Cura Settings Explained

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THIS IS NOT YET COMPLETE

This page explains in detail what all the cura settings mean. linked from the 3D_Printer_Workflow and Problems While Printing pages

You will meet with best results if you use one of the provided profiles. However this document should help you understand the differences between the profiles, and which one is best for you. Currently, it is recommended to use Cura instead of slic3r because the print times seem to be about 1/2 the time, while using lower values (ie in slicer print speeds of 120-250mms, in cura I set speeds of 35-65). However the "slicer to use" changes pretty regularly as new features/version come out. I will try to keep the wiki up to date.

The official explanation for the settings can be found in the Cura Manual from the Cura Support Page

Basic Settings https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/YjHS0pZSReGzKDUGX7i3ej7UIRwGq0683G5GFX7MjMtbXSRL6uBDzFxMnQlQ9i94tecWBE_Jy9o=w1884-h690

  • Layer Height: .100-.300 are acceptable. (With Rob's help, you might be able to make .05 work.) You should at least start with a profile that has the layer height you want. lower values are more detail, higher values are faster. I like to use .200 for most things.
  • Shell thickness: Use multiples of .4 (nozzle size). Each multiple will make an outer layer for your walls. 1.2 is usually more than enough. 2 is just overkill. I usually run with .8
  • Enable Retraction: Only use retraction with a profile. You should disable retraction unless you need it as the printer will print faster without it. (if disabled, you should increase flow to 95%)
  • Bottom/Top thickness: This sets the number of layers for the top and bottom. Use multiples of your layer height. It is usually best if this value is close to your shell (wall) thickness.
  • Fill Density: usually 15% is more than enough. I usually try to get by with 5 or 10 (or 0)
  • Print Speed: This is your base print speed 25 to 65 are safe, some shapes can go faster. If using a retraction profile, do not change this. Read How to print Faster. More tweaking in Advanced Settings.
  • Temperature 175-210 are acceptable for PLA depending on print speed, layer height, and filament brand (sometimes even color). I usually print at 175-185.
  • Support: Useful if you are printing a shape that has no flat spot, or crazy unsupported overhangs.
  • Adhesion: Brim is great for something that makes minimal contact with the print bed. It adds more print bed surface area for your item to grip the print surface. I have not yet found a use for a raft.
  • Diameter: Don't mess with this.
  • Flow%: 95% is usually good for modest speeds, for retraction this value gets tweaked.


Advanced Settings https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/X_fk6wOI9is0asq6jcumMd8RM2dpty9bBTFHwCingbp240kw8iO-4dfNKSahsSWF-jAO7Q3vXUg=w1884-h690

  • Nozzle size: do not mess with this
  • Retract Speed / Distance : do not mess with this
  • Initial layer thickness/% : do not mess with this
  • cut off bottom: just in case you want to trim the base of your print job, comes in handy to clean up an uneven base.
  • Dual overlap: do not mess with this
  • Travel Speed: just leave it at 400...that is crazy fast
  • Bottom layer speed: keep it low (35), it keeps the first layer from jamming up.
  • Infill speed: I usually stick it at 65, but if I have a high shell thickness I will crank it up to 125
  • Outer/Inner shell speeds: This is in case you want to print your outer shell at a different speed than your base print speed. you need to keep it close to your inner shell speed or you get strange results. Sometimes for a print I want to go fast, yet still make sure I get decent detail I will set the base print speed to 65, my inner shell to 45 and my outer shell to 35.
  • Cool: do not mess with this. Cool? Cool.


Expert Settings https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_Xm_WMuSK7F1bGO83T1xB3mgzHeAU91cJj1qLz8xbuRhIOGyLwi2m55Eg8n_C0lTDxMZEQ=w1896-h750

It is probably best you not mess with most of this.

  • Skirt: This is the number of passes around the print it makes to "prime the pump" before it starts to print. 3 is a good safe number. if you have a large model, 3 might make a lot of waste.
  • Fan Full on at Height: Just make sure is set to 0.
  • Black Magic: The "Spirailze Outer Layer" is great when you are making a vase...just make sure to load a profile after you are done...if Black magic is left on and the next user doesn't load a profile it will confound them.


Machine Settings https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/OKrswQ7fHU5GPWvzrsQBNyAgZVm4ZV-JaubntuoTZldgrf5zxO58lKEk_q7sYsInM8oBUv5HjWQ=w1884-h690

If you open the "Machine Settings" window, take a close look at each setting....then close the window. you don't want to mess with any of those.