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Cura Software User Guide

Cura, Slicer, ... We explain everything to you!

Adjust the size, quality or filling and control the customization of your 3D objects using Cura by Dagoma.

In this tutorial, you will discover what this software is all about.

What formats are used?

The STL is to 3D printing what MP3 is to music, or JPEG to photography.
Most 3D modeling softwares allow the export of STL files.
However, this format is an empty shell for your printer. It won't know how to use it.


The Gcode is a set of instructions to operate your 3D printer. These instructions represent the set of paths that the print head will follow, layer by layer. It is specific to a printer type.

It is obtained after transformation of the STL into Gcode in a slicer (this is where Cura by Dagoma comes in). Once placed on an SD card, it is recognized by the 3D printer.

ROAD

ROAD is a platform for downloading 3D files optimized for NEVA and Magis (or STL files for DiscoEasy200). All ROAD platform objects have been tested and approved by Dagoma. The ideal place to get inspired and get started.

If you have followed the Magis manual , you have already experienced the simplicity of ROAD without knowing it.

Visit ROAD

CURA

CURA by Dagoma is a software that allows you to transform 3D files found on the Internet into Gcode in STL format (also compatible with: obj, 3mf, amf, ...). You will be able to modify your printing parameters (part size, finish,...). CURA is a free and open-source software, which Dagoma has simplified to optimize the use of your printer.

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CURA

CURA by Dagoma is a software that allows you to transform 3D files found on the Internet into Gcode in STL format (also compatible with: obj, 3mf, amf, ...). You will be able to modify your printing parameters (part size, finish,...). CURA is a free and open-source software, which Dagoma has simplified to optimize the use of your printer.

Are you changing printers? or do you have more than one? No problem, you can modify this choice from the "Preferences" tab.

Quick access to open a new STL file. You can also open several files on the same tray.
From the "File" tab open a new STL file, save the contents of your trays for future printing, transform your STL into a Gcode, and access newly opened objects.
From the "Preferences" tab, change the language of the software (taken into account the next time the software is opened) or of the Dagoma 3D printer model.
This area represents the printing volume of your printer. The open object will appear gray if it exceeds the printing volume. You can duplicate this object or open others to fill your tray.
Right-clicking on an object displays a submenu:
  • Center the object on the tray
  • Delete the object
  • Multiply the object
  • Divide the object into several parts
Here you can access another viewing mode. Switching to layer mode allows you to see the printer's actual work, such as filling and trajectories.
Choose here the brand of the filament you use in "PLA Chromatik" and its color in "Generic". Please note that all filaments in the list have been tested. If you use a filament other than those in the list, the printing may fail.
Choose here the printing parameters, filling and quality (below we will explain all this).
Here are other more specific parameters. These are additions to be made according to the shape of the object. We will explain these elements below.
With this button you can set up a filament change. Just below you have a video that shows the programming of a break.
By clicking on "Prepare for printing" you will validate your preparation. If an SD card is already in the reader, the file is saved directly on it.
Otherwise, a dialog box opens to choose the saving path.
The file is saved under the name "dagoma0.g" It is the only file name that allows you to start printing.
All the practical information can be found here. Printing time is estimated and may vary.
This button only appears if an object is selected. It allows you to change the orientation of the part. Rings appeared around the part to manoeuvre it. By default, the part will move in 15
This button only appears if an object is selected. It allows you to change the size of the part. Uncheck the lock to change a dimension in one axis only.
This button only appears if an object is selected. It is used to symmetrize. If you're wondering, yes, it's useful for something.
Video

Schedule a pause

Cura allows you to schedule breaks in the printing process.

  • Open a file in Cura.

  • Press the "Color change(s)" button.

  • Choose the layer with the slider.

  • Click on the (+) of "Add a pause": you will see a new line just below it indicating the layer number and corresponding height.

  • Once finished, press "Prepare Print" to generate the Gcode.

The value of taking a break

Programming a pause has several interests: changing the color, filament or inserting an object in the middle of the print (nut, magnet, ...).

Here is the final rendering of the part prepared just above.

This is a part of the documents printed in the Magis manual.

The printing parameters

How does it work in practice?

Choose your quality

Our 3D printers work with FDM technology. They deposit hot plastic layer by layer to obtain a part.

The lower the layer height, the higher the quality of the part will be. However, this parameter has a strong influence on the printing time. It is therefore necessary to choose, according to the size of the part, the level of detail expected to have the best compromise.

We recommend that you start with 0.2 mm prints.

Choose your filling

Cura allows you to define the filling rate of the part. Several choices are possible.

Vase: only the outer layer of your object will be printed (spiral). This ultra fast mode is suitable for hollow objects and open on top (in short a vase!).

Hollow (0%): for a fast and unfilled printing (limits the printable geometries, we explain this to you right after with the substrate).

Filled (17%): for simple and efficient printing.

Reinforced (33%): for a resistant printed object.


The more filling there is, the longer the printing time will increase.

Other adjustments

Two other parameters are available on Cura, the support and the improvement of the gripping surface.

What is the support? What is it for?

Gravity (Great Scott) prevents us from printing up in the air. Therefore, each printing layer must be supported by the layer below (at least 50% overlap). This means there is a support so that no part is printed out above the void.

The YHT on the right shows the different possibilities.

Y: It is possible to print with nothing underneath as long as the angle of the surface does not exceed 45

H: it is possible to print between two towers (we call it a bridge). From a certain length, the bridge will not hold, you will need support.

T: Without support it is impossible to print an overhang like the branches of the T.

With and without support

The image on the right illustrates the result obtained when an object should have been printed with a support. The support guarantees the success of a complex printing process.

The ingenuity of a part well designed for 3D printing lies in the orientation of the geometries, avoiding the use of the substrate as much as possible.

The dark side of the support

There are not only advantages in the use of the support. It is lost material since it is not part of the final piece. It is also an additional manual operation to remove it. It leaves a coarse surface that sometimes needs to be scratched and sanded to obtain a clean result.

The detachment of the parts

Unfortunately, this is an imponderable feature of 3D printing. Depending on the geometries, the quality of the first layer, the quality of the adhesion surfaces, the part can come off. A partial detachment as in the image (called warping) is not good because it has distorted the part. Complete detachment results in total print failure and can damage the printer.

The "Improvement of the adhesion surface" checkbox is used to limit this phenomenon. This option adds a thin layer all around the part and stabilizes it on the surface. It will have to be removed at the end of the printing process.

The filaments

In Cura, it is necessary to choose the type and color of the filament used to manufacture your part. This choice allows you to adjust several parameters in order to print the part in an optimal way (nozzle temperature, quantity of extruded material, shrinkage, etc...).

Cura by Dagoma has been designed to prevent you from having to adjust all these parameters. All filaments available on Cura and on our site have been tested and approved. We cannot guarantee you a good printing quality with a filament that is not listed. The ideal place to start is the range of Chromatik filaments we offer here.

You know everything about Cura by Dagoma

Thank you for following these instructions. We do our best to simplify the 3D printing experience with Dagoma. To help us improve this manual, could you take ten seconds (promised no more) to give us your opinion?

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