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Cura Beta 2.3 out now

Cura 2.3 Update: New Features, Major Improvements on the 3D Slicer

Picture of Anatol Locker
by Anatol Locker
Sep 2, 2016

3D slicer Cura is the quasi-standard of all 3D printing slicers. It’s versatile, open source and it gets the job done nicely. Now it‘s getting a big update for Mac and PC with interesting new features and improvements. 

Before 3D printing anything, you’ll have to run your 3D printing model through a slicing software. For that purpose, it‘s good to have Cura on your computer – it’s the (small) swiss army knife of 3D slicers. Ultimaker now offers the beta version of Cura 2.3 for Windows and Mac. As usual, it’s free (and we love that).

You can download the new Cura version here. Please be aware that it’s still a beta version of the new 3D slicing software.

Unfortunately, Linux users (especially when using Ubuntu), are still stuck with the older, less practical 3D slicer version 15.04.6. If you are looking for alternatives, you can always either take a look at professional tool $150 Simplify 3D or slice your STL files in other applications.

3D Slicer Software Cura 2.3 Update: Major Improvements

Cura Update 4
  • Speed. The first thing you will notice with Cura 2.3 Beta is speed: STL loading is now 10 to 20 times faster, layer-view is significantly faster, and slicing speed is also slightly improved.
  • Improved Time Estimation. Time estimations are more accurate – in the last version, the estimates were off up to 10 percent.
  • Multi Extrusion Support. Machines with multiple extruders are now supported. Got the Ultimaker Original with the dual extrusion upgrade kit? This also works now.
  • Custom Machine Support. The new custom machine plug-in allows you to change machine settings easier. The implementation in the last version was more complex and difficult for inexperienced users.
  • Improved Position Tool. Place objects more precise by manually entering the numerical values for the position.
  • Improved Grouping. It’s now possible to transform objects that are already grouped. Select an individual item in a group or merged object and edit as usual. Then Ctrl + Click and edit away.
  • Enhanced Profile Management. Profile management is improved. You can now see and track changes made to your profiles.
  • Improved Setting Visibility. Make multiple settings visible at once. The “Visibility Overview” setting indicates why a setting is not shown in the sidebar even if it is selected.
  • Optional G-code Machine Prefix. Disable the g-code prefix in Preferences. This means you won’t see “UM2_” on your printer display. 
  • Print Weight Estimates. Nice feature: Cura now estimates print weight as well as length.  
  • Automatic Import Configuration. That’s nice: All the configurations from older installations of Cura 2.1 are automatically imported into the newest installation.

3D Slicer Software Cura 2.3 Update: Improved Slicing Features

Cura Update 3
  1. Infill Improvements. Cura 2.3 Beta introduces two infill types: Tetrahedral and Cubic. They change along with the Z-axis for more uniform strength in all directions. Also, you can change the density of the infill based on the distance from the top layers. Print faster, use less material and maintain the same object strength.
  2. Set Acceleration and Jerk by Feature. You can now set Jerk and Acceleration by feature, (infill, walls, top/bottom,) for more precision.
  3. Outer Wall Offset. Apply an offset to where the outer wall is printed for better surface quality when the outer wall line width is smaller than the nozzle size.
  4. Enhanced Combing. The “No Skin” option allows you to comb over infill only to avoid scars on top surfaces.
  5. Z Hop. Can’t avoid previously printed parts by horizontal moves? The Z Hop Only Over Printed Parts gives you the ability to Z Hop to avoid collisions for better surface quality.  
  6. Skin and Wall Overlap. The Skin Overlap setting allows you to overlap the skin lines with the walls for better adhesion.
  7. Control Initial Layer Travel Speed. Set the travel speed of the initial layer(s) to reduce the risk of extruder pulling the print from the bed.
  8. Support Bottoms. This new feature duplicates the Support Roofs in the places where the support rests on the model.

3D Slicer Software Cura 2.3 Update: Bug fixes, minor changes

Cura Update 2

Bug Fixes in Cura 2.3. Our users and community members were quick to identify bugs in the last release. Here are some of the key bug fixes we made:

  • Deleting grouped objects
  • Duplicating groups
  • Bridging
  • Un-retraction speeds
  • Drag and drop on the first run on windows
  • Line distance is now the actual line distance
  • Undo and Redo with multiple operations
  • Post Processing plugin
  • Overlap Compensation

Minor Enhancements. The enhancements may be minor, but if you print a lot, you will appreciate the results. You can now adjust the speed at which the bed is lowered by layer. We’ve also removed the string plume on top of one-at-a-time printed objects and combining is applied in more cases for better paths. Infill Thickness now supports Grid Infill for multiples of layer height and Compensate Overlapping Wall parts now works for inner walls.

Communication Improvements. Messages are now displayed for 30 seconds. You will get a new notification if you try to save to a locked SD card. Engine log can be viewed even when slicing is finished. There is a new warning icon near the Save G-Code button and the last folder used is now remembered (Home folder is no longer the default one).

Brims, Skirts, and Rafts. Rafts print inside build area. Enabling raft doesn’t influence height at which the model is sliced. Brim is now printed once. A reasonable amount of retractions with a raft. Brim now generated under the support. Shared settings between skirt and brim activate when brim is selected.

Supports. Support is no longer removed by unprintable thin parts of the model. Support is generated on each layer. Support doesn’t exceed overhang areas. Support roofs now only generate directly below the mesh.

Spiralize. The spiralize mode no longer spiralizes the bottom layer and each part is now spiralized in a layer.

Maintenance and Set-Up. Bed Level and Checkup procedures for the Ultimaker Original+ can now be done without re-adding machine and it’s possible to add multiple Per Model Settings at once.

You can download the new Cura version here. Please be aware that it’s still a beta version of the new 3D slicing software.

License: The text of "Cura 2.3 Update: New Features, Major Improvements on the 3D Slicer" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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