Thanks to open-source software, desktop 3D printing is now in vogue and is starting to get a lot popular in the 3D printing space. We can call the hero of these open-source software the hero of desktop 3D printing as their creation modified the 3D printing process for everyone, making it accessible.
If you’re familiar with desktop 3D printing, you’d agree with me that of all the slicers that exist, Prusaslicer and Cura are two of the best slicers around for desktop 3D printing. Although these software have their different strength and weaknesses, they have a common similarity.
The similarity? They have successfully confused the public as regards which slicer is better. To help you make an informed decision as regards which slicer to use the next time you want to 3D print, here is a PrusaSlicer vs. Cura comparison that we’re confident you’ll find helpful.
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Cost: PrusaSlicer vs cura
The first thing anyone who 3D prints want to know about these slicers is if they come at a cost. And if they come at a price, exactly how much are they worth? It’s not a surprise that the cost of these slicers would interest anyone. Based on the quality of these two slicers, it’s easy for anyone to assume that they each come at a subscription. But guess what?
These two slicers are entirely free. They operate with open-source models that allow external engineers and anyone who has ideas on how to improve the performance of these slicers can execute these suggestions. Then, they can watch these suggestions released as in the next version of these slicers.
Although some slicers come at a cost, it’s not advisable to invest in them, especially when PrucaSlicer and Cura are the raves of the 3D printing universe. These slicers stay popular because of their open-source models that create room for improvement from just about any expert with an idea of how to make the slicers a better version. Although these slicers are for free, you’ll still need to invest money in the other equipment that’ll help you put these slicers to work effectively.
For example, you’ll need to invest in high-quality printers and filament for printing. You might also need to get some upgrades for your laptop or computer so you can have the best printing experience. For instance, it would be nice to invest in the flagship printers from the manufacturers of PrusaSlicer and Cura. The reason is, these printers were modelled to work perfectly with these slicers.
Hence, investing in any of the flagship printers from either of the brands benefits you greatly. If you use Prusa, you should invest in the flagship printer from the Prusa as they go hand-in-hand.
The same goes for the Cura slicer. However, that doesn’t mean that these slicers can’t work with other Printers. Of course not! Feel free to pair the Prusa or Cura with any printer of your choice. But you’ll print better when you use this slicer with the printers from the manufacturer.
Special Features: PrusaSlicer vs cura
Both PrusaSlicer and Cura have different unique features. These features contribute to why tons of people prefer to use PrusaSlicer or Cura. Let’s examine some of these features.
- Modifier Meshes:
This feature is a recent feature that improves the quality of your design model when you print it. It ensures that all the details are finely printed on the model while you make a copy for yourself. It gives you the flexibility to tweak various parts of the same STL by adding unique settings.
- Conditional G-Code:
This feature comes in handy when you want to add your creativity to the design model you intend to print. Here, nothing is fixed. You can still add a last-minute control or add extra functions like making a color change to your design while printing, etc.
- Variable layer height:
If you’ve always wanted to vary the thickness of your 3D printed model design, you can do this with a PrusaSlicer thanks to this feature. It gets rid of the layer height rigidity of your design while printing it. Now, you can adjust the thickness of the layer from thin to thick and back to thick or however you want to customize it. A further benefit of this is that you’ll print your design faster with the quality intact. If you’re in a hurry to print tons of designs, this feature sure would be a lifesaver at this point.
- Cura Marketplace:
Think of the Cura Marketplace as the app store of Playstore on your mobile device. The only difference is that this marketplace offers various plug-ins for your Cura slicer. Users of this slicer created the majority of the plug-ins on the Cura Marketplace to expand the functionality of the slicer itself.
- 3rd Party Support:
This feature contributes to Cura’s flexibility, making it compatible with most 3D printers on the market today. As a result, you don’t necessarily have to buy the 3D printer developed by the original manufacturers of this software (Ultimate). All you need is an effective 3D printer, and it’ll work perfectly with Cura.
- Cura’s Custom Script:
With this feature, you can pause your printing mid-way to make adjustments if it’s necessary. For instance, while printing, you can pause it if you notice that you didn’t add some hardware components to get your desired result. Then, install the hardware component, make the other necessary adjustments you need to make, and continue printing. It won’t impact the quality of your 3D printed design negatively.
- Experimental Settings:
This feature turns 3D printing into a fun playground for you as the user. You can implement fun features in your design, like adding an effect to the printed model, etc.
3rd Party Printer Support: PrusaSlicer vs cura
When it comes to direct customer support, neither of PrusaSlicer nor Cura offers direct customer support. All you get from the companies who are the brain behind these Slicers are guides, FAQs, and manuals as extensive as should be. This condition is not surprising since these two slicers are open-source software.
Hence, the public seems to have major stakeholders in anything you want to know about working with either of these slicers. To get real support and answers to questions that aren’t in the comprehensive guides, manuals, and FAQs, you can deploy the 3rd party support. It comes in the form of communities and forums that users of these slicers have built to share the tips, techniques, tricks, etc., that work for them when printing with either of these slicers. Generally, a great forum platform to start from is Reddit. Let’s dive in a little deeper.
This software is not different from Cura in the department of not having dedicated customer care to respond and proffer the solutions to your problems. Prusa thrives on its vast number of users that created a platform to discuss, share their tips, ideas, techniques, and suggestions on how to troubleshoot problems they encounter with their Prusa software.
Aside from the dedicated forum created by the community of Prusa users, the Original Purse team still releases new software versions. They also never fail to upload videos that review the different changes and new features in any new version of their release. An easy way to locate these videos is to go through the community.
With Cura, there is no customer care or dedicated customer support that you can reach out to for help. As open-source software, you sort out your problems with the software via open forums like Reddit. However, as Cura got popular and earned more users, a website was created like a community for people who use Cura.
This website or platform is a safe place for Cura users to share their challenges, issues, share tips and tricks they used to solve the problems they encountered, etc. But it doesn’t end here.
This Cura website has a group of moderators who visit the website from time to time to stay updated on the issues that people encounter using the software to fix it and update it in another version of the Cura software. The main idea here is to create a community where users of Cura can ask questions and start discussions about Cura and the other Cura products.
Uses and Application: PrusaSlicer vs cura
Although both Prusa and Cura are desktop 3D printing software that you can deploy in printing your 3D printed designs perfectly, the companies designed both software for different use cases and applications, one way to decide which software would fulfil your needs is to understand the different use cases and applications for both software. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
If you’re an artist, a 3D printer hobbyist, or a small-scale professional, the Prusa software is for you. By design, this software doesn’t follow a complicating or complex function or setup because of those it targets. It is perfect for 3D printing activities with your family, friends, and personal projects where too much material won’t be needed.
As a result of the functions and the people it was designed to tend to, you’ll realize that it has a simple interface with easy-to-understand functions. You won’t need the help of a third party to help you. Of course, the interface is also user-friendly.
Thanks to the pre-sliced parts repository, the manufacturers added to the software to simplify the file sharing process for users. Hence, you’ll easily access files that are easy to print to make your work easier. Aside from individuals, visual agencies also make use of the Prusa software. You’ll do better with Purse, especially if you only intend to use it for your home printing needs.
Unlike Prusa, that’s for individuals, this software caters more to industrial needs. It is best used with specialized materials that industries deploy. As a result, Cura engages in strategic partnerships with industries or manufacturers that produce polymers.
Through this partnership, they’ve pushed these materials into the Cura marketplace. Some of the Polymer manufacturers that Cura teamed up with include Solvay, Dupont, BASF, etc. If you’ve been wondering why you might need plug-ins when operating this software, I’ll tell you why.
You’ll need plug-ins to work effortlessly with software like NX, SolidWorks, and Inventor, for starters. These software are known as CAD software, and they aid an efficient and professional workflow. Cura works to aid the production of replacement parts and other complex 3D printing solutions that are industrial-based.
User Interface: PrusaSlicer vs cura
The user interface of any software is essential as it decides the experience of your customers. The beautiful feature about Prusa and Cura is that, regardless of their different applications and use cases, they infused different settings into the software to help both beginners and experts relate to the software easily, based on their skill level.
Prusa deploys a simple interface that both experts and newbies can navigate. Although it’s simple, it is effective and intuitive. The manufacturer visibly arranged the settings, making it easy for newbies and experts to understand how it works. With various modes to choose from based on your level of experience with this software, you can easily navigate through this software and make it work for you.
Although it’s for industrial-level applications, Cura’s interface is intuitive and user-friendly. It makes it easy for beginners and experts to find their way around the software. You would also benefit from the ability of this software to give you print estimations and animation previews.
Truthfully, Prusa and Cura are fantastic software that equally delivers excellent results. The question to ask when comparing these software is not which is better than the other. Instead, the better question to ask is which software fulfills my needs?
From the use case and applications of both software, you can already tell that these software are unique in their respects and have different target audiences. While Prusa helps individuals like hobbyists, small-scale professionals, etc., fulfil their 3D printing task, the Cura software works better in an industrial environment with complex materials that would require protective measures on whoever would operate the 3D printer.
Now that you’ve read through our Prusa vs. Cura comparison, we believe you can now make an informed decision based on which software is best for your needs.