Cura vs Simplify3D: Which One Better For You?

When you talk to your 3D-printing-enthusiast friend about slicing up the fruits, he or she may not perceive it quite the way you think!

That is because “slicing” has an entirely different definition in the world of 3D printing.

This is the code for slicing your original 3D file into many fine layers. The g-code file is the language your 3D printer can understand. The 3D printer will begin implementing each layer according g-code instructions. It will deliver the result in minutes.

Cura and Simplify3D among the many slicing tools available today are two of the most preferred options.

They perform the same function but they have their own unique features. Today, we will be comparing Cura vs Simplify3D.

So let’s see who slices it the best!

Cura is what?

Cura is a software program that’s used in the slicing stage of 3D printing. It efficiently divides the given digital image or file into many layers or “slices”. This sliced version, called g-code, varies from printers to printer. The 3D printer then implements each slice in the correct order.

To maximize its efficiency, the free software was developed using three programming languages, namely C++ and Python. David Braam, a software engineer, originally created it. However, now it is a product of Ultimaker – a manufacturer of 3D printers.

It became a household name in 2013, and has seen many improvements since then. The 4.3 version was released in September 2019.

Cura currently prints approximately 1.4 Million models per week for more than a thousand people around the world.

The software has been highly praised by professionals and won numerous awards since its inception.

It has been included by some of the most trusted names in 3D, such as PrinterChat and All3DP. best software choices. It won the title Software Tool of the year at the 2019 edition 3D Printing Industry Awards, held in London.

You can make Cura work with any of the top three operating systems – Windows, Linux and macOS. You can use Cura with all the standard image formats (JPG/PNG, GIF, BMP) as well as 3D formats, such as OBJ/STL, 3MF, and X3D.

Cura’s Advantages

Open-source and Free

Cura doesn’t require you to pay anything! You can download Cura from the official Ultimaker website as a free software program.

Cura is able to help beginners in 3D printers! Cura is also useful for professionals with limited budgets.

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Its open-source nature also allows you to look into the background coding via the Cura repository at Github!

You can make modifications to the file and redistribute them according to your specific project requirements.

Simple Setup and Easy Use

Setting up Cura is as easy as using it – fast and simple! First, download and install Cura’s 32-bit or 64-bit version according to your device’s specifications.

To connect the printer and your computer, or laptop where the software is located, use a micro USB Cable. Let the OS search for the driver.

If necessary, you can add machines or modify G-code settings. Navigate to the main window and open or create a new file. The fun begins!

It allows you to adjust speed, quality, or other factors for each print.

Fast Weekly Updates

Cura software is like any other tech product. It receives regular updates to ensure the most up-to-date 3D printing technology.

The speed at which these updates are delivered is what makes the difference. Cura saves you time by completing it quickly through short cycles each week.

LGPLv3 Licence

Although the software had initially been designed for the Affero General Public licenseIt was then changed into the Lesser General Public License, or LGPL.

This change allows its developers to integrate more closely with third-party applications for CAD. This allows you to explore more creative ideas using SolidWorks, Siemens NX, and SolidWorks.

Cura’s disadvantages

Slow Processing

Cura is slower than other programs on the market when it comes to model processing speed.

It takes longer to process models than other programs and can be slower when dealing with complex models. They can sometimes be stuck in processing mode or freeze up.

Inconvenient Support Settings

Cura doesn’t provide sufficient support control for 3D-printed models. This means – you may have to put in extra effort and time to find the right supports in the software.

Ultimaker attempted to solve the problem by bringing tree supports aboard, but they are still not upto par.

What is Simplify3D?

Simplify 3D is another popular 3D printing software. It converts 3D model files into a gcode, which the printer can interpret and implement.

It offers a lot more than most of its rivals. The features here surpass the basic expectations of every user.

Here you can optimize models and troubleshoot print process issues. You can express your creativity while still maintaining efficiency.

It can deliver results in just a few seconds. It can be used with Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X.

Simplify3D was nominated for the title of 3D Software of the year in the 2018 3D Print Industry Awards due to its top-quality features and conveniences. It also won the title Top 3D Slicing Program in the 2015 Pinshape Awards a huge number of votes from users.

Simplify3D’s Advantages

Comprehensive Compatibility

Simplify3D can be used with a variety of 3D printers, including 125 unique models!

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So, you don’t have to look for a new slicer if you are getting a new printer. This software allows you to switch between multiple machines and can be used with multiple devices.

Simplify3D is compatible with firmware from trusted brands such as Sprinter, FlashForge. Repetier, MakerBot, and many more!

Useful Simulations

This software allows you view simulations of the process as well as the final result before printing your model.

These simulations allow you to see how the process works and determine if there are any issues. As a result, you don’t have to deal with correction tasks after the printing is finished.

Support Structures that can be customized

Simpliy3D’s support structures are among the most advanced in the industry. After you open the model file it will automatically build the necessary support structures.

It gives you complete control over it so you can modify the structures in any way that you like!

One of the Fastest

High processing speeds are a major reason that professionals choose Simplify3D over other slicing software systems.

It can complete the task in seconds, which is a huge time saver for experts.

They can then concentrate on other aspects of the 3D project, and finish it before the deadline, without compromising its quality.

Simplify3D’s disadvantages

Slow Update Cycle

Contrary to many of its contemporaries Simplify3D has not given much thought to speeding up its update cycle.

It has one the slowest update cycles of all 3D printers. On average, you can expect two new versions each year.

It’s a bit expensive

Simplify3D software is affordable. It may seem reasonable to professionals, but it is not a top choice for hobbyists.

Besides, its cost doesn’t fare well against competing brands that are providing their product for free.

Compare Simplify3D vs Cura


Both of them do the same thing for the user – slice up the file image for 3D printing. They are however designed for different levels of users.

Cura is a free program that allows you to print 3D objects. This is a popular choice for beginners.

Once they get used to the functionalities and specifications of 3D printing, they tend to switch to something more sophisticated, versatile and rich in features – like Simplify3D.

Processing Speed

Although processing speed can vary depending on the complexity and file type, Simplify3D almost always wins the speed race.

Cura can deliver the printed model within minutes, but this may not be possible due to rush.

On the other hand, Simplify3D can get you the same output in a much shorter timespan – SECONDS, and that too without compromising the quality.

Update Cycles

Cura releases software updates that are compatible with the most recent technological advances every week.

Simplify3D however, takes a long time for new updates to be released. On Users receive on average two stable versions of the software each year.

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Cura is a product from Ultimaker. This 3D printer works best when used with Ultimaker’s own brand of 3D printers, such as S3, S5, S5 Pro, and 2+.

However, it can also be used with printers manufactured by third-party vendors. The official Ultimaker website lists all 93 of them alphabetically.

Simplify3D can be used with over 520 3D printers. This means that you have seemingly limitless options for choosing the printer that you desire.

Technical Specifications

Let’s take a look at what kinds of file formats, operating systems and other technical elements these two slicer software systems support:







3D Formats



Operating Systems

Windows Vista and higher, Mac OSX 10.11 or higher, Linux [Ubuntu 14.04, OpenSuse 13.2, Fedora 23, ArchLinux and up]

Windows Vista and higher, Mac OS X 10.7 or higher, Ubuntu Linux 14.04 and Debian, Fedora

Minimum number of processors

Intel Core 2,AMD Athlon 64

Intel Pentium 4

Available Hard-disk Space

205 MB

1 GB

Support Structures

Cura and Simplify3D can both automatically build the support structures for your 3D model. However, it is much easier to remove them from the latter. These structures will be easier to manage with the customizable support from Simplify3D.


Cura is the ideal open-source software for those who are tight on budget. It does not require any investment or spending money. You can download it from the website, and then set it up on your device. Simplify3D is affordable and offers advanced features and quality.

Bottom Line – Which One is For You?

We can finally announce the winner in this epic battle of Cura and Simplify3D!

Simplify3D is the better choice, considering all of the factors mentioned above. Although the software is expensive, it delivers top-notch 3D models.

Professionals in this field can take advantage of more features. It can also be used with a wide range printers and is faster to process.

Cura is great for beginners in this field. It is free, open-source and doesn’t have high-end system requirements.

If you need more than two updates per year, you can choose Simplify3D.

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