A leap forward in 3D printing with Ultimaker Cura 5.0

A leap forward in 3D printing with Ultimaker Cura 5.0

Ultimaker Cura 5.0 is here! If you watched the recent Ultimaker Showcase, you know that the beta version of Ultimaker Cura 5.0 was announced at the event and immediately released. Since then, lots of users have tried the beta and given us a ton of helpful feedback. If you missed the showcase event, you can still watch it anytime.

Cura 5 features explained thumbnail
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With this release, we’re excited to say that you can expect some of the biggest improvements the software has ever seen! including increased print quality when printing fine details and thin walls, stronger printed parts, and reduced print times for users of Ultimaker printers.

Finer, smarter, and faster prints with our new and improved slicing engine

The first and biggest improvement in Ultimaker Cura 5.0 is the revolutionary new slicing engine that unlocks variable line widths when slicing files.

In the past, sliced files would use a consistent line width, with the exact width depending on the nozzle diameter and the line width settings used. The result was that when slicing a file, if part of the print was two-and-a-half lines thick, two lines would be generated, with a small gap left in between those two lines. Often, parts of the print that were less than one line thick would not be able to print at all.

In cases where there were small gaps between walls, it was also possible for erratic or inconsistent internal lines to be generated Like so:

Ultimaker Cura 4 vs. 5
Left: Ultimaker Cura 4.13 Right: Ultimaker Cura 5.0

This would often result in internal gaps in your printed part. Worse, the tool head of your printer would also have to make lots of small erratic movements when printing that would slow down the print while also creating a lot of unnecessary vibrations and noise.

Here is a comparison of how variable line width handles lines between version 4.13 and version 5.0

Ultimaker Cura Earbud slicer preview mode
Left: Ultimaker Cura 4.13 Right: Ultimaker Cura 5.0

As you can see, the width of lines is dynamically adjusted in the newest version meaning that gaps are reduced and uneven internal lines are eliminated.

The result of this change is huge. Printed parts are stronger and fine details that were previously impossible have now been unlocked!

A great way to see this is in the slicer preview. As an example, here are some tiny Benchy models being previewed in Ultimaker Cura 4.13

Ultimaker Cura 4.13 Benchy model preview
A Benchy sliced at 20%, 15%, and 10% scale in Ultimaker Cura version 4.13

The parts of the model in gray are details so small they cannot be sliced. These models were sliced on an Ultimaker printer with a AA 0.25mm print core at a layer height of 0.1mm.

The 20% scale model looks fine but the 15% and 10% versions have whole parts of the model which have become too small to print. Here are the same models in Ultimaker Cura 5.0

Ultimaker Cura 5.0 Benchy model preview
A Benchy sliced at 20%, 15%, and 10% scale in Ultimaker Cura version 5.0

As you can see, the new slicing engine has made it so that the whole model is correctly sliced across all three scales. On a well-tuned printer, these models should have no problem being printed.

Speedier print profiles

On top of the improvements to part strength and detail, the new slicing engine has also made it possible for us to further improve our Ultimaker print profiles, making them faster than ever. Anyone using an Ultimaker Printer with our recommended print profiles can expect print time reductions of up to 20%.

Users who previously upgraded to Ultimaker Cura version 4.13 will know that print profiles in that version also decreased print times. Our work on Ultimaker print profiles is ongoing and this new slicing engine has opened up a whole new world of potential improvements. Ultimaker owners can rest assured that we are always making sure our print profiles make full use of everything Ultimaker Cura has to offer.

Additional improvements

The following improvements have also been included in the Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta release:

  • Support for Apple M1 chips. We fixed a number of visual bugs meaning that users of Apple M1 chips can now enjoy improved compatibility

  • Revamped Ultimaker marketplace integration. We streamlined the workflow for accessing the Ultimaker Marketplace inside of Ultimaker Cura. The UI has been improved and it is now easier and faster to find and install plugins and material profiles

  • Improved UI. Many tweaks and improvements have been made to the UI including a number of new icons and an updated virtual build plate

Watch the Ultimaker Showcase!

Watch the recent Ultimaker Showcase where Ultimaker Cura 5.0 was announced to see how industry experts are using this latest version in a variety of applications.

Ultimaker April Showcase

You can also find out more about how Ultimaker Cura 5.0 can be used for printing small parts in the newest episode of “The Additive Chef”; the latest entry in our ongoing webinar series. This episode is about printing extremely small and detailed prints. In it, guest expert Mariska Mass gives a detailed rundown of which setting and techniques to use to get the most out of your small prints.

We hope you're as excited about this new version of Ultimaker Cura as we are! Now's the time to stop reading about it and to start using it! Download Ultimaker Cura 5.0 right now to start exploring a world of new possibilities!

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