Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Cura Gets a Facelift: Ultimaker Releases Overhaul on Cura Software

ST Medical Devices

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IMG_0678Cura is among the most popular software suites in the 3D design and printing world. The software, from Ultimaker, has proven popular with makers everywhere–as recently affirmed by the results of a survey of the YouMagine community, in which a dominant share (58%) of respondents said they use Cura for their slicing needs.

The software is incredibly popular and very versatile–and tomorrow it gets even better. At 9 AM CEST July 1st, Ultimaker will be launching the New Cura.

“Ultimaker has rebuilt Cura, our industry leading software, from the ground up to create an even more seamless integration between hardware, software and materials,” Iris Smeekes of Ultimaker told us. “It now features new pre-settings for materials and default profiles, a very handy undo button, support structure optimization plus many other new abilities.”

rocket _AD_0531So what exactly is “the New Cura?” Ultimaker has “completely reenginered” Cura “from the ground up,” they say, adding new features and removing outdated ones. Throughout the process of the full reengineering, the older version of Cura will still be available for users (complete with support availability).

The new features in Cura include some all-new options that its designers are confident will enhance users’ experience, such as the time-quality slider, undo/redo button, and a more intuitive interface. On the removal side, some options will no longer be available at all, while others will be re-added as time goes on (and the software engineers have more time to work!). The permanently removed features are Windows XP support (as Microsoft itself is no longer supporting the XP platform) and the ‘Follow Mesh Surface’ operation, as Ultimaker notes that “the same result can be achieved using no infill or top/bottom layers.”

New features for Cura include, in brief: _AD_2827

  • A new plug-in based system in the Uranium framework
  • Overhauled user interface
  • Time vs. Quality Slider–balancing quality and printing time, geared toward novices and those who simply weren’t fans of the three default profiles
  • Advanced Mode–fully configurable with new settings, including the option to create your own view settings
  • Support for high-DPI screens
  • Optimized support structure in CuraEngine–improves support generation algorithms and provides more options for support structure creation, improving both positioning and degradability
  • Undo/Redo–an operation isn’t always right the first time, and based on community response, most operations can now be undone or redone (e.g., moving or rotating objects)

There’s also the new experimental Wire Printing feature, which works in Advanced Mode to print objects as a structure of lines.

Features that are not yet, but will be, included are:

  • Configuration Wizard and Bed Leveling Wizard for the Ultimaker Original and Original|
  • All at Once/One at a Time Printing
  • Dual extrusion feature
  • Improvements to the ‘Lay Flat’ and ‘Split Object into Parts’ features
  • Plug-ins supporting DAE and AMF files; directly loading a G-Code file; to support PNG, JPG, and other image formats; and loading Minecraft levels
  • An X-Ray View plug-in

Cura will be available for free download starting at 9 AM CEST on July 1st, 2015, from Ultimaker’s site. Have you been using Cura? Are these new features things you’d like to use? Will you miss any of the old features? Let us know your thoughts in the New Cura Release forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

 

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