Pattern Mode


Has anyone tried this in a 'real world' case? I have my first print going now - just went for it to see what would happen. It's a bit of a pain with all the manual steps, but I'll post my results.

One thing I wasn't sure of, should I use Anti-alias or leave it off? I'm trying it with it on - kinda hoping to see better blending controls too.

Pattern Mode Script
Printer Calibration

I m very curious to see results myself !
Just too lazy to do the work and lose the area cropped. I would go with AA myself, that's how other printers have it default.

Could sure use an update on when the feature will become accessible in Print Studio.


So- this is what happens if you don't copy ALL the "Padded Out" images into the ZIP file. After double checking the image files in the ZIP file, about slice 300 the images reverted back to the normal 1280x800. Checked the 'output' directory and all the files are good there - so it was obviously operator error.

I have created a new ZIP file, checked the images, and will try again....


I've been working with this for a little while now and feel a bit more comfortable with the process. I am truly impressed with the possible resolution using standard print settings.

Still really want to see this happen automatically in PS....

A detail that was not immediately apparent when reading the instructable the first few times:

The PatternMode function actually rotates the image 45° when printing, but the output image file is left in the original PS output orientation. Once you understand this you can plan accordingly if needed.

In my original file above, I rotated the part in PS first and was surprised that the part was printing straight. If you are trying to print straight lines or edges, orient your straight edges to the X/Y in PS. When the image is rotated in PatternMode, the edges will be aligned to the mirror orientation and you will get straight edges!

Below you can see an example of the sharp edge definition possible with pattern mode. You can even see the individual micro mirror outlines on the surface of the parts - and use them to scale the images as each is 50um. (Now I want a 4k projector ;D )


Very cool! Thanks for sharing :)


Been working with PatternMode now for a while and like the additional resolution control. While it's not required for all models, I am able to better control the final dimensions of my features. I am using this in conjunction with Photoshop, selectively controlling critical feature sizes with sub-pixel resolution using grayscale. Cool stuff!

I am now trying the new VariSlice routine:

When will PatternMode be a selectable option in PS?



If I can get the STL sliced via Netfabb @ the projectors pattern mode native resolution of 1140x912 - will the Ember print the entire image - or will there be some internal cropping due to the lens, PDMS window, or Build head?

If it would work, the build area would be 57x45.6mm - and practically eliminates the reduction in build area with the current method using PadSlicesforPatternMode

Maybe I just try a photoshopped image at this size and see what happens...


I too would be keen to get an answer to Scott’s earlier question about whether to enable anti-aliasing or not.

I’d have assumed not, mainly because i’m guessing it gets done at the slice stage, not at the print stage, and so the aa would be done in Print Studio for a non pattern mode print… but i’d be keen to hear a definitive answer.

I’d a little experience with processing in the past so wasn’t as daunted by the faff involved, but to be honest, the processing was a doddle, and it was the rezipping all the files that caused me the most stress.

I followed the mac instructions for taring and zipping to the letter, and the tar.gz file i created was constantly rejected by my printer.

in the end i realised that the tar was being created inside a phantom . folder, which unzipped fine but wasn’t what the ember wanted. i had to use 7-zip to make my tar.gz file on windows, which is a pain as i was hoping to automate the whole process with a little unix scripting. perhaps 7-zip has a command line mode i’ll be able to use to do something similar on windows.

Sadly after finally getting the whole process working, my print (a simple engagement ring) was indistinguishable from a non pattern mode print (though on a par with the best of my prints in non pattern mode).

i’m thinking perhaps i might try a print with anti aliasing off next time to see if i notice any difference.

will post an image or two if i get a chance next week.


Two Questions:

  1. Should we use Anti-aliasing when printing in Pattern mode?

  2. Should we rotate the pieces 45 degrees before exporting in Print Studio as suggested in the instructable?
    (As from what I can see, the Processing program is actually doing that already).


Thanks for posting your questions! Here are answers:

  1. It depends on the geometry you’re trying to print. Anti-aliasing makes things smoother; Pattern Mode makes things sharper. If you have smooth, curved surfaces, you’ll probably want to enable anti-aliasing. You may even want to just use video mode (aka non pattern mode) – it’s not actually worse quality, it’s just smoother, which can make super-fine details less distinct, but that’s actually desirable in some cases. On the other hand, if you have a lot of sharp, square angles and super-fine features (see Scott’s photos above), Pattern Mode without anti-aliasing will give you the sharpest features.

  2. Rotating the models in Print Studio before printing only matters if you have a rectilinear part, which will then be aligned with the micromirrors. You can see in some of Scott’s photos above that the squares made by the mirrors are aligned with rectangular features in his parts. If you’re printing smooth or rounded geometry, it doesn’t really matter, since there’s no way to align it all with the mirrors.

Also, something that will help with zipping the files: on both Mac and Windows, you can just select the slices and the printsettings file, right-click, and choose Compress (Mac) or Send To > Compressed Folder (Windows). It will make a zip file, which the printer will accept the same as a .tar.gz file.


Hello, I tried using the files from this instructables website (pattern test and my printer keeps saying error. I have updated the software. Is it something wrong with my printer or the file.

Thank you


Sometimes hidden files or folders get into the zip file and Ember doesn’t like it. Post your zip file here and I’ll take a look at it.


I was able to get the printer to take the file, but now the issue is that I keep printing a blank sample. There should be lines and patterns, but nothing shows up.

It won’t let me attach the file, so I have provided the link where I got the file from. It’s the pattern mode instructables and the file on the website is named “pattern test”


Just to make sure, are you printing the entire file? The first 40 layers of that sample file are just a white square, and it’s only the last two layers that have the lines and patterns.

Your printer also needs to be set up for Pattern Mode. Did you do the process in Step 1 of that instructable?


Yes I am printing the entire file and yes I did Step 1.


Try printing this file. It’s just a gradient hole array - but it is printed in pattern mode. If this prints, then there may be something wrong with the pattern test file.

“file deleted”


@OwenSmithyman could the ‘pattern test’ print with no features if the lamp current was too high, effectively washing out the features? I’ve never printed this file so I’m not sure if the spacing between lines is close enough to allow for this.


I tried using that file you gave me but it said loading error.


Confirmed the error. I made a few corrections and have confirmed this new file works.
tm16-0002 small hole gradient - (191.0 KB)


That worked! I’m currently printing it, do you have that file in video mode as well so I can compare?