The 3D printing revolution continues: The second beta for the Ultimaker Cura Arachne engine

Earlier this year, we announced that we are working on a major enhancement to the Ultimaker Cura slicing algorithm: the Arachne engine. Arachne is a revolutionary improvement to the way prints are sliced, enabling you to quickly create parts with high quality and strong walls.

The first beta received an overwhelmingly positive response – and we couldn’t have been prouder.

To me, the new Arachne engine has been the single most substantial development in the last years for Ultimaker Cura as it eliminates hours of fumbling with line width settings

– Neute, Ultimaker Community member

Since its release we’ve reached another significant breakthrough in the development. And we want to invite you to put it to the test – in real-life situations to see what Arachne has in store for you!

But first, a quick recap of how the Arachne engine revolutionizes your Ultimaker Cura slicing experience.

What is Arachne?

The Arachne engine enables you to create prints that are:

  • High quality, with the ability to print stunning thin and intricate shapes

  • Stronger, thanks to perfect line positioning in tapered geometries and corners

  • Fast to print, due to significantly reduced print head movement when filling in gaps

Ultimaker Cura Arachne comparison
Line width comparison with Ultimaker Cura 4.12

The engine fundamentally redefines how the inside of a model is generated by optimizing line positioning, and through adaptive line widths. Here’s a brief example of how it works:

Let’s say you want to print within a 4.4 mm-wide space.

Using the old slicing engine, a constant 1 mm line width could leave a 0.4 mm gap, which is difficult to fill.

The Arachne engine uses adaptive line width within the slicing algorithm. This could mean printing 1.1 mm across all four lines to ensure a perfect fill.

Ultimaker Cura Arachne comparison 2
Adaptive line width in action

3D model credit: By Protonik is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license

Sound good? Remain seated – it’s gotten even better.

What’s new with the engine’s second beta?

In addition to catching and addressing various bugs, the following features are new with Arachne’s second beta:

  • Backpressure compensation. Print quality is improved through dynamically adjusting print head velocity, which slows down or speeds up depending on the pressure of the material through the Bowden tube

  • Significant print quality enhancements. All print quality improvements from Ultimaker Cura 4.12 have been added

  • Printing order gaps. Gaps in models are now filled in after placing the outer wall, resulting in less over-extrusion

  • Fixed central deviation. In the previous Arachne beta, this setting did not work as intended. This has been fixed

We’re very excited about what the new engine means for the future of 3D printing – and we’re relying on our community and your feedback to help us shape it into the best tool it can be.

That’s why we would love you to download, install, and start 3D printing with Ultimaker Cura and the Arachne engine.

We especially encourage you to build or provide input for print profiles for your preferred 3D printer. This will enable everyone in the community to enjoy fundamentally improved print quality.

Ready to get started? Download the second beta now – and provide us with all your feedback!

Download beta