Slicing for Dual Extrusion

Welcome to the Ultimaker 3 family! If you're not sure how to slice for dual extrusion printing, we have a step by step guide here, both for slicing for dual color printing, as well as slicing for dissolvable supports. To learn how to create a custom profile, scroll down to the video at the bottom of this page. Please note these screenshots are from Cura 2.4. Updated screenshots from Cura 2.6.1 will appear soon.

Prints in two colors

To print in 2 colors, you need 2 STL files that have been designed to fit together for dual extrusion. There's no way to separate a single STL file into two parts in Cura. You can separate files using other programs like MeshMixer, SpaceClaim, or Autodesk for example. You can also find ready made dual extrusion prints on YouMagine or Thingiverse. Here's a collection of some dual extrusion files available for download. The file pictured below is available at YouMagine.

Step 1--Load both of your files into Cura. Make sure that under the Settings --> Printer menu, you have selected Ultimaker 3 or Ultimaker 3 Extended to match your machine.

Step 2--Select the model you want to use for Print Core 1, and then on the "Print model with" menu on the center left hand side of the screen, choose Print Core 1 from the drop down menu. Don't worry if a different material (ABS, PVA, etc.) is currently listed for Print Core 1. You can adjust that later.

Step 3--Next, select the STL file you want to use for Print Core 2, and choose Print Core 2 from the drop down menu under "Print model with".

Step 4--Select both models at once by holding down the shift key and selecting them so that both models are highlighted. Then, right click to make the dialogue box below appear. Choose "Merge Models" from the menu.

Step 5--You now have a dual extrusion model that can be printed. If you need to change the materials for either Print Core, select the Core from the tabs in the photo and use the drop down menu to select your Print Core and Material types. The BB Core should only be selected if printing with PVA. AA cores should be used with all other materials (ABS, CPE, Nylon, and PLA). Select your quality settings, infill choice, and choose whether you want supports or additional adhesion, and you're ready to save the file and print!

Prints with Dissolvable Supports

To slice a print with a regular material in one Core and dissolvable support material in the other Core, please follow the following steps. The photos below have the Star Trek Enterprise model by Darren Watson as an example. Make sure that the correct printer type is selected in the Settings --> Printer menu.

Step 1--Load your STL file in Cura and orient your object using the rotation tool on the left hand side of the screen. For this object, a horizontal orientation with PVA supports should yield the best results.

Step 2--Select your main print material and your support material from the dropdown menus (Print core & Material) on the right hand side of Cura. Please note, at this time, only PLA and Nylon are supported combinations with PVA. CPE and ABS do not adhere well to PVA and may not yield good results. Under the Print Set-Up section on the right hand side, choose "Print support using PVA." It is also helpful to turn on "Print Helper Parts" to assist with build plate adhesion.


Step 3--You can check the supports that were generated by clicking the view icon on the left hand side, mid-way down the screen and selecting "Layer View." The teal areas that appear on the print are the dissolvable supports you've created. You're ready to save your file to your USB stick, save it to your computer, or send it to print over the network.


How do I create a custom profile?

 If you have customized settings and want to create a custom profile to make them easy to use again and again, check out the video on custom profiles below.


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