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  • Platforms: Windows, iOS, macOS, Android
  • Graphics Card: Compatible with OpenGL 2
  • Display Resolution: 1024 x 768
  • Hard Disk Space: 550 MB
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Third-Party Printer Support: Available
  • Supported File Formats: STL, OBJ, X3D, 3MF, and more
  • Users: Unlimited

minimum price:

Free

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Ultimaker Cura Review

Check out this Ultimaker Cura review to see if Cura suits your needs. Besides analyzing its features, we will compare this app with other popular 3D printing apps like Simplify 3D, PrusaSlicer, and Creality Slicer.

Ultimaker Cura Review

minimum price:

Free

Visit Website
  • Platforms: Windows, iOS, macOS, Android
  • Graphics Card: Compatible with OpenGL 2
  • Display Resolution: 1024 x 768
  • Hard Disk Space: 550 MB
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Third-Party Printer Support: Available
  • Supported File Formats: STL, OBJ, X3D, 3MF, and more
  • Users: Unlimited

Best For

3D slicing

STRENGTHS

  • User-friendly UI
  • Low system requirements
  • Compatibility with most 3D printers
  • Regular software updates
  • Open-source software

WEAKNESSES

  • Slow processing of large files
  • Lack of certain advanced features
  • Takes a lot of space on your hard drive

3D printing has been gaining popularity around the world in recent years. It is a cost-effective way to develop products, design prototypes, and test models. What’s more, as 3D printing technology develops, it is also increasingly used to create final products.

To produce high-quality 3D models, you need high-quality 3D print software. So, let’s talk about  Ultimaker Cura. Ultimaker is one of the leading 3D printer manufacturing companies globally, and Cura is Ultimaker’s flagship slicing software.

In this Ultimaker Cura review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the software to inform your purchasing decision.

About Ultimaker Cura

Ultimaker was founded in 2011 and has quickly made a name for itself in the 3D printing world. The company is headquartered in the Netherlands, having an assembly line and offices in the United States. Ultimaker manufactures 3D printers, develops 3D printer software, and sells 3D printing materials. Its products find application in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, architecture, scientific research, etc.

The Ultimaker Cura is Ultimaker’s 3D printing software. It is an open-source app, which means its source code is available to any developer to use, change, and distribute. The open-source nature of the software also means that it can be integrated with third-party CAD applications.

Cura isn’t compatible only with Ultimaker printers. Since it works well on a large variety of 3D printers from other brands, it is one of the most used 3D printing apps on the market.

How Does Cura Work?

Once you have a 3D model design in place, you will need to use slicing software to prepare the design for 3D printing. This is where the Ultimaker Cura comes in handy because it is one of the best 3D slicing apps out there. The slicer will slice a 3D model into individual layers and convert it to specific printing instructions for your printer.

Ultimaker Cura can load a variety of file types, including G-code, 2D images, and project files. It supports OBJ, STL, 3MF, and X3D files, among other 3D formats.

Once you’ve imported the file from a CAD tool, you will need to prepare the model for 3D printing. There is a range of settings and controls offered by this slicer software that help you do that.

Moreover, Cura offers plug-ins that can calculate the optimal orientation of various parts of the design. It also allows you to calibrate Wall Thickness, Layer Height, and Infill Density. All these options come together to enable maximum control over the final output.

Integration With CAD Software

As mentioned earlier, the Cura slicer supports a large number of CAD file types. This makes it suitable for a wide variety of users, regardless of the CAD software they use.

Some of the CAD apps that are particularly compatible with Cura include Siemens NX, Autodesk Inventor, and SolidWorks. For example, there is a Solidworks plug-in that allows you to export your model to Cura with a single click.

System Requirements for Ultimaker Cura

Overall, the system requirements of Cura are not too high — it can run on most systems available in 2022.

Some of the minimum requirements to run Cura on your system are:

  • Display resolution of at least 1024 x 768
  • Intel Core 2 or more
  • 550 MB available disk space
  • At least 4GB RAM
  • Graphics card compatible with OpenGL 2

However, please note that these are the minimum requirements. The recommended requirements are higher than these.

Ultimaker Cura User Interface

Cura’s user interface is highly minimalistic and intuitive. It won’t take you longer than 10 minutes to get the hang of the software. However, if you need help, you can check out Ultimaker’s support section on the official website.

The interface consists of 13 elements: Open File, Printer Selection Panel, Configuration Panel, Stages, Print Settings Panel, Marketplace, Ultimaker account, Action panel, Print over network, Preview, Camera Position Tool, Model Information, and Adjustment Tools. Each element is properly labelled.

Cura Interface | CyberCrew

Pricing and Availability

The basic version of Cura is free, and you can download it from Ultimaker’s official website.

However, keep in mind that certain features of the software are not available to all users, and you need to pay for them.

Cura’s Essentials plan is free for anyone who purchases one of Ultimaker’s printers. It provides a range of value-adding features, such as increased security, easy remote printing, e-learning courses, etc.

In addition to the Essentials plan, you can also subscribe to the Professional or Excellence plans. These plans provide more value to enterprise-level customers. The Professional plan costs $50 (roughly £40) per month, while the Excellence plan costs $1,000 (roughly £800) per month.

Customer Support

Ultimaker’s customer support team is not the easiest to get in touch with. This is an area in which Ultimaker lags behind other competitors. Even though Ultimaker has an extensive FAQ and Help section available on their website, sometimes you need a human to help you out.

There is no phone number or live chat option available. The only way to get in touch with Ultimaker is through a request form. Note that it may take a day before you get a response from Ultimaker. Overall, I was not too fond of Ultimaker’s customer support. Fortunately, the information and help section available on their website should be enough for most users.

Competitors

In this section, I’ll compare Cura 3D printing software with three of its closest competitors. This section is meant to help you differentiate between each 3D printing app, so I’ll be talking only about their differences.

Ultimaker Cura vs Simplify3D

While Cura is free, Simplify3D is premium software that costs roughly £100. Due to its price, it is less popular than Cura.

Both Cura and Simplify3D are solid apps when it comes to print quality. However, Cura might be easier to use when compared to Simplify3D. Cura performs better when it comes to the layout of the printing settings panel and the detail of the print preview.

Furthermore, since Cura is open-source software, there are numerous third-party plug-ins Cura users can take advantage of. In contrast, Simplify3D since is a closed proprietary software.

Ultimaker Cura vs Creality Slicer

Creality Slicer is a tool based on Ultimaker Cura. While Creality Slicer has certain advantages for Creality printers, it lags behind Cura in several ways.

Cura is available for both macOS and Windows. However, Creality Slicer is only available on Windows as of writing this review. Furthermore, since Creality is based on Cura, the updates on Creality always lag behind the updates for Cura.

Overall, I would recommend Creality Slicer if you have a Creality printer. Still, for all other printers, Cura is the better choice. Note that both apps come free of charge.

Ultimaker Cura vs PrusaSlicer

Both PrusaSlicer and Cura 3D printing software are free and open-source. They are leading 3D printing apps in terms of the number of users, and both are updated on a regular basis. Cura is a slightly older app than PrusaSlicer — it was released three years earlier.

While Cura stands out in terms of third-party support, plug-ins, custom scripts, connectivity, and experimental settings, certain PrusaSlicer features are better.

PrusaSlicer manages to do better than Cura when it comes to Conditional G-Code, Modifier Meshes, Variable Layer Height, SLA and MSLA support, and a better print host upload queue.

Customer Reviews

Users rate Ultimaker Cura software relatively highly. One of the main reasons Cura stands out is that it’s a free app with open-source code. This means there are several third-party tools available for use with Cura and a large number of these tools are also free.

Many users applaud the fact that Cura can support so many different file types and different brands of desktop 3D printers. Another reason why Cura is popular is its ease of use.

However, Cura users also have some complaints.

Some users have complained that Cura does not provide as much control over the G-code path as some other 3D printing apps. Since there are so many elements at play during 3D printing, it can take a while for a new user to understand which settings work best for their prints.

Wrap Up

Ultimaker Cura is, without a doubt, one of the best 3D printing apps. You do not need to own an Ultimaker 3D printer to make use of this software — it supports a wide variety of other professional 3D printers. Also, it is updated regularly.

I hope you enjoyed this Ultimaker Cura review and were able to find the answers to all your questions concerning this software.

FAQ

Is Ultimaker Cura the same as Cura?

Yes, “Ultimaker Cura” and “Cura” are both used to refer to the same software.

What is Ultimaker Cura?

Ultimaker Cura is the most popular 3D slicing software on the market, with millions of users worldwide. It allows you to prepare prints with only a few clicks and integrate CAD software for a more efficient workflow.

How much does Cura cost?

Ultimaker Cura is completely free, and you can download it from Ultimaker’s website. However, you can get access to some of its more advanced features by subscribing to Ultimaker’s Essential plan.

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