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Cura Pause at Height – How to Do It

Picture of Pranav Gharge
by Pranav Gharge
Aug 23, 2019

Want to print with different colors on a single nozzle or embed something in the print itself? Find out how to use Cura's pause at height feature, stopping your print at a specific point!

Cura Pause at Height What Is It?

Changing filaments can lead to some awesome prints!
Changing filaments can lead to some awesome prints! (Source: CHEP / YouTube)

Say you have a single nozzle 3D printer but would still like to print some multicolor objects, or maybe you want to insert an object inside your 3D print. “Pause at height” is the feature that will help you in achieving your goals: It’s a feature in Ultimaker Cura that lets you pause your ongoing 3D print at the desired height.

Ultimaker Cura is one of the most widely-used slicers in 3D printing, with lots of amazing features that are built-in to enhance your 3D printing experience. One such feature is pausing a print at specific height. The primary reason you would find this feature useful is to do multicolor printing, since it enables you to swap out your filament midway through a print.

Of course, there are other reasons, as well, so allow us to explain how to use the pause feature in Cura as well as explore other methods of pausing your print midway.


Cura Pause at Height Where to Find It

Navigating the Extensions menu.
Navigating the Extensions menu. (Source: Pranav Gharge / All3DP)

The pause at height feature in Cura is hidden in the user interface of the slicer since it’s actually a post-processing plug-in. It can be used before slicing your model, but the more effective way is to use it once you’re sure about your primary slicing settings.

The steps to enable this feature are as follows:

  1. Open the “Extensions” menu.
  2. Select “Post Processing” and then click on “Modify G-Code”.
  3. In the new window, click on “Add a Script”.
  4. Select “Pause at height” from the various options in the menu.

Once selected, you are presented with a range of settings that you need to set to use this feature.


Cura Pause at Height Settings to Tweak

Pause settings available for tweaking.
Pause settings available for tweaking. (Source: Pranav Gharge / All3DP)

These settings will help you entirely control the pausing of your print:

  • Pause at: This lets you decide whether you want to pause the print at a particular height or on a specific layer.
  • Pause Height/Layer: The height or the layer number at which you would like your print to be paused.
  • Park Print Head X and Y: Resting position of your nozzle when the print is paused.
  • Retraction: Retraction settings during the pause period.
  • Extrude Amount and Speed: Amount of material to be extruded when the new filament is reloaded.
  • Redo Layers: You can redo any previously completed layers to increase adhesion.
  • Standby Temperature: The temperature of the nozzle while in pause mode.

Part of the fun is discovering the settings that suit your personal needs the best.


Cura Pause at Height Alternatives

Multicolor 3D prints made in assorted ways.
Multicolor 3D prints made in assorted ways. (Source: 3DWithUs / YouTube)

Cura offers one of the easiest ways to pause printing midway, but it’s not the only one!

First of all, if you’re using a printer that uses Marlin firmware, there is a “Change Filament” option in the “Tune” menu. Additionally, there is also an option to pause the print entirely. These two perform the same function of pausing a print midway, though their execution differs slightly:

  • Change Filament runs an entire script, where it will park the nozzle and unload the filament for you. It also waits for you to load the new filament, purges the new filament, and resumes printing.
  • The “Pause Print” option pauses the print instantly, wherever the print head is.

Apart from using Cura and Marlin interfaces, the next best thing is to play around with G-code, but this represents a more in-depth option.

As you can see, there are several ways to pause prints, whether to switch colors or embed objects, inside your models. No matter the use case, it comes down to finding the option that best suits your needs!

Feature image source: lunchboxelectronics.com

License: The text of "Cura Pause at Height – How to Do It" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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