For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I hope you’re ready, because it’s almost here! Whether you’re 3D printing some ornaments and other decorations, or taking advantage of a major one-day sale to buy 3D printers, filament, and other accessories as gifts, 3D printing technologies are definitely here for the holidays. Ultimaker has given the 3D printing world an early Christmas gift this week – an informative preview of the brand new user interface for its popular Cura software.
“What we’ve learned over the last years is that working with both software and hardware is key — and it all boils down to reliable printing profiles,” Ultimaker’s SVP of Product Management Paul Heiden told 3DPrint.com at the 2017 TCT Show.
It’s been over three years since Ultimaker overhauled its versatile software suite. In early 2016, the open beta for Ultimaker’s Cura 2.1 was made available, and the company revealed its new software strategy in 2017, with a plan to release regular upgrades for continuous enhancement of its 3D printers. Ultimaker Cura 3.0 was released last October, and now here we are with the early beta of Ultimaker’s Cura 4.0.
“Please note: This is a very early beta, which means we can’t guarantee the same print reliability as our stable versions,”noted in an Ultimaker blog post. “If you’re working on an important project, we strongly recommend that you use the latest stable version of Ultimaker Cura.”
Obviously, Ultimaker’s Cura is a pretty powerful software tool, and it has all kinds of handy features that can support user needs. But in the new user interface, all of these features are presented in a much more logical and smooth way, based entirely on research into user workflow.
The header shows three different stages, in order to offer “a clear guidance of the flow,” and collapsible panels are all over the menu for these stages, so users can glance quickly at important information like settings and slicing configuration while also being able to focus on the 3D view when they need.
Additionally, the new user interface adds a little more contrast between the recommended and custom modes, so that users who are just learning can prepare their 3D files easily – without having to get into all of the various details and settings that more experienced users love. To check out the layer view after slicing their model, users can also get to the preview page more easily now, as it’s been made more obvious.
Ultimaker improved the monitor for the user interface, to give users “a more seamless experience” between its Cura Connect and regular Cura. In addition, this new interface promises quick, easy access to the Marketplace: a user account control, and the Marketplace itself, have been integrated right into the main interface. This way, users can easily manage plugins, like Cura Backups, that need a login, material profiles, and additional features that will be coming later in 2019.
Speaking of 2019, another beta will follow this one in Q1. But until then, download the early beta of Ultimaker Cura 4.0 now to try it out. If you do, let Ultimaker’s community of 3D printing experts know what you think about the new interface!
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