Oct 19, 2016
Here at Ultimaker, we are always seeking new ways to improve our products, delivering the best 3D printing experience possible. After considerable development, the latest version of Cura is now available. Fully supportive of dual extrusion, it’s been designed to enhance your Ultimaker 3 printing experience, and it's fully compatible with all Ultimaker machines.
The latest version of Cura has been updated to optimize your Ultimaker 3’s performance. Here are some details about the major changes.
Dual extrusion. Cura 2.3 fully supports Ultimaker 3’s dual extrusion and makes the process easy, accurate and reliable. This feature also comes in handy for owners of the Ultimaker Original modified with a dual extrusion upgrade kit.
Wireless printing. Wires are the thing of the past with the Ultimaker 3 and Cura. You can send jobs remotely from Cura to your printer using Wi-Fi or LAN (requires connection to the Ultimaker 3 network or VPN setup). You can also monitor the project throughout the entire process to make sure everything’s on track for the print success.
Live monitoring. It’s important to keep tabs on your project, and the print monitor tab lets you do just that. View your 3D print progress live via your connected Ultimaker 3 and check that the print is running smoothly at all times.
Optimized settings. When connected, your Ultimaker 3 automatically shares material and print core configuration with Cura. That means your print is always optimized with the correct settings – ensuring a greater success-rate with every print.
Greater speed. We’ve made considerable improvements to Cura’s speed, which now loads STL files 10 to 20 times faster than the previous version. The layer view has been optimized too, and slicing speeds are slightly faster.
Easier setting changes. Cura 2.3 lets you alter machine settings with greater ease – making it even easier to use Cura with customized or modified Ultimaker machines, or even 3rd party printers.
New infill types. The latest version of Cura now features two new infill types: Tetrahedral and Cubic, giving you seven infill types to select from. Your infill changes along with the Z-axis, providing a more uniform strength in all directions.
Improved positioning tool. The optimized positioning tool lets you place objects in exactly the right place, by manually entering the position’s values.
Better grouping. Transform objects that are already grouped, simply by selecting an individual item or merged object, then editing as usual. It’s as easy as CTRL + Click, and then editing as much as you need to!
Accurate time and weight estimation. It’s always useful to know how long the print will take, which is why we’ve improved the time estimation to provide a more accurate timeframe. We’ve also added a weight estimate function to Cura, which now calculates print weight as well as length.
Enhanced profile management. It’s now much easier for you to view and track changes to your profiles.
Better setting visibility. With the new Cura, you can make multiple settings visible at the same time with a checkbox. The handy Visibility Overview function indicates why a setting is not visible in the sidebar, even if it’s been selected.
Auto import configuration. Configurations from older versions of Cura 2.1 will be automatically imported to your newest installation.
Gradual infill. You can now alter the infill density, based on the distance from the top layers. The print process is faster and it uses less material – but the upper surfaces are still of an excellent quality. Please note, a lower infill density may influence your 3D model’s strength!
Jerk / Acceleration adjustment. Cura 2.3 lets you set the Jerk and Acceleration by feature - such as infill, walls and top / bottom – which provides you with even greater accuracy.
Outer wall offset. You can get even greater surface quality by applying an offset to where the outer wall is printed (when the outer wall line width is narrower than the size of the nozzle). All you need to do is move the nozzle inwards slightly when you print the outer wall, and this greatly improves the quality of your surface. For even better results, the walls stick together as one solid wall, without any gaps.
No skin option. The enhanced combing function lets you comb over the infill only, which reduces surface scarring during your print.
Z Hop improvement. The Z Hop function is a great way to avoid previously printed parts, if you can’t get around them using horizontal moves. This makes printing faster and reduces wear on your Ultimaker.
Skin / Wall Overlap. This new function lets you overlap the skin lines with the walls, creating better adhesion.
Initial layer travel speed control. To reduce the risk of the extruder pulling the print from the bed, you can now set the travel speed of the initial layers.
Support interface. This new function allows you to print a support base as well as a support roof. This support base is placed where the support rests on the model. Using PVA for the support interface (the part between the model and the support) also improves the quality of the surface. You have the option, for example, of printing 80% of the support in PLA, then the remaining top and bottom 20% with PVA, which means you can rip out the PLA, then simply dissolve the remaining PVA. It’s a cheaper, faster way of doing it.
We’ve also included a number of bug fixes into the new version of Cura, including:
- Deleting group objects
- Duplicating groups
- Drag and drop (first run of Windows)
- Overlap compensation
- Unretraction speeds
- Bottom layer (in Spiralize mode)
- Raft retractions
- Retractions now occur when objects are printed in one-at-a-time mode
- Rafts no longer printed beyond the build area
- Enabling raft doesn’t affect the height at which the model is sliced anymore
- Spiralize no longer works with the first printed segment only
- Line distance is now the actual line distance
- Brim is now printed just once
- Support roofs only occur below overhang
Please note: If Ultimaker 2(+) users create profiles in Cura 2.1 on Mac OS X, these profiles will not be automatically copied to Cura 2.3. This issue will be solved with the Cura 2.3.1 release in early November. Meanwhile, you can use the following workaround:
- In Cura 2.1, go to Settings - Profile - Manage Profiles
- In the modal window, click the Export button to export and save your profile
- In Cura 2.3, navigate to Setting - Profile - Manage Profiles
- In the modal window, click the Import button
In addition to the major changes, we’ve also incorporated a number of minor improvements to the latest Cura. These include:
- Longer message display. Messages now display for 30 seconds, not 10 – ensuring you don’t miss any important information.
- Locked SD card notification. You’ll be told if you try to save work to a locked SD card.
- Engine log. Engine log is now included in the application log.
- Undo / redo. Undo and redo now work correctly with multiple operations.
- Last folder memory. Cura 2.3 remembers the last folder used – instead of defaulting automatically to the home folder.
- X3D files. You can now import X3D files.
- Multiple Per Model settings. It’s now possible to add multiple Per Model settings at once.
- Easier Bed Level. Bed level and checkup procedures for the Ultimaker Original+ can be carried out without re-adding the machine.
- Combing enhancement. Combing is applied in more cases, resulting in better paths.
- Grid infill. Infill thickness now supports Grid infill, even for multiples of the layer height.
- Improved support. Support is no longer removed by unprintable thin parts of the model. It’s generated on each layer that it’s supposed to be on, and doesn’t go outside the overhang areas anymore. Additionally, it won’t remove the object brim.
- Brim. The brim is also generated under the support.
- Improved draft / ooze shield. Draft and Ooze shield get their own brim or raft.
- Activated brim settings. Settings shared between the skirt and brim will now activate whenever the brim is selected.
- Improved overlapping wall parts. Cura 2.3 lets you compensate overlapping wall parts for inner walls.
- Speed adjustment for bed lowering. You can now adjust the speed at which the bed is lowered for each layer.
As you can see, the latest version of Cura has an incredible range of new features, designed to take your 3D projects even further. You can download Cura by clicking the link below.