t tested it so I can’t say for sure)

SkeinFox Installation

Step 1) Make sure you have git 1.6.4 or later:
Git for OS X

Step 2) SkeinFox v1.50 can be downloaded for testing here:
SkeinFox v1.50

Step 3) Make a backup of your ~/.skeinforge folder. Note that SkeinFox v1.50 is INCOMPATIBLE with versions from v1.11. This was unavoidable since so much has changed with skeinforge. But it will be very easy to tweak your settings back into a new SkeinFox template. After you move/delete your ~/.skeinforge folder, SkeinFox v1.50 will create a new one with templates which work with the newest skeinforge.

To use it should be pretty self-explanatory:
Choose a template. Each time you select one that exact git branch will be checked out into your .skeinforge directory
Drag-and-Drop a .stl file onto the window
Click the “Create GCode” button. Two files will be produced, one moderately commented, one highly commented. They will print IDENTICAL objects. But these versions will help people understand what exactly Skeinforge is doing with every command. You can of course turn off this functionality in your own SkeinFox templates.

You can edit the template with Skeinforge which is already included. Just click “Modify in Skeinforge…”. After making your changes in Skeinforge, Make sure you click “Save Changes” back in SkeinFox to commit those changes to that git branch.

You can change the start and end code added to your .gcode file by placing an appropriately named file in your ~/.skeinforge/alterations folder. The file names are set with the “Preface” tool in Skeinforge. The filenames to use with the SkeinFox 1.5 defaults (for PLA and ABS, respectively) are:




  • Connect makerbot to your computer, turn on makerbot, open ReplicatorG, open control panel (control-J), set temperature to your build temperature (200 for PLA, 240 for ABS works for me). Hit the tab key for setting to take effect. You should see the temp start to rise.
  • Manually position extruder tip end at what you think should be 0,0,0 (dead center in the build platform and 1/2 a filament thickness in z== ~250 micrometers) and click the zero button (center of x-y translation cross-arranged buttons)
  • Set the popup menu (jog size) to 20 mm and move makerbot +20 mm in z (click +Z button after 20 mm is set)
  • Make sure makerbot stays at your target temperature at least 5 min before doing a test extrusion (see next)

Test Extrusion:
by now you should have makerbot at 0,0,20 and it should have been at your target temperature for at least 5 min

  • Enter 255 for the PWM speed- then tab out of this field. this sets the motor speed (255 is max) and thus controls the extrusion speed for this test extrusion only. your gcode file will change extrusion speed throughout the printing process.
  • Click the ‘forward’ radio button, you should see extrusion. let it go for 30 sec or so
  • Click the stop radio button. when it stops oozing you can clear the test extrusion with the forceps.

If that extrusion worked you’re good to go… almost!

  • Do one more test extrusion (for 5 sec), then after you stop extrusion close any and all control panels (you might have multiple instances and if any of them are open they will ruin printing if they are open)
  • Press the Build button! Your bot will go to 0,0,0 and then start building your object.

After an aborted or successful print, you’ll want to open the control panel and set the temperature back down to 25C.


2010-03-04 v1.50
• Now uses very Latest Skeinforge (2010-02-14), we are now upstream of MakerBot (read: bleeding edge)
• New Templates for very latest skeinforge — YOU WILL NEED TO DELETE/MOVE YOUR ~/.skeinforge DIRECTORY BEFORE OPENING SKEINFOX v1.50 TO GET THE NEW TEMPLATES. USING A v1.11 ~/.skeinforge directory is no longer supported. Unfortunately this was unavoidable, but it should be very easy to tweak your old settings back into a new SkeinFox template.
• Contains Raftless by Eberhard Rensch (Thanks Eberhard!) — Raftless is on and Raft is off by default. Hooray for Heated Build Platforms.
• Fixed git version comparison code, rewritten completely (bug report by Andrew Plumb, thanks!)
• Turned off skeinview by default as it was causing much confusion. Use Eberhard’s outstanding Pleasant3D instead.
• Use of new skeinforge fixes inability to scroll Raft settings window bug. Bonus!
• Unfortunately we had to remove TwitterBot in order to upgrade to latest Skeinforge. Future versions may add this functionality back in. If you must have TwitterBot, stick with SkeinFox v1.11 for now.

2010-02-12 v1.11 (Updates by Miles, Thanks!!)
• Changed + button to Copy icon
• Changed – button to X
• Added delete confirmation alert
• New settings are now named -copy instead of

2009-11-13 v1.1b1
• skeinforge-0006 engine from MakerBot
• skeinforge-0006 Official MakerBot settings are the new defaults
• TwitterBot code from Miles Lightwood and Rick Pollack (Thanks!)
• Includes experimental RepG 0010+twitter version that will work to tweet your builds…

2009-11-03 v1.02
• fixed two small memory leaks
• new icon design from Andrew Giebel (thanks Andrew!)
• upgraded commit message style in git repo to be “username @ Date/Time” for possible future use
• window title now shows app version number to make it easier to tell when you need to upgrade

2009-10-24 v1.01
• added code to notify user to update git if necessary. now fails gracefully instead of failing to launch in this circumstance.

2009-10-21 v1.0
• SkeinFox now also searches /opt/local/bin and /sw/bin for git installation
• the lastModified date column now correctly reports, well, the lastModified date

2009-10-20 v0.9
• first beta-testing begun