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Jan 15

Optimizing User Inferface & Workflow Within Insight

A simple, yet often overlooked feature in the Insight software included with all Fortus Production Series 3D Printers is the ability for the user to customize the toolbar and toolbox areas within the program. This allows the user to create a processing enviroment best suited to their workflow, further enhancing the already powerful features of the Insight software.


Although all Insight operations are accessible through the selections on the Menu bar, some operators find it easier or more convenient to have their most often- used functions readily available on the main user interface in the form of an icon. The Insight software offers two different ways to achieve this – the Toolbox and the Custom Toolbar – and this document will describe how to view and customize them to suit your individual style of working. Please note - a minimum 17” monitor running at a screen resolution of 1280 x 1024 or greater is recommended for optimum viewing. Anything less than these specifications may cause the toolbar to be cut off and/or the toolbox to crowd out other options on the work area.


Step 1: To activate these features, click on the View menu and put a check mark next to Toolbox and/or Custom Toolbar. You can use either one, or both of them at the same time. When selected, the Toolbox will appear in the top right corner of your screen, and the Custom Toolbar will appear just below the Main Toolbar. See Figure 1.

Figure 1

Step 2: Both of these items come “pre-loaded” with a default set of function buttons, but you may choose to customize them to suit your individual preferences. For example, you may want to put operations associated with viewing the current job into the Custom Toolbar, since it is directly above the geometry window, and use the Toolbox for editing functions, since it is above the work area.

Step 3: To customize the Toolbox or Toolbar, click on the File menu and scroll down to Customize, then select either Toolbox or Toolbar. (Note: the right-click pop-up menu can also be customized in this manner by selecting Pop-up menu). Once you have made your choice, a dialog box will appear to allow you to access all available operations. See Figure 2.

Figure 2.

Step 4: Functions that you can choose from are listed on the left side, organized into specific categories, and the existing or default choices are on the right. To add a desired item to the Toolbox or Toolbar, highlight it in the left-hand window and click on the Add button in the center. To remove an unwanted item from the existing selections, highlight it in the righthand window and click on the Remove button. You may also rearrange your existing list to achieve a more logical order by selecting items in the column on the right side and clicking on the Up or Down buttons. Also, if you would like to remove all changes, you can click on the Reset button to revert to the default selections.

Step 5: Some operations have icon images associated with them, similar to the ones on the main toolbars. If you put a check mark in the box next to Use Images if Available, these images will appear on the button in the Toolbox or Toolbar instead of a text label.

Step 6: There are also a couple more options available that are dependent on which set of buttons you are customizing at the time:

  • Toolbox: At the bottom of the customization box, there is a field marked Number of Columns. This allows you to specify how many columns of buttons will appear in the Toolbox area, up to a maximum of 10. (Please note: using too many columns will make the entire work area wider and reduce the size of the geometry window and Custom Toolbar.)

  • Toolbar: The last section of the available function list in the left-hand widow is called Checks. Instead of opening a new operation page, these items act as toggle switches to turn a particular feature on and off. These can be very convenient, for example, to view the STL file during curve editing or to shade the toolpaths while creating custom groups.

Step 7: When you are satisfied with your selections, click on the check mark to apply the changes. If you decide not to make any modifications, click the red X to cancel any changes and retain the current settings. Once the Toolbox and Custom Toolbar have been customized, they will be saved when you exit Insight and always available for future sessions.

With seven simple steps, you can fully optimize Insight to best-suit your workflow, and get the most out of the extensive features the software has to offer. As Canada's leader in 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, Cimetrix has over 20 years experience helping our customers experience all the advantages 3D printing has to offer. Be sure to check out our blog weekly for additional news, product announcements, tech tips, and more!