Getting started with Cura software

Get started with Cura: A quick guide

Are you looking to get started with Cura? Our guides are designed to help you get your head around its various features and get the most out of this advanced 3D printing software. Read on to find out how to set up Cura and sync it with your Ultimaker 3D printer.

Are you ready to use your new Ultimaker 3? If so, you’ll need to learn Cura first – but thankfully, using the software is simple. To help you get started, we’ve created this easy-to-follow guide. Once you’ve completed the steps below, you’ll be ready to start 3D printing your designs.

How to get started with Cura – step-by-step instructions

1. Initial set-up. If you’re using Cura for the first time, you’ll automatically enter the Add Printer Wizard, which guides you through the process. Simply select your printer from the list, then follow the instructions on-screen.

Initial Cura setup wizzard

Can’t find your printer? Don’t worry! You can create your own profile with the Custom FFF Printer (learn more here). To add, edit or choose a different printer, simply return to the Add Printer Wizard by selecting Settings > Printer > Add Printer. Once you’ve successfully added your first printer, Cura’s main interface will become visible – and you’re officially ready to go.

2. Start printing – load your model. First, you’ll need to load one or more models. To do this, click the Load Models button at the top right corner of the screen. Cura supports all major 3D file types, including stl, obj, x3d and 3mf.

3. Adjust your model. You’ll probably need to adjust the model. To do so, left-click the model to highlight it. You can then use the Adjustment Tools, which position, scale, mirror and rotate the object. Want to find out more about the Adjustment Tools? Click here.

4. Check your settings. To ensure a perfect print, it’s always wise to check your settings. Printer Settings are displayed in the top right corner of the sidebar. Depending on the printer you’re using, you can set Nozzle Size, Print Cores and Materials. Please note, it’s important to make sure these settings match your physical setup!

Print core settings in Cura

5. Choose your profile. Cura comes with plenty of preloaded Printing Profiles, which are designed to create the perfect print every time. They make life a lot simpler, resulting in less time spent manually creating profiles to suit your print.

Choosing profile quality in Cura

6. Recommended mode. If you’re using Cura for the first time, it’s a good idea to use Recommended mode. This mode features three options to complete your Printing Profile. These are:

  • Infill density, which allows you to set the model strength
  • Build plate adhesion, to prevent any warping
  • Support structure, if you need to print bridges or sharp overhangs

Helper Settings in Cura

7. Preview your work. Once Cura has finished slicing your work (which you can see in the bottom right corner of the screen), it’s time to preview the print. Click on the View Mode icon and select Layers. If you need to jump to a specific layer, simply use the Layer Number Box, or to move up and down through the layers, select the box and use the arrow keys on your keyboard.

You’ll notice there are lots of different colors used, which represent specific model parts. This is designed to help you determine the best printing strategy. To learn more about layers and colors, read this.

Preview layers in Cura

8. Get Printing! When you’re 100% happy with the preview, you can either save your file or print directly from Cura. To make your choice, click Save to File, Save to Removable Disk or Print Over Network, which can be found in the bottom right corner of the screen. To change the name of your Print job, simply click on it. That’s all there is to it – happy printing!

How to save file in Cura

That's all, folks! Make sure to download this quick guide and stay tuned for the next post in our Cura series! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to visit our forum or drop us a line in the comments below. We love hearing from you!