Opening Importing and Setting Up:
On opening or creating a new project will give you a workspace like this:
To import an STL file select Open File(s) from the File menu like so:
Editing and Manipulating Objects:
When initially opened the model should appear centered on the print bed in the display. If the model is outside of the printable area it will appear with caution lines covering it as pictured here:
To fix this, just click on the green “move” icon then click, hold and drag the model until it is where you want it on the print bed. Our model still has caution lines because it is too big to fit inside the print bed. If the exact size is unimportant you can select the “Scale” icon to adjust the size. Once “Scale” is selected, you can either adjust using the input boxes next to the corresponding access or just drag along the corresponding axis bar within the workspace. As long as “Uniform scaling is selected the object will do just that.
Now that the model fits within the print bed it turns blue:
If you need to inspect from different angles you can right click and hold while dragging to manipulate the view.
f you suspect that the object should have a different orientation during printed from the one it was imported into you can select the “Rotate” icon. Again the object can be manipulated by either entering a number of degrees to rotate by, within the corresponding axcesses(?) input box or just hover over the axis in the workspace and drag along it. Below we clicked and dragged along the blue Z access to rotate our object.
The other tools in the green toolbar are “Multiply Object” and “Mirror Object”. They pretty much do what you think.
Several preset profiles have been set to make printing quick and easy. It is recommended that you stick to these and avoid adjusting other settings apart from the material dropdown and the ones listed below until you have a little more experience and can comfortably predict what adjustments to the different settings will do. The three main profiles are fast, standard and high quality as pictured here:
If you do any need to adjust any settings they will most likely be Infill, Support, Brim.
This determines how much plastic will be used to fill the interior of the object. For a simple sculpture a 20% infill will typically be sufficient. For something like a lithograph you will want to increase the infill to something like 80%. This prevents any kind of pattern shining through when illuminated.
Enabling support is important if you have overhangs that would otherwise be unsupported while printing. The print will remain hot while printing causing any unsupported areas to droop or collapse. We recommend leaving the support at the default settings unless given explicit instructions along with the print In order to view the support you will need to select the layer view.
If you experience any warping at the edges of your print or if the print is not adhering properly you may want Cura to generate a brim for you. Some adhesion issues can also be addressed by giving the bed a quick wipe with acetone before beginning the print.
Saving and Exporting to GCode:
Once you’re happy with the settings and Cura indicates it has finished slicing you can now save the object as gcode file.
A quick note: Unfortunately neither time estimate from the Cura slicer or Octoprint can be relied on so don’t use those to make plans.