In Ultimaker Cura there are two modes available in the print settings panel: recommended mode and custom mode. Recommended mode is perfect for beginners, while custom mode offers more settings for experienced users. In the ‘first use’ section it is explained how slicing in recommended mode works; in this section, we explain how to use custom mode.
Depending on your machine, print core and material configuration, a variety of profiles are available to print out of the box. These profiles are a perfect start point to base your own custom profiles on. These profiles provide variable layer heights between 60 and 400 micron, print speeds, and many more settings.
Based on the printer configuration, Ultimaker Cura will automatically update each profile with the appropriate settings. Please note that not all profiles will be visible for each nozzle and material configuration. Material profiles from the marketplace are often limited to specific print cores and only have one or two printing profiles available.
Custom mode has quite some user interface elements which are used to tweak printing profiles. The image below shows the interface and the functions of these parts of the user interface.
- Print settings panel. This panel shows the current printing strategy at a glance, click it to view the entire panel.
- Profile selector. This contains a list of available profiles suitable for the current configuration.
- Setting visibility menu
- Visibility profiles. Basic, advanced and expert views, increasing number of available settings with every step.
- Manage settings visibility. Opens the preferences panel.
- Setting parameter. These parameters define the setting values, each is indicated with the right unit type.
- Expand window. Drag the handles to expand the window to see more settings at once.
- Mode selector. toggles between custom and recommended mode.
- Setting category. All settings are categorized on printed parts.
- Setting filter. Start typing to immediately filter settings by name.
- Extruder tab. Values of the selected extruder will be changed.
Adjusted, hidden, and calculated settings
Ultimaker Cura indicates relations between settings with useful icons.
- Linked setting. Settings with this icon are linked between extruders, the setting will always be equal between all extruders.
- Greyed out setting. This setting is overwritten by a child setting. Reset the child setting to alter this setting.
- Gear icon. Opens the setting visibility preferences.
- Information icon. Shows a hidden setting influences the printing strategy. This only occurs when you accidentally change a setting and hide it afterwards.
- Categories. Can be collapsed to hide them temporarily when focusing on different aspects.
- Reset icon. Resets the value to its default or parent setting.
- Calculated icon. Indicates the setting is normally calculated from a parent setting.
Ultimaker Cura has a lot of settings which are easiest to find using this filter. Simply start typing to filter both already visible and hidden settings.
- Setting filter. Only settings with the phrase ‘layer’ are visible.
- Active settings. These are displayed solid. They will still be visible after clearing the filter.
- Hidden settings. These are displayed greyed out. They will remain hidden after clearing the filter.
- Tooltip. Shows useful setting information when hovering the mouse over a setting.
- Quick menu. Right-clicking a setting has options to copy the settings’ value, hide/show it and to open the setting visibility preferences.
When using Ultimaker Cura for the first time, it will run the add printer wizard. Select your Ultimaker 3D printer from the list to add it to Ultimaker Cura. When you want to adjust your printer or add more printers to Ultimaker Cura, you can do that by going to the printer selection panel and click manage printers. The printer manager opens as the image displayed below.
- Printer preferences.
- Activate the selected printer.
- Add a new printer to Ultimaker Cura.
- Remove the selected printer.
- Rename printer. This option is greyed out for networked printers. Change the name of networked printers through Cura Connect.
- Machine settings. This contains all parameters to define the selected machine.
- Connect via network. This is used to connect your Ultimaker 3D printer over the network.
Connect network printer
Network-enabled printers automatically open the network connection dialog before going back to the main interface. Select your Ultimaker from the list of available printer and click ‘connect’.
- List of available network printers, sorted alphabetically.
- Add, opens a new dialogue to enter an IP address manually. This step is only necessary if Ultimaker Cura is unable to find the printer automatically.
- Edit, allows to edit manually added IP addresses.
- Remove, allows ro remove manually added IP addresses.
- Refresh, refreshes the list of available printers.
- Selected printer, displays the name, type, firmware version and IP address. It also shortly summarizes whether the printer is a group host and the size of the group.
- Connect, connects to the selected printer.
Add a non-Ultimaker
Ultimaker 3D printers are supported by default, but adding a third party FFF printer is just as easy. Simply select a different brand in the ‘other’ section in the ‘add printer wizard’.
- 3D printer brand and type, Ultimaker 3D printers and many 3rd party printers are available.
- Name, input an easy to remember name for your 3D printer. Networked printers receive their name when connecting over the network in the next step.
- Add printer, to add it straight to Ultimaker Cura.
Add a custom printer
Custom printers are loaded with an empty machine profile, leaving all parameters to the user. The image below shows an overview of the available settings and a rough guide on how to handle them.
- Printer tab, contains all printer information. The extruder tab(s) contain extruder specific information.
- Build plate dimensions, are used to calculate the maximum dimensions for printed models.
- Build plate shape, both rectangular as elliptic are available.
- Start G-code, this code runs before the printing process. It contains moves to home the print head, extrude some material, and more.
- Printhead dimensions, are used to calculate the exact nozzle position and prevents the print head from hitting the printer frame when gcode is created.
- Number of extruders, every extruder loaded is represented by their own tab.
- End g-code, this code runs after every g-code. It contains code to move the head back to the home position and cooldown both the build plate and nozzle(s)