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Ultimaker Cura 3.0 Manual


To start the installation of Ultimaker Cura, download it first. After downloading, open the installer and run the installation wizard to complete the installation. To make sure Ultimaker Cura can run on your computer, we recommend checking the system requirements described below.

Operating systems

-Windows Vista or higher, 64 bit
-Mac OSX 10.11 or higher, 64 bit
-Ubuntu 14.04 or higher, 64 bit

System requirements

-OpenGL 2 compatible graphics chip, OpenGL 4.1 for 3D Layer view
-Intel Core 2 or AMD Athlon 64 or newer
-205 MB available hard disk space
-4GB RAM memory

Note: Although these are the minimum requirements, we recommend using better machines to use Ultimaker Cura with heavy models.

Starting Ultimaker Cura for the first time

After installation you can open Ultimaker Cura for the first time. Simply open Ultimaker Cura from your applications or programs folder.

Select printer

When you open Ultimaker Cura for the first time, you will be asked to select the 3D printer that you have. If (official) upgrades are available for your Ultimaker you can select these as well. For the Ultimaker Original+ and Ultimaker Original you will be guided through a configuration wizard to set up and calibrate your Ultimaker correctly.

Optionally, you can give the printer a custom name.

Open 3D files

Click on the ‘Open File’ button in the top left corner of the screen. Select the model you want to prepare for printing and open it. The model will now be loaded and shown on the 3D viewer.

Printer, print core and material configuration

You can find your selected printer in the top right corner of the screen. Directly below it, you will find the available configuration options. The Ultimaker 3 has multiple available print cores and materials. These settings can be set automatically when the Ultimaker 3 is connected over the local network.

Print setup

By default, Cura opens in the recommended mode. This mode is ideal if you want to do a quick print with optimized printing profiles. There are a few parameters you can set:

  1. Layer height: Choose the layer height quality. The options available depend on your print core and material configuration
  2. Print speed: The print speed is affected by the layer height chosen
  3. Infill: Choose an infill percentage by dragging the slider
  4. Enable gradual infill: Reduces the amount of infill in your print by gradually increasing density
  5. Generate support: This will generate a support structure below overhanging parts of a model to prevent the model from sagging or printing mid-air
  6. Build plate adhesion: Adds a brim or raft around the base of the model to ensure the print doesn’t detach from the build plate


To preview the slicing result, click on the ‘Solid view’ button in the top right corner of the 3D viewer and change it to ‘Layer view’. This view is ideal for seeing what the inside of your print will look like and how it will be printed. Use the slider to check important parts of your 3D slice. Change the printing strategy until you are satisfied.

Save the file

When Cura finishes slicing your model, it’s ready for printing.You can then save the file to your computer, save to removable disk or print directly over the network using Cura Connect.In the bottom right corner of the screen, you will also find print information. Cura provides a time and material estimation of the print.

Interface overview Ultimaker Cura

The image below shows the main interface of Cura with the most important features.

  1. Open file
  2. Adjustment tools
  3. Non-printable areas
  4. 3D model
  5. View mode
  6. Printer, print core and material configuration
  7. Print setup, recommended mode
  8. Model information
  9. Print job information; print time and material cost
  10. Save to file, SD card or print over network

Adjustment tools

Ultimaker Cura offers several tools to adjust the model before printing. This allows you to easily position models on the build plate in the most efficient way. Below all the adjustment tools are described.

Move tool

The move tool allows the model to be moved on all axis in Ultimaker Cura; X, Y and Z. This way, you can position the model to the desired location.

Note: Models are automatically kept apart and dropped to the build plate by default. Change these settings in Ultimaker Cura > Preferences.

  • Select the model (3) on the build plate
  • The move tool (1) opens by default
  • Use the input field to set a specific coordinate (2)
  • Drag the model (3) to move it freely or drag the arrows (4) to move it locked on one axis

Scale tool

The scale tool allows the model to be scaled, both uniform and non-uniform. The model can be scaled in three different ways; in millimeters, as a percentage and with the handles in the 3D viewer.

  • Select the scale tool (1)
  • Set a specific size in millimeters (2)
  • Scale the model to a percentage (3)
  • Drag the handlebar (4) in the 3D viewer to scale the model
  • Reset (5) the model to its original scale
  • Enable/disable snap scaling (6)
  • Enable/disable uniform scaling (7)

Rotate tool

The rotate tool allows the model to be rotated on all 3 axes. This is particularly useful to reduce the amount of support needed and to increase the model’s footprint for build plate adhesion.

  • Select the rotate tool (1)
  • Reset (2) the model to its original orientation
  • Lay the model flat (3) on the build plate. Tip: Help Ultimaker Cura determine what face to put flat by rotating it close to the build plate
  • Drag the hoops (4) to rotate the model at 15° intervals
  • The degree indicator (5) shows how much the model has rotated this move
  • Snap rotation (6) is enabled by default. Disable it here or hold ‘shift’ while dragging

Mirror tool

The mirror tool allows the model to be rotated on all 3 axes. It is easy to use, with just one way to use it.

  • Select the mirror tool (1)
  • Click the arrowheads (2) indicated by the axes colors to mirror the model on that axis

Per model settings

Per model settings provide the ability to have multiple models in Ultimaker Cura with a different printing strategy. This allows printing batches easily with models for different purposes.

  • Select the model (2) you wish to have modified settings
  • Select per model settings (1)
  • ‘Select settings’ (5) opens a pop-up list with available settings
  • Locate the setting and enable the checkbox (3)
  • Use the filter (4) to quickly find your settings
  • Close (8 ) the window when you have added all settings you want to change
  • Use the input field (6) to change the setting value
  • Use the ‘-‘ (7) button to remove the custom setting from the list

Select extruder

On multi-extrusion machines, you have the ability to assign an extruder to specific models on the build plate.

  • Select the desired model (3) on the build plate. The last used adjustment tool opens
  • Select the extruder (2) you want to print the model with
  • The extruder selector has a colored circle (1) to indicate what material this model will be printed with. It corresponds with the loaded material in the printer settings and the model on the build plate

    Grouping models

    Grouping models allow the models to be adjusted simultaneously to reduce the number of actions needed and to reduce the number of possible errors made during adjustments.

    1. Select two or more models on the build plate, by Shift + Left Clicking every model
    2. Selected models get a blue outline
    3. Right click one of the selected models, and select Group Models. Or hit Ctrl / Cmd + G

    Tip: Ungrouping is done with the same workflow, but in step 3. choose Ungroup models

    Grouping models has the following effect:

    1. The models keep the same position on the build plate
    2. The models keep the same orientation and position to each other
    3. Models can be scaled, rotated and mirrored simultaneously

    Merging models

    This feature is useful when working with dual material/color models. Merging allows the models to be combined in the easiest way possible. Follow these steps to Merge Models:

    1. Select two or more models on the build plate, by Shift + Left Clicking every model
    2. Selected models get a blue outline
    3. Right click one of the selected models, and select Merge Models. Or hit Ctrl / Cmd + Alt + G

    Merging models has the following effect:
    1.The models are aligned to the position of both models’ origin points
    2. Models can be scaled, rotated and mirrored simultaneously

    View modes

    Ultimaker Cura offers several ways to view the model. The different views allow checking the model for specific details. There are three different views available.

    Solid view

    The solid view is selected by default and represents the model as it was digitally created. This way, you can check if the desired model is loaded and whether it is loaded correctly.

  • The model (1) is shown corresponding to the view mode selected
  • The view mode button (3) is located on the top right corner of the 3D viewer
  • Click it and ensure ‘Solid view’ (2) is selected.
  • When a model is located in a non-printable area, it is displayed with stripes (4)
  • Non-printable areas (5) are dark grey areas on the build plate

X-Ray view

The X-Ray view allows looking through the model, making it easy to detect missing and unwanted internal geometry. The detected errors in the model are displayed in red. Not all types of errors are displayed, so this is not a guarantee that the model is correct.

Note: Although some models are ‘broken’ when loaded, Ultimaker Cura’s mesh fixes allow the model to be printed (seemingly) correct.

  • The model (1) is shown corresponding to the view mode selected
  • The view mode button (3) is located on the top right corner of the 3D viewer
  • Click it and ensure ‘X-ray view’ (2) is selected
  • Broken model parts are indicated by red areas (4)

Layer view

The layer view represents the print moves of the nozzle(s). This way, the result of all input from the settings panel is visualized, ideal for determining your printing strategy.

  • The model (1) is shown corresponding to the view mode selected
  • The view mode button (4) is located on the top right corner of the 3D viewer. Click it and ensure ‘Layer view’ is selected
  • Visualization of the print cores (2) can be toggled to ease viewing of individual parts
  • The colors of the lines can be set to line type (3) or material color
  • Different parts of the line types (5) can be disabled to get a closer view of certain model parts
  • The layer box (6) shows the current layer viewed. It can be used to enter values to directly jump to
  • The layer slider has three parts. A top (7), mid (8 ) and bottom (9) part. These parts can be dragged separately to examine the layer view

Printer monitor

The printer monitor is a powerful tool in Cura to view the status of the connected 3D printer. It shows a lot of information that helps to monitor the 3D printing process precisely.

Printer overview

  • Open the monitor by clicking the monitor tab (1)
  • The status icon (2) indicates the network connection status
  • Click a lsited printer (3) to open ‘single printer’ information
  • The printer type (4) is shown in the top right corner
  • The name of the connected printer (5)
  • Click ‘View print jobs’ (6) to open the Cura Connect dashboard in a browser, showing all print jobs
  • Click ‘View print jobs’ (7) to open the Cura Connect dashboard in a browser, showing all printers

Single printer monitor

Click on a listed printer to view the single printer monitor. It shows extra information on the current print job along with the camera view.

  • The camera view (1) opens in the center of the screen
  • The ‘X’ (2) closes the single printer monitor, returning you to the printer overview
  • Print core and material information (3) is shown on the right side, target temperatures are indicated in light grey
  • Build plate information (4), the target temperature is indicated in light grey
  • Detailed print job information (5) shows the job name, printing time and estimated time left
  • Print progress (6) gives an indication of the print progress
  • The print can be paused or aborted (7) remotely

Project saving

Ultimaker Cura contains a lot of information about the printer, models, print profiles, materials and their configurations. All this information can be saved to share or use later. Sometimes it might be useful to save all the information visible in Ultimaker Cura at once, to open a project later on and easily make some adjustments. That is what Project Saving is for.

Open and Save projects

Opening and saving projects are done right from the ‘file’ menu, just like with any other file.

  • Select ‘Open file(s)…’ (1) to open a project file
  • Select ‘Save project’ (2) to save a project file
  • Open the project by clicking ‘Open as project'(3) in the pop-up window
  • If you wish to only load the embedded model files, choose ‘Import models’ (4)

Save project: Summary

When saving a project Ultimaker Cura shows a summary of all settings that are going to be saved. The models on the build plate are saved as well, complete with their transformations. That means that this project will load exactly as it was saved at the time.

  • Models on build plate
  • Printer settings
  • Profile settings
  • Settings visibility

Open project

When opening a project file which contains equally named settings, Ultimaker Cura cannot know which information is most recent. Therefore, when loading a project you might get the option whether to update the existing (1) setting or create a new (2) one to keep your local settings saved as well.

1. Update existing: Will update your local settings and therefore not create new setting entries
2. Create new: Will create the setting(s) as new to prevent your local settings from being adjusted

Mouse control

Ultimaker Cura has a built-in 3D viewer which is controllable by a keyboard, a fully functioning mouse, a no-scroll mouse or a touchpad. The controls are the same on every operating system.



  • Undo: CMD / CTRL + Z
  • Redo: CMD / CTRL + SHIFT + Z
  • Move tool: Q
  • Scale tool: A
  • Rotate tool: Z

3D Viewer controls

  • Rotate the camera in the 3D viewer: Arrow keys
  • Zoom the camera in the 3D viewer: + and –

Model selection

  • Select multiple objects in the 3D viewer: Hold SHIFT + click
  • Select an object in a group: Hold CMD / CTRL + click
  • Clear all objects from the build plate: CMD / CTRL + D
  • Delete selected object: DELETE
  • Open file(s): CMD / CTRL + O

Adjustment tools

  • Toggle snap rotating/scaling: Hold SHIFT
  • Toggle uniform scaling:Hold CMD / CTRL

Update firmware

Updating firmware is a different procedure for all Ultimaker machines. Follow the instructions for your machine below.

Ultimaker 3, over the internet

The Ultimaker 3 has a built-in firmware update available in the menus. The firmware is automatically downloaded when the printer is connected to the Internet. On the Ultimaker 3, go to:

  • System -> Maintenance -> Firmware update

Ultimaker 3, over USB

If you are unable to connect the Ultimaker 3 to the network, it is also possible to install the latest firmware version over the USB connection.

  • Download the firmware available here
  • Extract the download files and place the complete firmware folder on the USB stick
  • Insert the USB stick in the Ultimaker 3
  • On the 3D printer, go to: System -> Maintenance -> Firmware update

Ultimaker Original(+), Ultimaker 2 Go, Ultimaker 2(+), and Ultimaker 2 Extended(+)

  1. In Cura, open the printer management screen through: System -> Printer -> Manage Printers…, or in the sidebar: Printer -> Manage printers…
  2. Connect the Ultimaker to the computer with the USB cable
  3. Turn the Ultimaker on
  4. In Cura, open the printer management screen, click ‘Update firmware’
  5. Choose ‘Automatically update firmware’ to install the default version, choose ‘Upload custom firmware’ to choose an alternative version
  6. A pop-up with a progress bar will appear saying ‘Starting firmware update, this may take some time’. Note that the Ultimaker will restart during the procedure
  7. When the upload is complete, you will see the message ‘Firmware update completed’
  8. Click ‘Close’ in the print management window to complete the firmware update

Custom mode

In Ultimaker Cura there are two modes available in the settings panel: recommended and custom. The recommended mode is perfect for beginners, while the custom mode offers more settings for experienced users. On the first use page we explained how slicing in the recommended mode works; on this page, we explain how to use the custom mode.


Depending on your machine, print core and material setup, a variety of profiles are available to print out of the box. These profiles are a perfect start point to base your own custom profiles on. These profiles are anywhere between ‘extra fine’ and ‘sprint’ and provide variable layer heights, print speeds, and many more settings.

Based on the selected printer, nozzle size and material Ultimaker Cura will automatically update each profile with the right settings. Please note that not all profiles will be visible for each nozzle size. With a 0.8 mm nozzle it is for example not possible to print at ‘extra fine’ quality and with a 0.25 mm nozzle you can’t use the ‘sprint’ profile.

The search bar

The custom mode features a search bar to easily access new settings or to filter the currently visible settings to your needs:

  • This input field (1) can be used at all times to filter and search for settings
  • Dark settings (2) are visible, even without the filter
  • Light settings (3) are visible now, but only because it is currently filtered on
  • Ensure the ‘custom’ mode (4) is active
  • Choose a base profile (5) to customize here
  • Click the ‘cross’ (6) to clear the filer
  • ‘Right click’ a setting (7) to have 3 options; Copy the value to all extruders, hide/show the setting or go to the settings preferences

Adjusted, hidden and calculated settings

The settings in Ultimaker Cura sometimes show indicator icons. The meaning of these icons are explained here:

  • The reset icon (1) indicates that this setting has been adjusted manually, and does no longer correspond to the profile setting. Click the icon to set the value back to the profile setting
  • The calculated setting icon (2) indicates that the value was calculated by Ultimaker Cura, but is now overwritten by an absolute value. Click the icon to change the value back to the calculated value
  • The chain icon (3) indicates that the value set here is synchronized for all extruders. It is only visible on dual extruder machines
  • If an input is greyed out (4), it means that the value is overwritten by values in its child settings
  • The settings icon (5) can be used to configure setting visibility settings
  • The info icon (6) indicates a user-customized setting is hidden. Click the icon to unhide it
  • The category arrow (7) can be used to view or hide all category settings


The settings in the side panel are divided in categories, so you can easily navigate through it. These are the available categories:

  • Machine: Machine related settings
  • Quality: Settings that define the (visual) quality of the print
  • Shell: Settings related to the outside of the print
  • Infill: All settings that have to do with the inside of the print
  • Material: Material related settings
  • Speed: Speeds at which the print head moves while printing
  • Travel: How the print head behaves during travel moves
  • Cooling: Settings that define how the plastic is cooled
  • Support: Options for printing with support structures
  • Platform adhesion: Defines the adhesion of your model to the build plate
  • Mesh fixes: Options for fixing faults in models
  • Special modes: Features that influence the way of printing
  • Experimental: Experimental new features

All categories can be (un)folded by clicking on the arrow icon at the right side, which reveals the available settings. Ultimaker Cura shows a selection of most common settings by default, but it’s possible to adjust the visibility of settings to your own preferences. To change the settings visibility take the following steps:

  • Go to Preferences > Settings or click on the gear icon of one of the categories
  • Select or deselect the settings you want to have displayed in the sidebar

Furthermore, all settings have tooltips, providing a short description of each setting’s functionality.

Manage printers

When using Ultimaker Cura for the first time, it will run the ‘add printer wizard’. Select your Ultimaker 3D printer from the list to add it to Ultimaker Cura. When you want to adjust your printer or add more printers to Ultimaker Cura, you can do that by going to ‘Settings’ > ‘Printer’ > ‘Manage printers…’. The printer manager opens as the image displayed below.

  • This (1) is the printers section in the preferences panel
  • Click activate (2) to activate the selected printer in the list below
  • Click add (3) to add a new printer to your Cura
  • Click remove (4) to remove the currently selected printer in the list
  • Click rename (5) to give the current printer a custom name
  • This button (6) can be used to update the firmware of the active machine
  • Machine settings (7) can be changed depending on the active machine

Connect network printer

If your printer has network functionality, you will find it in the list of available printers. Please ensure your Ultimaker is properly connected to the network, read your Ultimaker manual to learn how to do this.

  • Available printers are displayed in the printer list (1)
  • If the printer is unavailable on the list, you can add it manually by clicking the ‘add’ (2) button
  • Printers can be edited (3) and removed (4)
  • The refresh button (5) refreshes the list by searching for machines on the network
  • Click ‘connect’ (6) to connect to the selected machine

If the printer is not available in the list for some reason, click the ‘add’ button (2). A pop-up will appear asking for the printer’s IP address, which can be found on the printer: Settings -> Network status.

Removing printers

You can always remove printers that you have added to Ultimaker Cura. You can do this in the following way:

  • Go to ‘Printer’ in the menu bar or in the settings panel and select ‘Manage printers…’
  • Select the printer you want to remove and then click the ‘Remove’ button. Confirm by selecting ‘yes’ in the pop-up

Rename a printer

Especially when you’re using multiple printers it can be useful to name them. You can already give a printer a custom name while adding a new printer, but it’s also possible to rename printers after they have been added. To do so, take these steps:

  • Go to ‘Printer’ in the menu bar or in the settings panel and select ‘Manage printers…’
  • Select the printer you want to rename and then click the ‘Rename’ button
  • Enter the preferred name and click ‘ok’ to confirm

Add a custom printer

Ultimaker 3D printers are supported by default, but there is a way to add 3rd party FDM printers as well. This option can also be used if you have modified your Ultimaker machine, which needs different machine settings.

  • In the ‘Add printer’ screen click on the ‘Custom’ category
  • Choose the option ‘Custom FDM Printer'(1)
  • Change the name of your custom printer in the input field at the bottom (2)
  • Click ‘Add Printer’ (3) to add it

The next screen provides all options necessary to configure the custom machine.

  • Change the printer settings (1) dimensions, heated bed option, and origin point
  • Set the print head settings (2), the displayed values are calculated from the tip of the nozzle to the maximum X and Y dimensions
  • Optionally, add custom start and end Gcodes (3) to ensure that your printer starts and ends properly
  • Click ‘finish’ (4) to add the printer

Manage profiles

Ultimaker Cura provides the ability to save, share and manage your printing profiles. Working with printing profiles is essential in an efficient work environment. This page explains how to work with printing profiles to get the most out of your 3D printing experience.

Quick menu

The easiest way to quickly create, update and save a profile is through the quick menu. It is also the easiest way to access the profile manager.

  • Access the quick menu by clicking the profile (1)
  • The currently active profile is indicated by a checkmark (2)
  • Create (3) a new profile with the current settings
  • Update (4) an already saved profile with the current adjustments
  • Discard (5) the current adjustments and revert to the saved profile
  • Open the profile manager (6)

Profile manager

When you click on ‘profile manager…’ it will open in a new screen, with all options available as displayed below.

  • The profiles tab (1) is located on the left side of the preferences panel
  • Select a profile and click ‘activate’ (2) to enable it
  • Select a profile and click ‘duplicate’ (3) to make a copy
  • Select a profile and click ‘remove’ (4) to delete the profile
  • Select a profile and click ‘rename’ (5) to change its name
  • Import (6) and export (7) profiles to share it with others
  • The setting list (8 ) contains all custom settings of the profile

Add a new profile

In Ultimaker Cura you can add new print profiles based on existing profiles. To add a profile, take the following steps:

  • Click on Profile in the menu bar or in the settings panel and select Add profile
  • A new screen will show up; select Add
  • Cura has now automatically added a new profile, which is visible in the list of profiles as a customized version of the profile that was selected

Change settings of a profile

It is also possible to change existing profiles in Cura. Therefore you simply select the profile and exit the profile manager. Use the setting sidebar in the main window to adjust your settings. When you now switch to another profile Cura will ask you whether you want to update the profile or not, or if you want to create a completely new profile.

Import or export profiles

Cura allows you to share profiles with the import and export feature.Take the following steps to import a profile:

  • Click on ‘Profile’ in the menu bar or in the settings panel and select ‘Manage profiles’
  • Select ‘Import’ and choose the profile or G-code you want to load
  • Gcode files have the Cura print profile embedded as well, therefore ‘.curaprofile’ and ‘.gcode’ files can be loaded

Exporting a profile can also be done in a few simple steps:

  • Click on ‘Profile’ in the menu bar or in the settings panel and select Manage profiles
  • Select the profile you want to export and click on ‘Export’
  • Enter a name and save the profile on your computer

Manage materials

Ultimaker Cura comes preloaded with Ultimaker materials to make it easy for you to start printing. When printing with other materials, it is possible to add them yourself. This way the material settings are conveniently stored, so you can print with your favorite materials every time. To go to the material settings go to ‘File’ > ‘Preferences’.

  • Click the materials tab (1) to open the material management window
  • To use the selected material, click activate (2)
  • To create an editable material from the current settings, click duplicate (3)
  • To remove a custom material, select it and click remove (4)
  • Import (5) custom materials from others
  • Export (6) your custom material to share
  • The information tab (7) shows generic material information. This information is not accessible in this case since the profile is protected
  • The Print settings tab (8 ) contains material settings that will be used during printing

Add a custom material

To add a custom material, duplicate a material which physical properties come closest to the new material. This way the printer knows at which temperatures to do filament changes and printer calibrations.

The material settings you have to provide is often easily accessible from the packaging of the filament or the website of the manufacturer.

  • Choose a fancy display name (1) to easily recognize the material
  • Enter the brand name (2) here. This also categorizes all filaments from the same brand in the list on the left.
  • Specify the material type (3) here
  • Choose a color (4) by clicking on the color box. A color picker pops up to choose a color, which will be represented on the build plate
  • Enter all the material properties (5). This is important for the weight and price estimate provided by Ultimaker Cura
  • The filament length and cost per meter (6) are calculated by Ultimaker Cura
  • Enter a description (7) for the filament
  • Enter adhesion information (8 ) details to remember what works best
  • Switch to the print settings tab (9) to view material specific settings
  • Enter the material settings (10) here. These settings will be used by Ultimaker Cura to ensure the material is printed with at the right temperatures


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