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Cura vs Simplify3d

Cura vs Simplify3d

Cura and Simplify3D are two of the most loved and highly-rated slicers in the 3D printing world. The 3D printing community, however, can’t seem to decide which one performs the best of the two slicing software.

Slicing software are used to convert a 3D model along with other parameters into instructions that can be understood by a 3D printer. To do this, it outputs a machine language known as G-code. Many 3D printing projects cannot be successful without high-end quality slicers, and this is what makes Cura and Simplify3D very important.

So, if you’re a newbie to the 3D printing industry and you’re looking to find the best slicer software for you or a long-standing member who wants to change the slicer software you’re currently using, then this article will point you in the right direction.

In this article, we will analyze each of the software based on their offerings and then allow you to choose your preferred option depending on what tickles your fancy best. Read on to find the review.

What is Cura?

Cura, or Ultimaker Cura, is a very popular slicing software in the 3D industry. With only a few clicks, you can fully integrate your CAD software to get the best, seamless workflow. If you’re an advanced user, you can dig into the custom settings to modify the software as you wish.

Cura has a wide range of features that endears it to the heart of its users. These features also make Cura a very versatile tool, so it’s eagerly sought-after by many. Outside of its regular features, there are more features the Ultimaker platform offers that make using Cura for 3D printing very efficient.

Cura also provides many resources that make it easy for users to quickly grasp the software to enable them to make the best of it for their 3D projects in no time.

Main Features of Cura

Cura has a ton of interesting features that make it a top-rated tool. Let’s take a look at a few of them below:

1.    Slicing Features

This is one of the most important features that Cura offers. It is a powerful, open-source slicing engine created over the years to meet and surpass industry standards. It was created by top experts and modified to suit user preferences through their feedback.

With the slicing feature, you can print specific applications at the touch of a button. With the custom mode, you can create over 400 settings for granular control. The slicing software is a precise and accurate feature as it has passed through many rigorous tests to ensure its quality.

2.    Easy Integration

Cura understands that you need to have an integrated workspace to make your workflow as seamless as possible. So, it provides a simple solution using its integration to all Ultimaker products.

It also provides CAD plug-in integration with SolidWorks, Siemens NX, Autodesk Inventor, and other tools. Cura is also compatible with many file types including STL, OBJ, X3D, 3MF, BMP, GIF, JPG, and PNG.

3.    Ready-to-Use Profiles

Cura creates and provides ready-to-use profiles that are compatible with different printers and brands. Although it began by only creating profiles for Ultimaker printers alone, it has expanded to many other brands and models for wider accessibility to many other users.

4.    Custom Supports

Cura is easy to use so anyone with any level of experience can enjoy the slicer. Even better, it offers customizable support structures for overhangs. This makes it simpler for users to set parameters like angle, density, and pattern before deciding on support placement.

Cura Pricing

Cura offers two pricing plans, allowing you to choose based on your needs and uses for the slicing software. There’s a free plan that offers the basic features you need for a slicer, and it’s free for as long as you like. If you’re looking for more enhanced settings, Ultimaker Essentials is the paid option with a lot more features. To get this plan, you can visit the website to request a quote.

Advantages of Cura

Cura has many benefits that can help you decide on whether to work with the app. Here are some of them:

  • Cura is free to download and stays free even with subsequent updates. You can choose to upgrade your plan if you wish, but that’s entirely up to you.
  • Cura is easy to use. It has a smooth user interface, sleek and intuitive.
  • Cura is very functional and can work for a wide range of projects. However, you may need some additional support to carry out a few other projects.
  • Cura is also compatible with quite a few 3D printers outside of the Ultimaker printer.

Disadvantages of  Using Cura

Cura also has a few drawbacks. See them below.

  • You can’t access all Cura features on the basic or free Cura plan.
  • You may need to add some features as plug-ins before you can use the software.

What Is Simplify3D?

Simplify3D is a professional 3D printing software that understands the needs of its users. This software is created such that it provides a platform for all categories of people who need the platform; professionals, makers, and educators.

As an engineer, you can work with Simplify3D with complete control over your printing process. Designers on the other hand can use the software to enhance the quality of their 3D prints for the best results possible. As a teacher or student, Simplify3D helps you learn about the software to become the best you can be while working with 3D printers.

Simplify3D is compatible with hundreds of printers which makes it accessible to different users with different needs. You can run a quick test on the website to see if your printer is compatible with the software.

Main Features of Simplify3D

The main features of Simplify3D set it apart from many of the others, including Cura. Let’s see what they have to offer.

1.    Wide compatibility

Unlike Cura which started out as a specific software for Ultimaker printers and is just starting to expand its reach to others, Simplify3D has always opened its doors to hundreds of printers. It’s partnered with several printers in up to 30 countries so you can get the best use wherever you are.

2.    Support Structures for Overhang

Like Cura, Simplify3D provides support structures for overhangs. The software gives you complete control of the entire support allocation and also provides Manual Placement tools that makes removing and adding structures simple and intuitive.

3.    Multiple Machine Allowance

Simplify3D serves as a central application where you can manipulate your different 3D printers. If you have different 3D printers, you don’t need to download and learn different 3D printing software before you can use them. Control all of them from Simplify3D.

4.    Realistic Simulations

This software gives you realistic simulations of how your 3D printed object will perform even before it is printed. So, if you need to make any modifications, you can note and adjust it before proceeding to print. You can watch the animation of the extruder as it lays down lines of plastic, providing more insight than before.

Simplify3D Pricing

Unlike Cura, Simplify3D does not have a free version. Instead, you pay a license fee of $149. You can test it for 2 weeks risk-free, then request a full refund afterwards, if it turns out you don’t like the software.

Advantages of Simplify3D

Some of the advantages of Simplify3D include the following:

  • Higher intuitive features than Cura software.
  • Highly optimized and nuanced slicers than many 3D printing software on the market.
  • Simplify3D only requires 2G of RAM which makes it very efficient, unlike Cura, even after many community members have complained.
  • Simplify3D supports up to 95% of printers on the market.
  • Its one-time payment offer may be more economical in the long-run, instead of recurrent subscriptions.

Disadvantages of Simplify3D

Here are a few drawbacks to using Simplify3D:

  • For beginners in the 3D printing industry, the cost of paying for the software could be discouraging.
  • Simplify3D may be a little difficult to navigate when you attempt to multitask on the software.
  • Simplify3D does not allow for plug-ins, so you can’t add extra features unlike in Cura. You would have to wait until the feature is included, perhaps through a future update.

Cura vs. Simplify3D: Final Verdict

After looking at both slicing software against various parameters, we’ve found that they can handle what you throw at them as regards 3D printing. However, some features make them stand out differently from the other.

Where Simplify3D is more compatible with a wider range of printers, Cura isn’t. Again, Cura allows for plug-ins that give users access to almost any type of feature they need on the software. Simplify3D does not.

Lastly, the cost of Simplify3D may be a deterrent to beginners looking to use the software to learn or personal development. Cura offers a completely free version.

It is tough to decide which of the software takes the upper arm, as both present quality functions for users. To break the tie, it’s advisable to go with the software that is best suited for your personal needs since both of them are sure to deliver.

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