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Ultimaker Cura Ultimate Review 2023

Spencer Hill
Spencer Hill 17:46 12-27-2022
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Ultimaker Cura is a powerful, open-source 3D slicer software that is widely used in the 3D printing industry. It is known for its easy-to-use interface, advanced customization options, and wide range of supported 3D printers and materials.

In this article, we will provide an in-depth review of Ultimaker Cura, including its features, performance, and overall user experience.

Ultimaker Cura

What is Ultimaker Cura software?

Ultimaker Cura software is a 3D printing software that enables users to print their 3D model on their desired 3D printer, including Creality ender 3 v2. It’s a 3D printer slicer that allows for setting up the object to be printed.

Its print setup settings help users set the dimensions, width, length, wall width, quality, materials, etc., of the 3D object and prepare it well before the final print.

1. Main features of Ultimaker Cura

  • Ultimate 3D slicer solution

Cura’s slicking features a plethora of pre-configured print profiles, making it feasible for beginners to print with a click. With over 400 advanced settings under ‘custom mode’, it gives enough liberation to the user to 3D print objects to their liking. 

Three more settings have been introduced with the Ultimaker Cura 5.2 update. These three features allow users to set their first layer more precisely and avoid the elephant’s foot. 

  • Compatible with all printers and files

Ultimaker Cura 5.0 as well 5.1 supported all printers and files. However, the latest update is also accessible to Mac and Linux users. 

The compatible file types supported on Ultimaker Cura include STL, OBJ, BMP, GIF, 3MF, PNG, JPG, and X3D. As you download the software and create your profile, you will first be asked to select your printer. You will easily find our printer in the list, as Cura supports approximately all sorts of 3D printers marketed around the world. 

  • CAD plugin integration and more

You can add CAD plugins in the Cura and export your files and models from 3D CAD software like SolidWorks, Siemens NX, and Autodesk Inventor. You can print, update and export files from this software to Cura and turn them into reality in no time. 

Other plugins available within Cura (accessible through Marketplace) include Fisnar Robot Plugin, Creality Cloud, Print&Go plugin, Arc Welder, CuraBlender, and many more. In addition, digital factory integrations and material plugins are also available. 

  • Customization

Ultimaker Cura offers a wide range of options that allow you to fine-tune your prints. This includes the ability to adjust the print speed, layer height, infill, and support structures, as well as the ability to add custom g-code and scripts. With these options, you can achieve high-quality prints that meet your specific needs and preferences.

  • Performance

Ultimaker Cura is known for producing accurate and reliable prints. It has a fast slicing speed and can handle complex models with ease. Additionally, it has a built-in error-checking system that helps to ensure that your prints come out as expected.

2. Where to download Ultimaker Cura?

Ultimaker Cura only works on high-end PCs. You can download it from its official website. The newest version is Ultimaker Cura 5.2.1.

ultimaker cura download

The minimum requirements to download Ultimaker Cura on your PC include:

  • Open GL 2 or above compatible graphics card
  • Display a resolution of at least 1024 x 768, the higher the better
  • Intel Core 2 or AMD Athlon 64 processor
  • Hard disk space with 550 MB available
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64-bit operating system updated to the latest version

Ultimaker Cura only works on high-end PCs. Moreover, it doesn’t have a mobile app. If your PC meets the minimum requirements mentioned above, you can download Ultimaker Cura from its official website.

3. Is Ultimaker Cura free?

The best part about Ultimaker Cura is it’s an open free software and free to download and use. You can use the free Ultimaker Cura software and enjoy pre-configured profiles and advanced settings.

If you have an Ultimaker Printer at home, you can use the Ultimaker Cura with more advanced features like increased stability, security assessment, and packaged deployment. You can also integrate other CAD software and solutions on Cura for free. For instance, you can import your files from popular CAD software and also from other 3D printing software like Creality Cloud.

How to use Ultimaker Cura for 3D slicing

New to Cura and 3D slicing? No worries, Cura is user-friendly, and anyone can use the app quite conveniently. Here are the steps involved in using Cura for 3D slicing.

1. Download and install Ultimaker Cura on your PC.

2. Add a printer. The on-screen prompts will help you add a printer of your choice – a networked printer or a non-networked printer.

Add a printer on cura

3. Go to Machine Settings after adding the 3D printer. Leave them to their default values if you don’t know what to do.

Printer machine setting

4. Repeat the same with the Extruder settings.

5. Now import a model for slicing. Go to File > Open File(s).

Upload 3D model files on cura

6. Choose the file from your PC. You should know where the 3D model file is stored at this stage.

7. Once selected, click on Open. The model will be opened on your Cura workspace.

STL file uploaded on cura

8. You can now make the desired changes to the model. You can change its color, position, size, orientation etc. To move your model, you can directly move the cursor over it or use the X, Y, and Z coordinates to move it to a particular position.

Customization 3d print setting on ultimaker cura

9. Use the left menu bar to rotate or mirror your model.

10. Once you are done, configure the printer settings. Change the nozzle size to 0.4mm and select PLA as the filament (if you don’t know what to use). If you want to change the preset figures, click on the upper toolbar (with a nozzle and material tab).

11. Set the nozzle size and material as per your liking.

12. If the drop-down menu doesn’t include your choice of material, click on Manage Material or Add more materials from Marketplace.

13. Next, set the print profiles. To set them, click on the Print Settings box in the upper right corner. Cura provides four types of quality settings - super, dynamic, standard, and Low.

14. Adjust each of the profiles (or keep them at default if you are a beginner). Print profile lets you define the quality of your walls, top, bottom, infill, and more. Remember that printing higher resolution (low mm) means more printing time.

15. Finally, click on Keep Changes to save your changes made in print profiles.

16. You can also import your custom settings in Cura. For this, go to Manage Profiles > Import and choose the saved document on your PC that has the saved custom settings.

17. Once added, you will see Profile Successfully added appears on the screen.

18. Click on Profile, and you will see your custom settings file in the drop-down under custom profiles.

19. Click on it, and Cura will load the custom settings.

20. Finally, click on the Slice button in the lower right corner to slice. It will show you the preview of your model, the amount of material used, and the estimated printing time.

Once sliced, the model is ready to print. You can save the sliced file on disk as well as SD card. If your PC has an SD card plugged in, you can click on the option ‘Save to Removable Disk’. Cura provides the option to ‘Save to disk’ if no SD is plugged in.

For your interest: Best quality settings in cura for Ender 3.

Pros and cons of Ultimaker Cura

Pros:

  • Open-source and free software
  • Access to a wide number of other Ultimaker solutions
  • Integration of CAD software possible
  • Over 400 advanced settings to slice your model perfectly
  • A wide extensive list of supported 3D printers
  • Frequently updated for improving the printing experience
  • Easy to use for beginners (with default settings)

Cons:

  • Does not support 32-bit OS PCs, in short not for low-end PCs

Is there a better program than Cura?

The very closest alternative to Cura is Creality Cloud. Creality Cloud is, in fact, one step ahead of Ultimaker Cura in some aspects. The 3D printing solution software, Creality Cloud, has over 2 lakh slicing model files, some of which are available free of cost. You can download the slice file and edit it in its slicing software.

It has also launched a Creality Cloud mobile app, which means now you can slice your 3D models on the go. You can also print 3D models remotely with your connected 3D printer, access the 3D model library, and more.

Take a look at this video, you will know how easy is to slice 3D models using Creality Cloud App!

Also, do you know you can also use Creality Cloud integration on Cura now? If you are both a Creality Cloud user and a Cura user, you can now access Creality’s Cloud 3D model library on Cura. With this, import any STL file from Creality Cloud to Cura, slice it, and upload G-code files to Creality Cloud, wherein you can print it remotely.

PS: To integrate Creality Cloud on Cura, follow Open Ultimaker Cura > Marketplace > Community Plugins > Creality Cloud Integration > Instal l > Restart Cura. Login to your Creality Cloud to integrate your files.

Conclusion

Overall, Ultimaker Cura is a top choice for 3D printing enthusiasts and professionals alike. It offers a great combination of ease of use, customization options, and performance, making it a valuable tool for anyone looking to take their 3D printing to the next level. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced user, Ultimaker Cura is sure to exceed your expectations.

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