Ultimaker Cura Adaptive Layers Tutorial

Ultimaker Cura Adaptive Layer

How to use Ultimaker Cura Adaptive Layers to Reduce Print Time Without Sacrificing Quality

In Ultimaker Cura v3.2.0, a new feature has been introduced called Adaptive Layers. This feature is a great way of reducing print time without sacrificing print quality.

Ultimaker Cura Adaptive Layers
Ultimaker Cura Adaptive Layers

The Adaptive Layers setting will automatically adjust the layer height throughout the object depending on the geometry of what’s being printed. Areas with significant curves will be printed with thinner layers, while areas without significant variations will be printed with thicker layers. This way, curved surfaces still look nice and smooth, but the overall print time is less than it would be if you just used a small layer height for the entire object.

In the video we produced to demonstrate this feature, we printed a chess piece with and without the Adaptive Layers setting. Without this setting, the print took 2 hrs 13 min. With the setting enabled, it took 1 hr 33 min – a reduction of 40 minutes (30%).

Check out the video demonstration here:

To use this feature, you must have Cura v3.2.0 or later. You can download it here: https://ultimaker.com/en/products/ultimaker-cura-software

Then, follow these steps:
  1. Make sure you’re in “Custom” mode, not “Recommended” mode.
Ultimaker Cura Adaptive Layers
Ultimaker Cura Adaptive Layers set to “Custom” mode.

2. Go to Preferences / Settings, and use the search box to find the Adaptive Layers settings and enable them.

Ultimaker Cura Adaptive Layers
Enable the Adaptive Layers settings.

3. Setup your print job and select the Adaptive Layers setting under the “Experimental” settings group.

Ultimaker Cura Adaptive Layers
Select the Adaptive Layers setting under the “Experimental” settings group.

4. Optionally, configure the advanced Adaptive Layers settings:

Adaptive layers minimum variation: This setting controls the maximum allowed layer height difference compared to the base layer height setting (as defined under Quality / Layer Height).

Adaptive layers variation step size:  The difference in the height of the next layer compared to the previous one.

Adaptive layers threshold: Determines how likely thinner layers will be used. Smaller values result in more thinner layers, while larger values result in a tendency toward thicker layers.

5. After the print job slices, change the view mode from “Solid object” to “Layer view,” and change the color scheme to “Layer thickness.”

Ultimaker Cura Adaptive Layers
Changing the view mode.

6. Print!