Additive Manufacturing Strategies

More Ultimaker Upgrades: Cura 2.1 is Now in Open Beta

ST Medical Devices

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3dp_ultimaker_logoIt hasn’t yet been quite a year since Ultimaker announced that they had completely reworked their popular Cura software. In the spirit of constant improvement and advancement, however, the company has now declared that they’ve redone the 3D software again, and it’s better than ever. Cura 2.1 is now available in open beta, and it’s full of new and improved features for beginners and experienced users alike.

Like last time, Ultimaker states that Cura has been “completely reengineered from the ground up.” Advanced users will be pleased to know that there are now more than 140 new customizable settings, and a new, more intuitive user interface makes the software even more beginner-friendly than before. The redesign makes for “an even more seamless integration between hardware, software and materials” and primes it for future developments. Users can look forward to expanded line pattern and line width settings, more specialized supports, and more.ultimaker-2-front-3d-printer-2

New features include:

  • The ability to select and manipulate multiple objects at one time or to group them together
  • An undo/redo feature
  • A new GUI that enables custom profiles to easily load, directly from Cura
  • 3MF file loading support
  • An intuitive new feature that allows you to move objects below the build plate to correct a rough bottom or print only part of an object. Ultimaker notes that this option was previously available as a setting, but that the “implementation greatly differs” from the older feature.
  • An optimized 64-bit version for Windows that allows the loading of larger model files
  • Automatic calculations of optimal settings for number of lines or layers
  • Ability to select different profiles for individual objects and override individual settings in advanced mode

support_conicalThe Cura Engine now includes fixes for common problems, such as an alternate skin rotation that combats top-layer pillowing and an alternate extra wall for better infill adhesion. A “combing” feature enables the print head to move around already-printed parts to avoid collisions. Several “experimental” features are also included, like a conical support option, a draft shield setting that prints a 1-layer wall around the part to prevent air from hitting it and causing warping, and a cool-sounding “fuzzy skin” option that prints outer walls with a jittering motion for a “diffused” finish.

Additional changes to the Cura Engine include new settings for shells, infills, print speed, cooling and supports. Material waste is minimized with a retraction setting that allows you to compensate for oozed material after a travel move, plus a coasting feature that reduces oozing altogether by replacing the end of print paths with a short travel move.

Supported 3D printers include:

  • The gang's all here. Ultimaker Original, Original+, Ultimaker 2 Family, Ultimaker 2+ Family
  • BQ Prusa i3
  • BQ Witbox
  • 3D Maker Starter
  • RigidBot
  • Malyan M180
  • German RepRap Neo

You can find out more about Cura’s new features here. The open beta version of Cura 2.1 is now available for download, and Ultimaker looks forward to receiving community feedback to help make the software even better. Do you think it was time for another release already? Let’s discuss over in the New Cura 2.1 Release forum at 3DPB.com.

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