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Cura vs Simplify3D

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Hello all,


I wanted to ask the community about their preference regarding Cura vs Simplify3D. A buddy of mine suggested to me today that Simplify3D was the much better way to go than Cura and he listed all of these benefits to Simplify3D. Now, I am new to 3D printing and slicers. Does anyone have experience with both of these and can share their opinion? Is the extra 150 dollars worth it to get Simplify3D? Does Cura do all the same things as Simplify3D?




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There are things S3D does that Cura does not do. There are also things that Cura does that S3D does not. And then there’s a lot the both of them do differently. 


It comes down to preference. One thing Cura does that S3D doesn’t really is let you try it out for free.

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Indeed, Cura being free is a huge benefit.  In my opinion, it's easier to set up for your printer, although once you have S3D set up, it's pretty easy to use as well.


In my experience, S3D is a bit better with support in that it's easier to remove and leaves a cleaner surface.  I haven't tried all the settings in Cura, however.  I am just talking about the default support settings.  Cura does better brims, although I think the latest version of S3D has improved that. One big advantage of S3D is the ability to customize support.  I hope Cura gets this feature someday, and then I probably would just use Cura all the time.


I recommend you use Cura and become familiar with 3D printing first, and if you want to try more complicated settings later you can try S3D.

Edited by rowiac

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I used to use S3D 100% when I first got my UM2, but find these days that as Cura has matured I'm using S3D only on the very odd occasion now - Cura just seems to 'work' so much easier these days, especially when using the Mark 2 mod. :):+1: 

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We have used Cura for 4 years or so and pontificated over S3D for 2 years or so. We refuse to spend 150 bucks on software from a company with little pedigree without access to trial software. If e.g. Adobe can provide a trial whether the software costs 50 bucks or 500 bucks then S3D will never get our business. There is no doubt that S3D was better software by a margin. What particularly attracted me and still does, is the underlying structure of the software design that lets you change pretty much everything at a particular layer height, and again and again  if you want to. But Cura has had a lot of investment over the past year or two and has a lot more functionality, but still no layer height functionality:O.


But is it now as good as, better, worse?  I am not qualified to say so having never tried S3D (only read documentation) and being on an old version of Cura. The problem with Cura and always has been is its quality. We keep wanting to move up to Cura 3 but every point release rather than fixing bugs just seems to add more, given the continual problems posted on the forum. They really ought to stop developing the software, which as I said has been immense in recent times,  and just spend the next year fixing all the problems. 


They are two are different animals. The new Cura (well not so new these days) has focussed on making the software much easier for inexperienced people with their standard setups and setups for materials - almost switch on printer, load model, select one option, print. I do not think S3D is that easy and indeed to get the best out of S3D you need to get your hands dirty and start writing scripts (think they call it something else). Cura has a great and helpful community; I have no idea about the S3D community.


IMHO I would suggest you start with Cura, learn about the settings and how they affect the prints - 6 months? - and use the community to help you. Perhaps after two months start reading the documentation to be found on the S3D website and get an appreciation for yourself on how they differ. Check out their community and get a view on the quality and helpfulness. You will not have to relearn 3D printing but you will have to spend time learning how to best use the S3D software.

Finally I would add that we do not 3D print for fun, we provide prototyping and manufacturing services primarily to engineering companies and architects, which of course is fun but we do it to make money. Over the past 4+ years we have not had a job that Cura has been unable to deliver.



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