Aleph Objects, makers of the LulzBot series of 3D printers, announced what we consider to be a very strategic move for their software support.
The news is that they’ve adopted Cura as their 3D printer slicing and management software. Cura is a well-known open source 3D print tool supported by Ultimaker and others. Ultimaker uses it as their primary tool for 3D printer slicing and management, but now LulzBot owners will be able to do the same.
Cura is a very interesting piece of software that has a number of interesting features, not the least of which is quick slicing while you twiddle parameters: you don’t even need to hit a “slice” button, as it happens automatically and continuously.
But there’s a lot more with the new Cura LulzBot Edition v17. Aleph Objects has customized the open source Cura software to provide a number of benefits specifically for LulzBot operators.
They’ve developed material “profiles” for no less than twenty brand-name filament providers (see image at top). As you can see in this screenshot, you’re now able to specify what you’ve loaded into the machine and Cura instantly knows precisely the correct parameters for optimal printing with that material.
They’ve also devised a way to select materials based on the challenge of using them. You can now select from these categories:
- First Run
It may seem curious to categorize a list of only twenty items, but this tells us what’s going to happen next: Aleph Objects will add many more plastic products to their portfolio in coming months. We wouldn’t be surprised to see almost every plastic product in this list in the future.
When you select a material, Cura LulzBot Edition v17 now shows you handling tips to ensure and remind you of any special duties required to make the print successful. For example, you may have to prepare the print surface in a particular way for a specific material.
These changes enable Aleph Objects to rapidly support any number of current or future material options on their equipment.
All this is very good news – and actually is a feature that should be found in any 3D printer slicing software. These are functions that people need, particularly those who frequently switch materials as you might do on a LulzBot 3D printer.