How to Switch to UM Cura?

Hello everyone,

So I am starting to get tired of using the Cura Lulzbot Edition. It’s extremely outdated when it comes to Cura has a whole, to a point it’s just annoying. For instance, talking with a friend, Tree Supports are no longer Experimental, yet in Cura LE, they are, and are awful (I was trying to apply a brim to them … can’t). There’s also the horrible start up time, and the annoying crashes.

I would love to switch over to a new slicing software, like the most recent UM version, but I have to wonder, what all does it take? How much work am I looking into to swap over? I assume I’d have to deal with the firmware, and have to wonder what features I’d lose in doing so (like the ability to swap toolheads would be a big killer for me).

CuraLE provides firmware, start and end gcode, and material profiles for specific Lulzbot printers. With the exception of firmware, the rest of settings can be copied from CuraLE to Ultimaker Cura. CuraLE has more variables available for use in the gcode so some concessions need to be made.

I have configured Ultimaker Cura, Simplify3D, PrusaSlicer, and others so I can use them with my TAZ 6. I use CuraLE most often but use the others when appropriate.

My personal desire is for the Ultimaker Cura developers and the Lulzbot developers to work together to make Ultimaker Cura the preferred slicer for Lulzbot printers. Attempts have been made but have never reached a final solution. For this I blame both sets of developers.

Using CuraLE to load the firmware when changing tool heads and using another slicer to generate gcode is a viable solution. I use a Raspberry Pi running OctoPi / OctoPrint to control my TAZ 6 and use a firmware plugin so I don’t really need CuraLE to load the firmware, I just use the install to provide the files.

So I have to ask, would you be willing share the work done to make the “switch”. Since it sounds like you’ve done all the trial and error already (I can easily port my material profiles as I usually use the LulzBot profiles as a base, and then dial them in, and don’t switch up materials much).

As for the “functionality” lost leaving LE, any idea the range of what exactly that is?

For the developers, based on what I have seen, I sadly would have to blame LulzBot. I have to wonder if they started to branch the code back when they were still in Colorado, things started to go downhill, the code then suffered, and they got behind and could never catch up (it may also have been poor coding that made it worst). Ultimaker would have had a choir to try and help, probably why they decided to not get involved.

And for OctoPi, sadly I have a really old version, that would require me to update the Python version to upgrade OctoPi, however, in doing so, I lose the one history plugin (it’s a really old one that was very simple, but it not longer supported, and the newer one that took its place is too overkill for my liking)

If you’re not comfortable making your own profiles by copying over what you can from Cura LE, I would recommend just using the Cura LE 4.13 beta. It is lacking a few of the LulzBot enhancements while in beta, but for most users, it’s more stable, faster, and should be an easier path to Cura 5.x when LulzBot makes that major upgrade.

CuraLE is an easier path to copy profile settings over, but I’ve been a lot happier with PrusaSlicer.

You’ll find that a lot of us that have the most experience with the LulzBot machines have done enough modifications that our profiles and startup GCODE won’t work for you.

Functionality lost with the Ultimaker Cura are the wipe temp settings, soften temp settings, OctoPrint integration (plugins can fix), and a few others. If you run a dual printhead setup, the preheating during printing to make the changeover faster aren’t integrated.

With the re-integration of lulzbot stuff, they said there was an agreement to bring some of the improvements back to mainline cura, but where lulzbot was changing hands, there was evidence of a brain drain (hence 3.6 LE still a thing) in the development. From what I see of the Mini 3, there’s some motivated talent back in LulzBot that is probably spread a bit thin, but may make things happen.

I assume most the settings are the same, I just have to manually copy them over, much like when LulzBot switched CURA from I think it was 2 to 3 (I keep screenshot backups in case the newer version can’t handle the configs of the existing).

As for the startup gcode, surprisingly I’ve never cared to change them, as they just work. But some of the info you mention lost, like wipe temp and soften temps, isn’t that all gcode settings anyway. So as long as you have a custom start gcode, those settings would be preserved (I know in the older CURA, I could make custom start gcode, was that lost in later versions?)

@joshea, You haven’t mentioned what Lulzbot printer you have but unless its a TAZ 6, I’m not sure there is much I could share. There’s not much “trial and error” involved as the primary effort is getting the start gcode sorted out because there are fewer variables in Ultimaker Cura.

I’ve been using OctoPi / OctoPrint for many years now and keeping up with the improvements hasn’t been much of a chore. Upgrading OctoPi isn’t too bad when you can use an OctoPrint backup to move plugins. If your version of OctoPrint is too old, then doing it manually the first time will be painful but after that, you should be good. I have a USB microSD card adapter and I use it to clone the existing OctoPi image and then to copy files from that cloned image onto the new OctoPi image. WinSCP can be useful as well.

So, essentially we just create a custom machine in Cura 5.4 and copy/paste over the machine settings from Cura LE?

I know we can export the profiles, I just wonder if the beta profile is too old for the new one?

Yes, but there are no variables for wipe and soften temps in Cura 5.x, and there’s no math functions for the variables like PrusaSlicer allows. There’s a couple workarounds. If you use “standby temperature” for both wipe and soften temps, you can set that for each filament profile and be pretty close. Second way is to make a different “machine” profile for each major type of filament with hard-coded wipe and probe temperatures in the startup GCODE.

I’m not sure how compatible the profiles are from 4.13 LE, but doing it once manually isn’t terrible.

Sorry forgot to mention, I have my Taz6 as my primary, and a Mini 2 (however, I never have gotten the dang Auto-Leveling working correctly on it, even after sending it in multiple times, so I keep forgetting to “use” it).

Might have to be something to look into. I didn’t realize LulzBot wrote custom commands to do the wipe and soft temps (would have assumed they used the stock g-code to keep everything in standard)

It outputs stock GCODE, it’s the intermediate variables used to generate the GCODE from other things going on with the slicer that are used.

Modern marlin does have wipe commands, which weren’t as capable back in the day, but it doesn’t know what temp to set for the wipes based on the material you’re using.

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The following gcode M109 commands in the start gcode need to be modified because the variables (enclosed in {}) only exist in CuraLE:

M109 R{material_soften_temperature} ; soften filament before homing Z
M109 R{material_wipe_temperature} ; wait for extruder to reach wiping temp
M109 R{material_probe_temperature} ; wait for extruder to reach probe temp

Note: If you just copy the start gcode verbatim, then the undefined variables will be copied into the gcode output as is so it could be post-processed.

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Sounds like a programming opportunity for someone to write a Lulzbot Plug in?

A plugin has been brought up before, but every current Lulzbot machine (pro, workhorse, sidekick, mini 3) will support bed leveling that doesn’t use the washers, so the additional temperature settings won’t be needed. That removes the incentive for Lulzbot to do it.

Honestly, having done the addition of BLTouch to a Taz6 and a mini 2, I would not put effort into the plugin versus just adding bed leveling. Effort world be better spent building up some good profiles instead.

Leaders you can correct me if I am wrong but a .3MF
Or 3D Manufacturing format similar name to .AMF as settings could be importer to make it easier
But a .STL is just the design not the settings

See the rest of the full version below

I also wanted to mention there is no instant manufacturing 3DPrinting became rapid prototyping because of the time for a engineering firm to get a injection mold & and roll the dice of capitalism where in 3DPrinting each person has a choice to make & to be clear I want instant manufacturing but I want the public to decide what they want made we already have enough plastic in our oceans because 3DPrinting allows resilience of their choice instead of wasting when they go broke anyways that’s my full version

Hold up if you mean 1.75 instead of 2.85 mm I recommend lulzbot taz pro S & it is cheaper then the taz pro if you want to go that route
& I want everyone to know who is not as aware as a inventor I have plenty of ideas sure sometimes it takes time or small bits every once and a while
Thank you