setting up cura wanhao duplicator i3

Setting up Cura for the Wanhao Duplicator I3

Ben by

So you’ve just got yourself a brand new 3D printer, you’ve run a couple of test prints on the SD card and they came out alright.

Now you’re ready to start printing your own designs.

Your first prints can range from alright to PLA spaghetti and it’s your settings that can make the difference.

In this guide I’m going to walk you through installing and properly configuring Cura to get the best results on your Duplicator/Prusa.

Before We Begin

Before we start I’m going to assume that you’ve got a Wanhao Duplicator I3 V2, while this tutorials should work with the V1 I can’t guarantee that it will as I haven’t had a chance to use one.

With that being said, these settings should be taken as a rough guide and will need some tuning on your part to bring great results on your printer.

It’s also worth mentioning that for this guide I will be used PLA plastic and so you may need to adjust these settings if printing in ABS, wood filament or another material.

You must also make sure that you have properly leveled your print bed. This is imperative if you want to get high quality prints.

Now that we’re all on the same page, we can move on to installing Cura!

Installing Cura

The first thing you’ll want to do is grab a copy of Cura and run the installer.

It should be a pretty straight forward installation, though there are a few settings you’ll need to pay attention to.

Make sure that these settings are all selected:

  • Install Arduino Drivers
  • Open STL files with Cura
  • Uninstall other Cura versions

Once those are checked you’ll be able to carry on through and finish up the installation.

Configuring Cura

Now that we’ve installed Cura, the next step is to tweak the settings to give us a nice quality print.

When you first load up Cura you’ll be in “quick print” mode.

Quick Print let’s you easily choose from 4 pre-made profiles, select your material and print.

cura easy settings wanhao

Out of all the profiles I found High Quality to give a good overall print, but there were some issues like warping.

While the default settings will work, I found that they needed to be slightly altered to give a better print.

If you go up to the Expert tab and select Switch to full settings, it will allow you to individually tweak most of the settings.

Here’s the settings that I’ve been using to get some nice prints:

cura-full-settings-advanced cura-full-settings-basic

I must say that while this won’t give you the best print quality ever, it will certainly churn out some top notch prints in a short space of time.

When I first got the Duplicator the biggest issue that I had was my prints get weren’t sticking, and as a result ended up ‘stringy‘ and brittle.

This was quickly solved by re-leveling the bed and changing the layer height to 0.1mm.

I also modified the travel and layer speeds to make prints a little quicker – be warned though, this can reduce print quality.

Once you’ve copied the settings above and made any changes to the layer speeds, you can proceed to do a test print.

Running a Test Print

3d test print boat

All that’s left now is to run a test print and do your own fine tuning.

For my test print I decided to print the #3DBenchy Boat which you can download for free from Thingiverse.

It’s a great model for testing your printer as explained in the description:

3DBenchy is a 3D model specifically designed for testing and benchmarking 3D printers. It is a small recognisable object that you can download for free, make and share.

It is designed to 3D-print quickly and be a fun tool for calibrating your 3D printer.


And as you can see, it turned out pretty well and I’m more than happy with the results.

You may need to adjust a few settings for your own printer such as:

  • Nozzle Temperature
  • Bed Temperature
  • Layer/Infill Speed
  • Layer Height
  • Infill Percentage

Once you’ve honed these down by printing a Temperature Test, Z Test and Layer Height Test you should be all good to go.


What settings do you use to get the best results? We’d love to hear from you!

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