As you would expect from a company that prides itself on selling 3D printers based on open source technology, Aleph Objects feels the same way about the software that they use to run them. They recommend that owners of their LulzBot 3D printers operate them and convert their 3D models into GCODE using their customized Cura LulzBot Edition software. Not only is Cura widely considered one of the best slicers available, but the LulzBot Edition was developed specifically for their entire line of 3D printers. The LulzBot team has even created pre-set Cura print profiles so no matter which of their 3D printers their users have, the Cura software has been optimized for that specific 3D printer.
The LulzBot Taz 5 3D printer.
At this week’s Maker Faire in New York Aleph Objects will be debuting the newest update to their version of Cura and showing off the new features at their booth throughout the show. Like all of the LulzBot software, Cura LulzBot Edition v17 is completely free and will work on any FFF 3D printer running on GNU/Linux, Windows, or Mac OS X. Aleph Objects is also shifting the version numbering convention to the more common “major.minor” format to avoid any user confusion and encourage collaboration between LulzBot and independent Cura’s developers.
“We are excited about the improvements our team made in this new version of Cura LulzBot Edition, and we look forward to hearing the community’s feedback as we collaborate together to make 3D printing easier for everyone,” said Aleph Objects marketing manager Harris Kenny.
The LulzBot team made several tweaks and improvements to their version of Cura, but one of the biggest was their Quickprint Profiles. The software comes preloaded with printing profiles for twenty material types right out of the box. The profiles were optimized for products made by specific material vendors, including eSUN, Taulman 3D, Proto-pasta, Fenner Drives, CC-Products, and Village Plastics. So 3D printing materials like HIPS, PLA, ABS, nylon, elastomer, PET, conductive materials, polycarbonates, and wood-, metal-, and stone-like materials will all have their ideal settings available without any testing or guesswork.
Additionally, all twenty of the native Quickprint Profiles will be categorized by ease of use depending on how tricky the material is to work with. The categories are labeled First Run, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert. Cura LulzBot Edition v17 will also notify users if the selected materials will require any special bed preparation, including links to more information about them so users can choose the ideal material for their project and skill-level. Aleph also made Cura LulzBot Edition more flexible, so as the 3D printing industry grows and new varieties of advanced materials are developed they can be easily added to the available preset Quickprint Profiles.
In addition to selling their LulzBot Taz 5, their LulzBot Mini, and 3D printer components, Aleph offers an entire line of high-quality 3D printing filaments and materials. One of the new varieties of 3D printing materials being testing is a PET filament made from 100% recycled materials called B-PET. Once the material is available, the Quickprint Profile can easily be added to the Cura software. Aleph Objects is partnering with high-tech Argentinian think tank EnyeTech to test the quality of the B-PET materials on LulzBot 3D printers.
“PET is a fantastic and versatile material, one of the most used types of plastic in the world. PET’s presence in the 3D printing industry is increasing because of its ease of use and strength, but sadly it’s not currently made from recycled plastic. Through research and development, we are improving the process of waste recycling for use in 3D printing. B-PET recycles PET waste into a fully functional 3D printing material.” explained EnyeTech’s Tobias Girelli.
For now Aleph Objects did not have any release date for their new B-PET materials, however they are hopeful that they will be able to release it for sale soon. If you already have a LulzBot 3D printer you can simply download the Cura update directly from their website . You can read about the new features on the full Cura LulzBot Edition v17 release notes and if you will be at the Maker Faire New York this weekend you can stop by the LulzBot booth located in the 3D Printing Village and ask for a demonstration.
Will you at Maker Faire? Let us know in the Cura Lulzbot forum thread on 3DPB.com.