Under the Basic tab you can find the print settings that are changed most often. These settings will mostly define the quality and strength of your print.
The layer height is probably the most often changed setting. By default the layer height is set to 0.1 mm, but you can of course use thinner layers to increase the quality or use thicker layers for faster prints.
You will also see that retraction is enabled. Retraction means that the filament will be pulled back when the nozzle is moving over an area where it doesn’t have to print - for example when you have 2 pillars on a certain distance from each other. By retracting the filament we make sure that no filament is coming out of the nozzle while the print head is just moving. This way “stringing” (thin threads of plastic in between the printed objects) is prevented. The below image shows an example of what happens when retraction is disabled.
Although retraction usually works very well it is possible that you still see some stringing, even though retraction is enabled. In this case you can try lowering the nozzle temperature, so that the plastic is a little less liquid when coming out of the nozzle, thus decreasing the amount of stringing. Keep in mind that lowering the printing temperature means that you (probably) need to decrease the print speed as well to ensure the plastic will completely melt before it leaves the nozzle.
These settings very much relate to the strength of the print. A higher fill density of course means that there’s more plastic on the inside of your print, leading to a stronger object. You can also decide to print the object completely hollow, which is desired in some cases.
The bottom/top thickness defines the amount of solid layers of the bottom and top of the print. Usually this is set to 0.6 mm, but it might be necessary to increase this in some cases. For example if you have an object with a big flat top surface or want to print with a low fill density more layers may be required to completely close the top of the print.
Speed and temperature
The speed and temperature that are used for printing have a big influence on how the plastic comes out of the nozzle and depend a lot on the material that is being used. The print speed basically tells with which speed the print head is moving while it’s printing; based on this speed the amount of plastic that needs to be extruded is calculated. The print speed is set to 50 mm/s by default, but this can easily be changed if you want to print faster. Keep in mind that increasing the speed means that you might have to increase the temperature as well to ensure the plastic is properly melted.
If you have selected the Ultimaker Original or Ultimaker Original+ in Cura you will also see the printing temperature. Depending on the material that you want to use for the print you might need to change this value. The Ultimaker 2 Family will have all material settings in the machine, where you can simply select a material profile.
Some models have overhanging parts, which means that part of the model floats in the air when you would print it. In this case you will need support to prevent the plastic from falling down. In Cura you can either select “Touching buildplate” support or support “everywhere”. With touching buildplate support Cura will generate support at the places where it can reach the floating parts from the build plate. Support everywhere means that support can also be placed on or inside a model.
When your model doens’t have a completely flat bottom or if you want to improve the bed adhesion you can use one of the platform adhesion types. A raft adds a thick grid between the model and the build plate and with a brim some extra lines of plastic are placed around the object on the first layer of the print. Especially brim is used a lot and works very well if you want to decrease the amount of warping on your print.
Filament (only UMO/UMO+)
For the Ultimaker Original and Ultimaker Original+ you can also change filament settings. The filament diameter of Ultimaker filament is always 2.85 mm, but if you use filament from other suppliers you might need to change this diameter setting in Cura.
Furthermore the flow can be changed, which defines the amount of plastic that is extruded based on the print speed and filament diameter. We however advise to keep the flow on 100%, unless you are experimenting a lot with all the settings.