Ultimaker has released a new version of Ultimaker Cura 4.5, and as usual there are some very interesting new features.
Ultimaker Cura, formerly known simply as Cura, is perhaps the most popular 3D printing cutting system. There’s a good reason for this statistic, and that’s because Ultimaker released it as an open source product.
In this way, other manufacturers of 3D printers can bundle the increasingly powerful software with their devices easily and without great effort and without the costs of developing their own slicing software. Why does Ultimaker do that besides being good people? I think that’s because it still advertises its own brand and allows them to take a look at 3D printing activities by collecting statistics.
But back to the 4.5 upgrade.
As usual, Ultimaker fixed a number of bugs, slightly increased performance, and of course added built-in support for a number of additional third-party 3D printers.
In version 4.5 there are 3D printer configurations for machines from no less than 81 suppliers! And every provider has listed several machines. ANET, for example, as 13 different machine configurations.
A very valuable feature is that Ultimaker Cura still supports a number of older machines like MakerBot Replicator, Printrbot and even the long dead BFB machine. For those who run older, unsupported machines, Ultimaker Cura is incredibly valuable.
I noticed two functions in the 4.5 upgrade.
One of them is called “Bridge over low density fillings”. It is a bit confusing at first, but basically it is determined whether the fill under a model surface has a low density (a certain value). If this surface is then printed in 3D, it is treated with “bridge” settings.
Bridge settings are specific changes to the extrusion profile that are used when an extrusion is to “jump” from one point to another without anything below it. The speeds and feeds are changed to allow this theoretically impossible movement and it works very well. However, there seem to be cases where sparse fill introduces a similar scenario. Therefore, bridging settings should be used.
Another fascinating feature is “edge distance”. A brim is a layer of fat that is added to the perimeter of the first layer. The idea is to increase bed adhesion by simply adding more material. This is usually done to avoid warping where ABS prints tend to peel off the print surface. The brim adds extra material to prevent this – or if it does, the brim warps but the part doesn’t.
Briming, however, leads to another problem: you then have to remove it from the print. Usually, this means that the bottom edge of 3D printing has a rough edge because part of the brim may not come off easily due to the geometry.
With the new “Edge distance” function, the operator can define a distance between the edge and the actual model. By increasing this distance, it is possible to make it easier to remove the brim.
Something that I always want is easier.
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