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Joined: 2020-06-24 1:56

Learning how to use a 3D Slicer can be scary but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s get your slicer settings right with this Cura tutorial.

It’s no secret that proper 3D slicer settings dramatically affect your 3D printer’s performance, and the quality of the 3D models it prints. In general, 3D Printers are quirky machines that need very specific settings. If you’re new to 3D Printing it’s easy to get lost trying to ensure each setting is correct. Knowing more about your settings from the beginning will help you get the best prints, and help you diagnose any problems you encounter along the way. That’s why we are going to teach you how to use a 3D slicer with one of the most popular options, Ultimaker Cura.

As I’ve alluded to Cura has some pretty in-depth options. When you are getting into tinkering with your 3D Prints this is great, but it also means things can be confusing. What I’ve done in this article is laid out your settings in detail. I describe how to find them, and what they are.

Knowing the technical details of what things are and how to find them is important. However, if you are like me you like to know how other people are doing things. That’s why I’ve put my favorite part at the end. That’s where I’ll go through a real example of how my settings are set up, and why I made the choices that I made.


First off, let me be honest. I put off learning about slicer settings for as long as possible, mostly because I’m pretty lazy when I can get away with it. When I purchased my first 3D printer in 2017, I bought a Monoprice Maker Select Plus, because at the time it was one of the best inexpensive, nearly fully assembled printers available. This meant that I didn’t have to spend time endlessly tweaking things. I could tighten a few bolts, level the bed, and get decent quality prints right away.

I also began by slicing custom prints in Slic3r, because I could just set my print area and filament dimensions and mostly leave the rest of the settings on the defaults. Again: lazy.

Slic3r worked fine for a while, but I found that it really doesn’t deal well with more complex objects. Some failed to slice at all. So, as my modeling abilities increased I needed a different solution. Grudgingly, I installed the most recent version of Ultimaker Cura.

One note: My issues involved the original version of Slic3r. I have not tried Slic3r PE, but I have to believe it works much better than the original, which at the time of writing hasn’t been updated in a while.


There isn’t anything wrong with using Cura. It’s a fantastic slicer with many advanced features. That being said, it wasn’t designed for lazy people like me. Likewise, for beginners who just want to start printing right away. To get good print results, you absolutely have to go through the settings. Even if Cura includes a profile for your printer, it’s guaranteed you will eventually need to change something to fit what you’re printing. To be able to do that, you have to understand what the different settings do. Let’s get to it.


If you are running Cura for the first time, once it loads and you have accepted the user agreement, it will immediately open the Add Printer window. Since everything Cura does is related to the chosen printer, it won’t let you skip this step. If you don’t know what to do here, no problem! Jump down to the Printers section of this article where I cover adding printers.

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