Cura is simple but powerful 3D slicing software produced by Ultimaker. The print profiles are optimised for Ultimaker 3D printers, but the softwre will slice 3D files for any 3D printer brand/model. The software supports STL, 3MF and OBJ 3D file formats and also has a function that will import and convert 2D images (.JPG .PNG .BMP and .GIF) to 3D extruded models. The software will allow you to open and place multiple models on the print bed (each with different slicing settings if required). This allows you to print multiple models at a time, making classroom management of the printing process simpler.
Cura is desktop software that can be downloaded free of charge from the Ultimaker website and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
We recommend Cura as the default slicing software for all schools as it is free of charge, powerful, quick to slice and very easy to get started with. Students in upper KS2 and beyond after some instruction can independently use the software to slice using the default profiles. However although simple to learn, the software contains over 200 expert settings, so more advanced users can tinker with the settings to produce prints of the quality they require.