Cura Software. Source:
Cura Software. Source:

Cura is an open-source, interfacing software for the Ultimaker 3D printer. The software slices the model into sections, determines how to print each layer, and then converts the STL file to G-code.

How Cura Software Works

Cura allows users to scale and position the 3D model, slice the model into G-code, edit configuration settings, and send the model to the 3D printer. Compared to other open-source software, Cura slices models in a fraction of the time. Cura is designed for the Ultimaker but can be used with other RepRap 3D printers.

Cura Software Features

There are several basic and advanced settings.

Basic Settings:

Layer Height: Allows layer height to be adjusted. The thinner the layer height, the higher the quality of the part will be.

Shell Thickness: Edit the thickness of the side walls to improve the part strength.

Fill Density: Edit the density of the support structure. More density allows for stronger parts.

Print Speed: Allows you to choose the print speed.

Advanced Settings:

Retraction Speed: Edit the speed that the filament is pulled back when the printer head needs to move over holes.

Cut off Bottom: Cutting off the bottom of the model sinks the object into the printer bed.

Enable Cooling Fan: Turn the cooling fan on/off. The cooling fan typically improves part quality, but you can turn the fan off if needed.

Cura Software History

Cura was created by David Braam as open-source software. Braam’s goal was to improve the RepRap open source software and set out to develop a faster, more advanced program. Braam partnered with Ultimaker to provide the interfacing software.