- Ultimaker Cura allows loading 3D models of various file types in different ways.
- Project files containing 3D models can also be loaded easily. Tip: The shortcut to open file in Ultimaker Cura is 'CTRL + O' for Windows or 'CMD + O' for Mac.
- Open file buttonClick the 'open file' button in the top left corner of the stage menu in Ultimaker Cura.
Open file menuClick 'File > Open File(s)..' from the Ultimaker Cura menu in the top left corner of the screen. The file browser of your operating system opens. Select the 3D model you would like to load and click 'open'.
Tip: Select multiple models using CTRL/CMD or Shift (depending on your operating system) and click 'open'. Click 'File > Open Recent' from the Ultimaker Cura menu in the top left corner to quickly load any recently loaded files.
Note:Ultimaker Cura project files (.3mf) contain 3D models that can be loaded without opening the complete project file. Anyone who watched the recent Ultimaker Showcase will know that Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta has finally arrived, and it brings with it some of the biggest improvements the software has ever seen.
With this release, all Ultimaker Cura users can expect increased print quality when printing fine details and thin walls as well as stronger printed parts.
Check out the Ultimaker Showcase!
|Model||Best for||Material compatibility||Build volume||Additional information|
|Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle||Best overall||More than 90 materials||13 x 9.4 x 11.8 inches||More info|
|Ultimaker Original Plus||Best for learning purposes||PLA, ABS, CPE||8 x 8 x 7.8 inches||More info|
|Ultimaker 2+ Connect||Best for high-speed printing||PP, PC, and other materials||8.7 x 8.6 x 8 inches||More info|
|Ultimaker S3||Best for industrial settings||More than 110 materials||9 x7.4 x 7.9 inches||More info|
|Ultimaker S5||Best for versatility||More than 200 materials||13 x 9.4 x 11.8 inches||More info|
|Ultimaker S2 Extended +||Best for DIY projects||PLA, CPE, ABS||8.77 x 8.77 x 12 inches||More info|
|Ultimaker Original||Best for small scale 3D prints||PLA, CPE, ABS||8.2 x 8.2 x 8 inches||More info|
|Ultimaker 2 Go||Best for novice 3D designers||PLA||4.72 x 4.72 x 4.53 inches||More info|
Ultimaker owners will also benefit from improved print profiles that will reduce print times by as much as 20%. Download it now to try it yourself! The biggest and most exciting improvement in Ultimaker Cura 5.0 is a revolutionary new slicing engine.
This slicing engine allows for variable line width. In the past, sliced files would use consistent line width, with the exact width depending on the nozzle diameter and the line width settings used. This meant that when slicing a file, if part of the print was two-and-a-half lines thick, Ultimaker Cura would generate two lines and leave a small gap between.
Finer details and stronger prints with a new and improved slicing engine
In certain cases (such as with extremely small details) areas of less than one line thick would not be able to print at all. Another unfortunate side effect of this behavior was that when slicing a file where a small but significant gap would be left between two walls, a series of diagonal lines would often be generated to fill it.
Open most recent files
Ultimaker Cura 4.13 infill lines. Ultimaker Cura 5.0 infill lines. This would still leave some small gaps in the final part, but it would also require the print head of your printer to perform a series of small jerky movements when printing that would cause a lot of unnecessary vibrations and noise.
With this new engine, the width of a line is dynamically adjusted during printing. This means fewer gaps between lines, more efficient toolpaths, and more accuracy when printing thin walls and fine details.
Open files with the menu
The result is both stronger and better-looking parts! Here is an example in the slicer preview mode that shows how variable line width results in different (and improved) sliced files when compared to Ultimaker Cura 4.13:.
Better yet, it is now possible to print fine details and thin walls that would previously have been impossible.
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This can be seen both in-slicer and in printed parts. Here are some tiny Benchy models being previewed in Ultimaker Cura 4.13:. A Benchy sliced at 20%, 15%, and 10% scale in Ultimaker Cura version 4.13.
These models were sliced using a layer height of 0.1mm and an AA 0.25mm print core. The parts in gray are details that are so small they cannot be sliced. As you can see, the 20% scale Benchy is fine but once it is scaled any smaller than that, parts of the model become impossible to print.
Here the same models in Ultimaker Cura 5.0:. A Benchy sliced at 20%, 15%, and 10% scale in Ultimaker Cura version 5.0. In contrast to the previous version, the models sliced using the Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta have no problem being sliced and on a well-tuned printer, should have no problem being printed!
Thank you to everyone who helped test the new slicing engine in earlier betas and we look forward to seeing all the ways the community finds to use it in the future!
Supported file types
The new slicing engine has also enabled us to further improve our Ultimaker print profiles, making them faster than ever. Users of Ultimaker printers can expect print time reductions of up to 20%.
With the biggest reductions seen when printing parts that make full use of the new slicing engine features. These print speed improvements are in addition to those recently seen in our Ultimaker Cura 4.13 update.
Proving again that Ultimaker owners not only have access to the best print profiles around, but that those profiles are continually being improved to make use of everything Ultimaker Cura has to offer.
Faster print profiles
The following improvements have also been included in the Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta release:. Support for Apple M1 chips. We have fixed a number of visual bugs meaning that users of Apple M1 chips can now enjoy improved compatibility.
Revamped Ultimaker marketplace integration. We have streamlined the workflow for accessing the Ultimaker Marketplace inside of Ultimaker Cura. The UI has been improved and it’s now easier and faster to find and install plugins and material profiles.
Top 8 Ultimaker 3D printers
1. Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle – The best overall Ultimaker 3D printer
Many tweaks and improvements have been made to the UI including updated menus and an improved virtual build plate. If you want to learn more about the Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta and some of the amazing applications it’s enabled, we recently held a showcase of not only the Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta, but all of the other exciting recent developments at Ultimaker.
You can rewatch the showcase here. And stay tuned for a lot more content exploring the ways in which the Ultimaker Cura 5.0 beta has opened up a new world of 3D printing opportunities!
Get your hands on the game-changing new features of Ultimaker Cura 5.0 right now by downloading the beta.
- And please, share your feedback with us and the rest of the Ultimaker community!
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2. Ultimaker Original Plus – The best Ultimaker 3D printer for education
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3. Ultimaker 2+ Connect – The best Ultimaker 3D printer for high-speed printing
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The heated glass plate’s operating temperature ranges from 68F to 230F, while the assisted leveling feature ensures that the build plate is correctly calibrated.
- Often used by auto industry brands
- Supports a wide range of files
- Utilizes fused filament fabrication technology
- High print speed
- No dual extrusion option
4. Ultimaker S3 – The best Ultimaker 3D printer for industrial settings
Swappable print cores, interactive touchscreen design, and a heated build plate are among the features that make the Ultimaker S3 one of the brand’s best 3D printers. This model is best suited for professional and industrial environments because it offers excellent print quality.
The S3 is compatible with more than 110 materials, and its abrasion-resistant wheels allow you to print with filaments such as metal, high-strength glass, or carbon fiber. However, the model’s build volume is limited compared to the build volume offered by the S5 or S5 Pro Bundle models.
This 3D printer utilizes a dual extrusion print head equipped with an auto-nozzle lifting system, and it’s compatible with 0.25mm, 0.4mm, 0.6mm, and 0.8mm nozzles. You can print G, GCODE, GCODE.gz, and UFP files on an Ultimaker S3 3D printer.
Read our Ultimaker S3 review for more information about this model.
- Nozzles can operate at temperatures up to 536F
- The build plate heats up in less than five minutes
- Dual gear feeder is reinforced for composite materials
- Compatible with Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems
- It doesn’t offer a large build volume
5. Ultimaker S5 – The most versatile Ultimaker 3D printer
The fact that you can use more than 200 printing materials with the Ultimaker S5 makes it the brand’s most versatile model. In addition, its nozzles are reinforced for composite materials, and the 3D printer supports dual extrusion printing.
The Ultimaker S5 comes with an AA print core that can be used for Nylon, PP, or ABS materials and a BB print core that enables you to work with PVA water-soluble materials. The print core for abrasive composite materials is sold separately.
Its large build volume allows for printing of up to 13 x 9.4 x 11.8 inches. Besides the Ultimaker Cura and Ultimaker Digital Factory print preparation and management software products, you can also use Blender or SolidWorks CAD software to design models you want to print.
Go through our Ultimaker S5 review to find out more about this 3D printer.
- Straightforward printing process
- Compatible with a broad spectrum of materials
- Large build volume
- Low noise level
- Can’t handle materials automatically
- Long printing times
6. Ultimaker S2 Extended + – The best Ultimaker 3D printer for DIY projects
Even though the Ultimaker S2 Extended 3D printer was recently discontinued, this model is still available in stores throughout the United States. Unfortunately, this printer is compatible with PLA, ABS, and CPE materials, and you cannot use it to print with two materials simultaneously.
Assembling the printer isn’t difficult, as you just have to attach the spool holder to the device’s backside, install the glass plate and connect the 3D printer to a power source. Its layer resolution spans from 20 to 200 microns, but you can only use nozzles that have 0.04mm diameters.
This Ultimaker’s model only supports SD card file transfer, and you can’t use WiFi or Ethernet to transfer the files you want to print to the 3D printer. Its moderate price and modest performance capabilities limit its range of applications to DIY projects.
- 300mm/s printing speed
- A high degree of print accuracy
- 3D printer makes less than 49dB of noise
- Nozzles can operate at high temperatures
- Limited file transfer options
7. Ultimaker Original – The best Ultimaker 3D printer for small scale prints
As indicated by its name, the Ultimaker Original is the brand’s first 3D printer that was released just a few months after the company was founded. The model received the Make Magazine’s award for the fastest and most accurate printer on the market in 2012.
Like the Ultimaker Original Plus, this 3D printer is assembled by the user, which enables you to modify it in any way you see fit. The product was discontinued in October 2021, along with a dual extrusion pack, UniController kit, and heated bed accessories that were bundled with the 3D printer.
The company still produces spare parts for this 3D printer, so you won’t have to worry about replacing its dust filter or fan. However, finding a new Ultimaker Original 3D printer might be difficult.
- Fast and accurate printing
- Great for the printing of plastic models
- Simple calibration process
- Wide operating temperature range
- High maintenance requirements
8. Ultimaker 2 Go – The best Ultimaker 3D printer for novice 3D designers
The Ultimaker 2 Go might be a great choice for you if you’re new to the world of 3D printing. The model arrives preassembled, and you don’t have to go through the trouble of putting its components together. Its build volume is just 4.72 x 4.72 x 4.53 inches, so you can’t use it to create large-scale prints.
Also, this model is only compatible with the PLA filament, and you can’t produce 3D prints made of glass, carbon fiber, or metal. The Ultimaker 2 Go is only compatible with STL and OBJ files, and you must use an SD card to transfer these files to the 3D printer.
The manufacturer discontinued this model, but you can still get it at an affordable price from different online retailers.
- Less expensive than most Ultimaker’s 3D printers
- Easy to use
- Functions usually at temperatures between 60F and 90F
- Fast printing times
- Users might run into file compatibility issues
Frequently asked questions about Ultimaker 3D printers
Question: Do Ultimaker 3D printers have a warranty?
Answer: Yes, the manufacturer offers a one-year warranty for all 3D printer models. You’ll also get free lifetime support and access to learning resources if you purchase an Ultimaker 3D printer.
Question: How long does it take to print a model on an Ultimaker 3D printer?
Answer: The printing time of Ultimaker 3D printers varies from 30 minutes to more than 24 hours, depending on the settings you selected. Also, you should keep in mind that Ultimaker Cura doesn’t always display accurate printing time estimates.
Question: What is the maximum power output of Ultimaker 3D printers?
Answer: The maximum power output of Ultimaker 3D printers depends on the model, and it spans from 200W to 600W.
Question: Do Ultimaker 3D printers have high upkeep requirements?
Answer: You need to clean your Ultimaker 3D printer and remove material debris after approximately 1500 hours of printing. Do not attempt to clean a 3D printer after a printing session because its nozzle and bed are hot.
My verdict: How to know which Ultimaker 3D printer is the best?
An Ultimaker 3D printer can be equally effective in a classroom, car factory, or art project. All of the brand’s models are equipped with features that ensure a high level of print quality and accuracy.
In addition, most models support a wide range of materials, and they allow you to print models with two filaments. The size of the prints you can make with Ultimaker 3D printers varies from model to model.
So if you’re looking for a 3D printer that offers a lot of build volume, I recommend choosing the Ultimaker S5 or the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle models. On the other hand, opting for the Ultimaker 2+ Connect or the Ultimaker S3 might be a better option for you if you want to create medium-sized prints.
Which Ultimaker 3D printer are you going to choose? Let me know in the comments, or continue reading our Ultimaker S3 vs. S5 comparison if you want to find out more about the differences between these two 3D printers.