In my opinion, and based on my experience, Cura is the most simple slicing software I’ve ever used up until now.
I think it’s best to first learn the foundation of Slicing with Cura 3D, then, when you’re more experienced, you upgrade to different software.
It’s important to know how to print properly because, otherwise, you may ruin the printer. For example, if you don’t know the extrusion speed parameter, it may end up with the filament ruining the Hotend.
That’s why the quality of the object and the proper operation of the machine are strictly related to the printing file.
The gcode file that you create with Cura 3D is called Slicing File.
Inside this gcode, we can change simple printing parameters like temperature or speed, and more complex ones, like the flow and supports Z-distance.
The entity is made up of layers. Specifically, we have:
- Red parts: outer section
- Green parts: an inner section
- Yellow parts: infill.
Imagine a house. There are the lateral parts, the walls, then there is a roof and floor. Besides, our objects have the infill, which is a grid that fills up the object. We’ll see this parameter later on.
In the pictures above, we can see:
- supports (light blue);
- shells (red);
- layers (yellow);
- top layer (also yellow);
Pay attention to the blue lines here and there. These are the movements the printer does when it needs to go from one point to another. When it happens, there is no extrusion.
Let’s take this cube as an example. It as inner and outer shells and infill. The top layer has a 100% infill.
This is what happens to the rhombus object.
Now, let’s see the printing parameters:
- layer height;
- shell thickness;
- enable retraction;
- top/bottom thickness;
- fill density (%);
- print speed;
- printing temperature;
- bed temperature;
- support type;
- platform adhesion type;
- enable cooling fan;
I think this is one of the most important slicing lessons. We understood that a 3D entity is nothing more than a series of 2d layers.
One object 10 cm high is made up of 500 layers of 0.2 mm.