Anyone who watched the recent Ultimaker Showcase will know that Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta has finally arrived, and it brings with it some of the biggest improvements the software has ever seen.
With this release, all Ultimaker Cura users can expect increased print quality when printing fine details and thin walls as well as stronger printed parts. Ultimaker owners will also benefit from improved print profiles that will reduce print times by as much as 20%. Download it now to try it yourself!
Finer details and stronger prints with a new and improved slicing engine
The biggest and most exciting improvement in Ultimaker Cura 5.0 is a revolutionary new slicing engine. This slicing engine allows for variable line width.
In the past, sliced files would use consistent line width, with the exact width depending on the nozzle diameter and the line width settings used. This meant that when slicing a file, if part of the print was two-and-a-half lines thick, Ultimaker Cura would generate two lines and leave a small gap between. In certain cases (such as with extremely small details) areas of less than one line thick would not be able to print at all.
Another unfortunate side effect of this behavior was that when slicing a file where a small but significant gap would be left between two walls, a series of diagonal lines would often be generated to fill it. Like so:
Ultimaker Cura 4.13 infill lines
Ultimaker Cura 5.0 infill lines
This would still leave some small gaps in the final part, but it would also require the print head of your printer to perform a series of small jerky movements when printing that would cause a lot of unnecessary vibrations and noise.
With this new engine, the width of a line is dynamically adjusted during printing. This means fewer gaps between lines, more efficient toolpaths, and more accuracy when printing thin walls and fine details. The result is both stronger and better-looking parts!
Here is an example in the slicer preview mode that shows how variable line width results in different (and improved) sliced files when compared to Ultimaker Cura 4.13:
Left: Ultimaker Cura 4.13 Right: Ultimaker Cura 5.0
Better yet, it is now possible to print fine details and thin walls that would previously have been impossible. This can be seen both in-slicer and in printed parts. Here are some tiny Benchy models being previewed in Ultimaker Cura 4.13:
A Benchy sliced at 20%, 15%, and 10% scale in Ultimaker Cura version 4.13
These models were sliced using a layer height of 0.1mm and an AA 0.25mm print core. The parts in gray are details that are so small they cannot be sliced. As you can see, the 20% scale Benchy is fine but once it is scaled any smaller than that, parts of the model become impossible to print. Here the same models in Ultimaker Cura 5.0:
A Benchy sliced at 20%, 15%, and 10% scale in Ultimaker Cura version 5.0
In contrast to the previous version, the models sliced using the Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta have no problem being sliced and on a well-tuned printer, should have no problem being printed!
Thank you to everyone who helped test the new slicing engine in earlier betas and we look forward to seeing all the ways the community finds to use it in the future!
Faster print profiles
The new slicing engine has also enabled us to further improve our Ultimaker print profiles, making them faster than ever. Users of Ultimaker printers can expect print time reductions of up to 20%. With the biggest reductions seen when printing parts that make full use of the new slicing engine features.
These print speed improvements are in addition to those recently seen in our Ultimaker Cura 4.13 update. Proving again that Ultimaker owners not only have access to the best print profiles around, but that those profiles are continually being improved to make use of everything Ultimaker Cura has to offer.
The following improvements have also been included in the Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta release:
Support for Apple M1 chips. We have fixed a number of visual bugs meaning that users of Apple M1 chips can now enjoy improved compatibility.
Revamped Ultimaker marketplace integration. We have streamlined the workflow for accessing the Ultimaker Marketplace inside of Ultimaker Cura. The UI has been improved and it’s 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 updated menus and an improved virtual build plate.
Check out the Ultimaker Showcase!
If you want to learn more about the Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta and some of the amazing applications it’s enabled, we recently held a showcase of not only the Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta, but all of the other exciting recent developments at Ultimaker.
You can rewatch the showcase here. And stay tuned for a lot more content exploring the ways in which the Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta has opened up a new world of 3D printing opportunities!
Give us your feedback
Get your hands on the game-changing new features of Ultimaker Cura 5.0 right now by downloading the beta. And please, share your feedback with us and the rest of the Ultimaker community!