Curaproject files not opening properly

When I open a saved project (as a project file with models loaded, as set up in Cura preferences), the models are often not in the right position and all the print settings are not restored. I thought the point of saving as a project was to save models, positioning, and full print settings. Is this not correct? Am I missing something? Anyone else having this issue or have a fix?

I’m running Cura LE 3.6.20 and have both a TAZ 6 and Mini v1. It’s an issue on multiple computers that I use, too (all Windows 10 64-bit PCs).

Same here, I learned a few versions ago that this happens so I stopped using it. It’s really annoying to say the least. I either save the settings as a new profile with notes on the part or just leave cura open.

A “project” saves the model as a “.3MF” file. (3MF = 3D Manufacturing Format)

A “.STL” is just a mesh of the model. A “.3MF” file has the mesh but supports multi-material. It can contain meshes and tag them to a material.

But a .3mf file can also tag machine info, print settings, material specifics, etc.

The .3mf file is actually a .zip file. You can use any zip extractor tool to take a peek inside the file. The data in the file is regular text.

I saved a “project”, made a copy of the project file into a temp folder, and unzipped it so I could explore the contents. Turns out it names the materials. It records the print settings (pretty much everything you can tweak in the “custom” settings panel).

Print settings should be retained (when I open the file it does remember my print settings).

But be aware that just because a .3mf file can have this info doesn’t mean it will have the print settings info. You can tell a CAD program to save the model in .3mf format (if it supports that format) and you’ll get a .3mf file but it wont have any print settings because the CAD program doesn’t have anyplace to define those settings. In other words you’ll need to make sure you don’t mix .3mf files created by Cura with .3mf files created by something else. (I specifically add “proj” into my project file names when I save them from Cura.)

I don’t see anything in there that records build-plate orientation. The part I used to test hadn’t been manipulated on the build plate (I didn’t scale it, rotate it, etc.) so not sure if any of that would have made it into the .3mf file if I had. Parts do have a cartesian coordinate system (e.g. since it’s text data providing x,y,z coordinates for each point … a part is going to open with the part coordinate system matching the build plate coordinate system.)

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The project file works for STL files but not .3MF. STL format is 30 years old you should use .3MF say the experts.

Thanks- didn’t actually know that 3MF was an archive, and I was able to take a look inside. Good to know that I can extract the info if needed.

However, the question remains. If I’m in an STL world (and I am for the vast majority of projects I’m printing), how do you save position and print settings for a job? I’m aware of custom print profiles, which helps, but it’s not the whole thing. I’d like an option kinda like a PSD file for Photoshop- a master file with all the components behind the final product. Any other thoughts?

Use AutoDesk Meshmixer – it’s free (

Open the part in Meshmixer, then do an Edit -> Transform. You can rotate the part into the correct orientation and/or use the translate feature to move it. Then re-save the part (or save it as a new .stl).

Meshmixer will update the coordinates so that the part opens correctly. Meshmixer can also be used to modify or edit parts. It is most commonly used to repair parts that have defects in them (e.g. 3D “scanned” parts usually do have defects that need to be repaired).

You can actually define your 3D printer (the build volume dimension – it will create a build-plate sized for your actual printer with a wireframe cube around it to show the build-height so you can make sure that whatever you are doing will fit).

The printer definition can actually extend to Meshmixer knowing how to send the part direct to Cura so that when you tell Meshmixer to print it… it opens in Cura on your build plate and ready to slice.

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I have this problem also, the project file does absolutely nothing.