Using Smart Slice

The Optimize workflow

The Optimize operation takes Validate to the next level. Instead of just evaluating part performance using a single print setting configuration, Optimize treats the print settings as variables and iterates through many different print setting configurations with the objective of meeting the user-defined requirements while minimizing print time and part mass. Since there are many solutions that must be computed, an Optimization takes more time to complete. In general, Optimize takes between 1 minute and 1 hour to complete.

Optimize is a powerful tool for automatically optimizing print settings to meet structural performance requirements. Sometimes, it is not possible to meet the requirements because the part, even when printed as a solid (100% infill) is simply incapable of meeting the requirements. In this case, the requirements should be adjusted. If the requirements are fixed, then the geometry should be changed.

The general steps for Optimize are:

  1. Open Cura and import the part geometry.

  2. In the Prepare stage, select the material and adjust the print settings as desired.

  3. Enter the Smart Slice stage and define the load case by selecting the anchor and load faces and define the load magnitude and direction.

  4. Define the Smart Slice Requirements, which are the minimum factor of safety and the maximum deflection. These are the targets that the optimization algorithm aim for when adjusting the print settings.

  5. Click Validate and wait for the solution.

  6. Compare the computed values for max deflection and minimum factor of safety to see if the part is over-designed or under-designed.

  7. Click Optimize and wait for the solution.

  8. After the solution completes, a list of viable print setting configurations will be presented in a table. Select the desired configuration and switch to the preview stage to review the print settings and to see the size and location of any modifier meshes, if any were added. Slice the part to review the internal structure.

  9. If desired, select an alternate configuration from the Smart Slice stage and repeat step 8. If satisfied, print the part.


See the Optimize tutorial (link) for an example.

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