UltiMaker Cura 5.4 adds updated tree supports, better brims, and new material profiles

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Arun Chapman

June 30, 2023

The full stable release of UltiMaker Cura 5.4 is here and it makes it easier than ever to remove brims and supports from your finished prints. And UltiMaker S series users can also look forward to print profiles for our newest UltiMaker PET CF composite material! All of that is on top of the many many tweaks and changes that you’ve come to expect from every Cura release!

New and improved tree supports make printing complex parts easier than ever!

An example of a 3D printed dragon with improved tree supports using Cura 5.4

When we first released tree supports, the aim was to help users to use less material, reduce print times, and end up with cleaner prints. For many many people, tree supports were successful in doing that. However, for one user, they did not go far enough. Rather than complain, Thomas Rahm began figuring out how to make them better and in June of 2020, he created a fork of Cura to do just that. Now, multiple years and many lines of code later, his idea has finally made it into an official Cura release for everyone to use.

These new supports use more and smaller branches rather than fewer larger ones that previously tended to merge together. As a result, tree supports will now use even less filament and therefore take even less time to print. They should also be significantly easier to remove and are also less likely to leave behind scarring on the surface of your completed print. And better yet, you won’t just experience faster print times, but also faster slicing times. Slicing is now done on multiple cores meaning you won’t have to wait very long for your tree supports to grow!

In order to help get the most out of these new tree supports, you will be able to modify several new settings, they are:

  • Maximum Branch Angle
  • Trunk Diameter
  • Branch Diameter
  • Branch Diameter Angle
  • Preferred Branch Angle
  • Diameter Increase to Model
  • Minimum Height to Model
  • Initial Layer Diameter
  • Branch Density
  • Tip Diameter
  • Limit Branch Reach
  • Optimal Branch Range
  • Rest Preference

We also released the dragon pencil cup model shown in the image above alongside the 5.4 beta release. If you go to the Thingiverse page for that model, you can find pictures and comments of people who have printed it using these new tree supports. Why not download the model yourself and share your results?

Effortless brim removal

The new Smart Brim setting in Cura 5.4 takes the hassle out of removing brims

The order in which brims are printed has been tweaked so that they are now easier to remove. Brims have been a long-standing solution to adhesion issues. They increase the surface area of your part on the print bed so that it is less likely to come loose during printing. They can be an invaluable tool when printing small or thin parts, or parts that are top-heavy. However, despite their utility, many people have spent countless hours tweaking and tuning their printers so that brims are unnecessary. All sorts of fancy glues, build surfaces, and more have been employed to avoid using them. Why? Because they can be a pain to remove. Often leaving behind excess material that needs to be cut or sanded away to get a clean final print.

In this release, we came up with a new solution. The new Smart Brim setting will change how brims are printed so that they are significantly easier to remove. If you enable it in your Cura print settings, you should find your brims peel off easily as shown in the GIF above, and that they leave behind less (or no) excess material.

As with the dragon model, the printed Cura logo shown above is also available to download on Thingiverse. And better yet, it’s part of a Cura Cookie Cutter designed by Johan Gude from the UltiMaker team! If you do print it, please send us pictures of your delicious Cura cookies before you eat them!

UltiMaker PET CF intent profiles now available

Click and 3D print our new composite material with the exact results you want

Following the release of the new UltiMaker PET CF high-performance composite material, you can now use intent profiles when printing on UltiMaker S series printers. As with all of our professionally tuned material profiles, you can select from visual, engineering, and draft profiles depending on your needs. However, PET CF can also be annealed to increase the strength, stiffness, and thermal resistance of your part. To make this as easy as possible, PET CF has an annealing profile that will automatically scale your part to compensate for changes that occur during the annealing process!

To find out more about PET CF and its many potential applications, check out the product page for more details.

Additional improvements

The following improvements have also been implemented in the Cura 5.4 stable release:

  • PyQT Library has been updated resulting in speed and pop-up improvements
  • Added Skirt Height setting to make a skirt easier to remove
  • Improved printing order of the prime tower to include a dual brim, primed every layer, and primed before and after the extruder switch
  • Introduced Hole Horizontal Expansion Max Diameter setting so you can tune the expansion of only the smaller holes while leaving larger holes untouched
  • Added or updated profiles for 20+ third-party printers
  • Numerous bug fixes

Give us your feedback

Download this latest release to start discovering new 3D printing possibilities right now. And please, go to the UltiMaker community site to give us your feedback.

Download now