Best Practices – Labeling GCode Files

As I spend more and more time digging deep into slicer nuances accompanied by hunting through YouMagine and other repos, I’ve been looking for a better solution for creating a folder template and naming scheme for STLs and .gcode files to take some of the extra effort after setting up each thing.

Here’s what I’m doing right now, and I’d love feedback from other users about what they prefer and why!
I’m starting from how to name the gcode files themselves. These are most critical and this scheme, as awkward as it appears, means i never have ambiguity about what I sliced and when I sliced it. I drop this file name into a printing log I keep in plain text that has the details for myself about the actual experiments. And i rely on settings in comments (and add settings in comments if not there) to make the gcode itself also a key way to learn about how it was created.

GCODE files:

{Machine+State}_{FileName}_{YYYYMMDD-TTTT}_{FileID}.gcode

for example:

UM2+PLA8_NozzleMag_20160911-1520_ym9450.gcode

Machine+State :
– I create a new machine setting for each of my machines in any state that is annoying to setup.
– So for my UM2+ unit by my desktop, I’ll have a “machine” for each of the common configs I setup for it.
– Right now this is UM2+PLA25, UM2+PLA4, etc for UM2+ slammed up next to the material and the nozzle size.
– I’m tempted to create a lookup table for a tighter 3 digit prefix listing to save real estate for the display — like AA8 for UM2+ with PLA using 8mm nozzle.
– This is an adhoc solution, I think the evolution of Cura 2 series is already getting closer to a better option.

FileName :
– Smash it down the way ProTools and Avid use to, killing vowels and making sure i can still guess
– Again, this is a real estate consideration, and there are probably better ways to do this.

YYYYMMDD-TTTT :
– While adding a manual timestamp in the file title is handy for looking at the card in a computer, you can rarely see to the end on the display.
– By adding 4digit time in 24hr time, i never have clashes between slicing experiments. That’s kinda critical to me, even though this isn’t clear on the card.
– Right now I’m using card management to remove any no-longer valid gcode from a card before running a model.
– I’m okay with that, I think. Though again a tighter date-time code from a lookup table my save real estate.

FileID :
– This totally betrays my years of working hardcore with thingiverse, but I see this as handy with youmagine and others as well
– Typically there is some sort of item ID for each design post in a repository — I use it as a museum accession number to make sure even if just stumble on an old SD card with some files on it, i know what the heck “Mount” referred to” or similar.
– For YM, there is a hidden ID you can find in the source (search for “contribution_design_id”) or another trick I’ll let other community members share if they know about it.
– For Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, etc, usually you can find the ID right in the URL or on the page (MyMiniFactory ends the design post URL with the number).

Look forward to your thoughts!