In this second Cura 3.0 guide we will discuss the Working Area: how to use it.
If you haven’t read the first part of the guide yet, and you want to do it now, Cura Guide: installation and creation of printers, materials and profiles.
When opened, Cura appears as in the photo:
To be more simple, we have divided the screen into 3 sections:
- The working area
- Printers and Materials (widely discussed in the first guide)
- Print Settings (Next guide Topic)
I did not want to consider the menus, because they are a simple repetition of what we are saying. Basically another way to achieve the same result. Therefore, with the principles of this guide it is easy to practice Cura, whether you want to or do not want to use the menus.
Cura Guide: Working Area
In this space we can manually move, resize, rotate the model. We can choose different types of visualization, but let’s go into detail.
In this space we can decide whether to prepare the model or to control the printer. However, the control is optimised for Ultimaker printers and we will not discuss this in this guide.
Cura Guide: Number 1 Area
Representation of the printing bed: The printing bed is represented here. Since the last version of Cura, the typical chessboard has been replaced by a grid. In this grid, each square has a 1 cm side. If we want to zoom in, we will see each square divided into squares by 1mm of side. This allows the model to be positioned on the printing surface with millimetre precision.
In this area through the mouse we can implement different movements :
- By clicking and holding the right mouse button we move the view to different angles.
- Rotating the pan (the wheel) we approach or move away the view on a point.
- Clicking and holding on the pan changes the central point of the view.
- The single click with the left button selects the model, to process it through the options on the left (menu explained in item 3)
- With a single right click we have access to other possibilities including the most important: center the model, duplicate or delete it.
Cura Guide: Number 2 Area
At the top right we find the views. The first compact display shows us the solid object, while when viewed by X-rays it allows us to examine it also inside.
We need to dwell a little more on layer visualization. Cura 3.0 has implemented a lot of this option, giving many possibilities. First of all we have to decide if we want to see the model in a single color (the real one if we have set the color in the setting of materials), or selecting type line different colors will illustrate the various “phases” that make up our model. We will see in different colors the infill, the perimeter, the helper, etc…
For a correct analysis of the model we can decide whether to make it visible or not:
- The adhesion to the printing bed (helper)
- The shell of the model
- The infill, to check how it will look inside.
- Moves! We can also see what movements the nozzle will make and if we think there is some criticality change route (as we will see in the third and fourth guide).
Cura Guide: Number 3 Area
IN THE NUMBER THREE AREA WE FIND THE OPEN FILE BUTTON (EVEN IF I PERSONALLY PREFER TO DRAG THE FILE DIRECTLY INTO THE AREA), AND A SERIES OF COMMANDS, UNLOCKED BY THE MODEL SELECTION.
- Moving: selecting moving you can move the model with the mouse or you can indicate how many millimeters to move the model in all axes: x,y and z. The indication of the movement in numbers can be very useful. When for some reason the press is interrupted at some point. Maybe near the end.
If we want to save hours and hours of printing we can measure the height of the print already created and insert this measurement (with the negative sign in front) in the Z axis. In this way we can print the missing part and glue it with the adhesive suitable for the type of material. Voilà print saved.
- Scale: this option allows you to scale the model and then print it larger or smaller than its actual size. Checking the uniform resize option will then resize only the selected axis(s). This option gives us the possibility to transform a square into a rectangle, or to substantially change the shape of our object at will (within the limits of the command).
- Rotation: Activating rotation will immediately show 3 circles around the object, pressing and dragging you can orient the object differently. The Snap tick allows you to rotate our model of defined angles (15° in 15°), removing it we can rotate freely. We can reset the movements at any time. Or place the model on a flat surface using 2 special buttons.
- Mirror image: simply mirror the object according to the plan we have indicated, just press the arrow in the direction of the imaginary mirror and Cura will create the new model, which will automatically replace the previous one.
- Settings by model: Here you have the possibility to search for a particular setting that you want to change or activate/deactivate. Basically, from here you have quick access (via the filter) to all print settings. Personally, I prefer to deal with these settings in the print settings.
Cura Guide: Saving area
In my opinion this space is part of the working area. In addition to the indication of the name of the gcode that we will create (editable with a left click) and its size also the part at the bottom right. This area was inside the working area until the last version and ideally it is still linked. Here you will find information about the printing time and the material required, in metres and grams.
If you have indicated the price in the creation of the materials here you will also see the cost of the item that you are going to print!
It is in this section where we find the save button, to be pressed when the work is finished.
You can save it to a file, to a directory of your choice or to a removable disk. Ideally an SD card to insert into the printer. If you use the removable drive save, remember to eject the drive before physically removing it.
This concludes our second Cura guide to the work area.
If you missed the first Cura guide you can read it: Cura installation and creation of printers, materials and profiles.
GO AHEAD WITH THE THIRD GUIDE: PRINT SETTINGS.
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