Editor’s Pick: Finer details in 3D print model slicing

Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta offers a new slicing engine designed to churn out parts with finer details.

Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta offers a new slicing engine designed to churn out parts with finer details.

Ultimaker Cura 5.0 enables new applications for fused filament fabrication 3D printing. Image courtesy of Ultimaker.


Ultimaker unveils the beta release of its free, open source 3D print slicing software application Cura. 

Ultimaker asserts that Cura is the most commonly used slicing software in the 3D printing industry. In the past, preparing a 3D model for printing has often meant sacrificing features and compromising design intent. Improvements in slicing software are key to making 3D prints a full-fidelity copy of the original design.

Ultimaker says Cura 5.0 offers a new slicing engine designed to turn out parts with finer details and more accurate, stronger parts. The key is variable line widths, which enable output of parts with thin walls and fine details. Prior to this release, consistent line widths were required. Now with variable line widths assigned dynamically during the print process, there are fewer gaps between lines. This allows for more efficient tool paths and greater accuracy. 

The company says this more precise method creates more dimensionally precise objects, and brings the quality of parts printed using Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) closer to the strength and quality of parts created using injection molding. 

Other changes in this release include support for Apple M1 chips, an improved user interface, integration with Ultimaker Marketplace and faster generation of print profiles for owners of Ultimaker printers. 

Ultimaker asserts that Cura is the most commonly used slicing software in the 3D printing industry. Image courtesy of Ultimaker.

“Ultimaker Cura 5.0 represents the biggest leap forward in print quality that the software has ever seen,” says Miguel Calvo, Ultimaker’s chief technology officer. “Until now, you had to make your design work for 3D printing. It’s time to turn the table … from designing for 3D printing to 3D printing for design.”

Tom Dixon  is an award-winning product designer. He says, “The technology is mature now and we can print final parts, for instance unique pieces, custom objects and tailor-made applications for specific needs. 3D printing is going to be the manufacturing technology of the 21st century.”

Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta is now available directly from Ultimaker.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website. 

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