Can You Get Ultimaker Cura on Android? Explained

Even though 3D printers and computers practically go hand-in-hand, as creating the G-code file that the printer will use requires you to use slicer software, which is primarily designed for usage on a computer, there can be times when having to sit down in front of a computer doesn’t exactly sound great, and getting things done on a more mobile device, such as a tablet, sounds a whole lot better.

In this guide, we will explain whether you can get Ultimaker Cura to run on your Android device to remove the necessity of having to use your computer whenever you need to slice a 3D model for printing and take you through the Cura alternatives that, similarly to Cura, can get the slicing process done on your Android device.

Can You Get Ultimaker Cura on Android?

Currently, there is no native Ultimaker Cura application for Android (or any other mobile OS), with popular desktop operating systems, namely Windows, MacOS, and Linux, being the only options to run Cura natively on a device.

That being said, while it’s not exactly fantastic for the user experience side of things, especially when compared to using a native application, there is one workaround that can allow you to use Cura on your Android device, which is to connect your Android device to an idle computer capable of running Cura with remote desktop software and use the Android device to control Cura remotely practically in the same way you would on your computer.

While we will take you through the process of connecting your Android device to your Windows PC (Windows 10/11 Pro required) with the Microsoft Remote Desktop application in particular for the purposes of this guide, as it’s the most common combination, it should be possible to connect to any operating system of your choice with different remote desktop software.

To set things up, the first step you will need to take is to click the Start button on the taskbar and open the Settings menu on your computer, as this is where the remote desktop settings reside.

opening the settings menu in windows 11


Next, navigate to the Remote Desktop section through the Settings menu, bring the Remote Desktop slider to the On position, and confirm the change, which will open your computer to incoming connections from the Remote Desktop application on your Android device.

enabling remote desktop on windows 11


With that done, the next step is to find and note down the local IP address of your computer, as this information will be required for the Remote Desktop application on your Android device to find the correct device in your network.

For this process, open the Run dialog by pressing the Windows Key + R combination, input cmd into the box to open the Command Prompt window, and run the command ipconfig in Command Prompt, which will output your local IP address next to the IPv4 Address label for the network adapter you’re using, such as 192.168.1.8 in our example.

windows finding local ip with ipconfig


Now that you have all the information necessary to establish a remote desktop connection, the last step you will need to take before switching to your Android device is to open Cura and leave it up on the screen, which will cause Cura to directly show up on the screen of your Android device once you establish the connection.

On your Android device, the first thing we recommend confirming before moving forward is that it’s connected to the same network as your computer, as you can only reach your computer through its local IP address if both devices are on the same network.

Once that’s done, grab the Remote Desktop Mobile application from Google Play and open it on your Android device, which should bring up an empty list with no PCs listed (for now).

remote desktop mobile application on android


Next, click the Plus button on the top-right corner of the screen, choose the Add PC option from the dropdown menu, input the local IP address you found on your computer earlier into the PC Name box (192.168.1.8 in our example), and press the Save button on the top-right corner.

remote desktop ip configuration on android


With your computer’s local IP address now saved into the Remote Desktop application, press on the entry that appears on the list in the main menu, fill out the Username & Password input boxes accordingly with the information you use to login into your computer, and press on the Continue button, which should initiate the remote connection.

remote desktop logging in on android


Provided that the connection has been successful, you should now see the Cura instance running on your computer through your Android device and control it the same way as you would on your computer.

using cura on android with remote desktop example


Cura Alternatives for Android

While the remote desktop solution offers a way to interact with Cura on your mobile device, the fact that it also requires a computer, combined with it providing the most user-friendly experience, does cause things to be slightly less than convenient, which could make it a better idea to go for a Cura alternative that can run directly on your Android device instead.

AstroPrint (Free Plan Available / Web-Based / Requires Sign Up)

Even though AstroPrint is a 3D printer management solution and not a slicer, with many features ranging from remote printing to print monitoring available for usage to make it convenient to manage your 3D printers, it also comes with a cloud slicing module (available in the free plan) that utilizes Cura Engine in the backend, effectively making it possible to produce the exact G-code files that Cura itself would on your computer, but on any device with access to the Internet and a web browser, whether it’s your Android phone or tablet.

astroprint main menu


After you sign up and login into AstroPrint, the first thing you will need to do is navigate to the Printer Profiles section, click the New Printer Profile button, choose the manufacturer and the model of your 3D printer from the dropdown menus, and click the Add to my printer profiles button, which will create a pre-configured profile for your 3D printer with information such as build volume and start G-code included, practically the same way as Cura.

astroprint adding printer profile


Once you have the printer profile up and running, the next step you will need to take is to upload the STL file(s) you would like to slice on AstroPrint by navigating to the Design Library section from the main screen, clicking the Upload Files button, and choosing the 3D model files of your choice from the file explorer.

astroprint design library


Now that the STL files are uploaded to the AstroPrint servers, which also means that you will be able to access them by logging into your AstroPrint account on any device of your choice, the next step is to navigate to the Build Plate section through the main menu, import the STL file you have added to the Design Library by pressing on the Plus button on the top-left (next to the 3D printer profile dropdown), make modifications such as rotating and scaling on the build plate, just as you would on Cura, press the Print button on the bottom-right corner when ready, and save your changes to a new file through the pop-up that appears afterward.

astroprint build plate


Finally, choose the Material Profile for the filament you’re using by pressing on the Add button next to the Material Profile entry (or create a custom one according to your needs by choosing Create a Custom Material Profile from the dropdown), configure the slicer settings accordingly by pressing the Advanced Slicer Settings button (which will effectively bring up all the print settings you can find in Cura), and press on the Slice button to generate the G-code file when you’re done with the configuration process.

slicing in astroprint


When AstroPrint finishes slicing your file (you can track the progress by pressing on the Active Slices button on the top-right corner, which reads Sliced once it’s finished), press on the STL file that you have sliced through the Design Library section (which should come up on the screen automatically), locate the G-code file on the right pane, press on the three dots (…) button next to the entry, and finally, press on the Download button, which will allow you to save the G-code file on your Android device.

getting gcode file in astroprint


Since it uses Cura Engine for creating your G-code files, which effectively means that the configuration process and the end result will be nearly (due to version differences) identical to what you would have if you were using Cura on your computer, and offers some convenient extras, such as cloud storage where you can keep your STL and G-code files organized, and access them from any of your devices, we can confidently say that AstroPrint is our primary Cura alternative for getting your slicing done on an Android device.

Kiri:Moto (Free / Web-Based / No Sign Up Required)

Kiri:Moto is a browser-based slicer you can run on your Android device without the need for any installation or signing up, and even though it’s not a direct alternative to Cura in the sense that it doesn’t use the Cura Engine for slicing (like AstroPrint’s slicing service does), we can consider it to be the perfect option for cases where you would like to get some quick slicing done on your Android device without the need for too much set up.

kirimoto slicer preview


When you open up Kiri:Moto for the first time, the first step we recommend taking is to configure machine settings, just as you would on Cura, by pressing the Device button on the top-right corner, where you can find profiles that come with pre-configured values for parameters such as build volume for many of the popular 3D printers, start & end G-code sections, nozzle size selection, filament diameter selection, and practically anything else that comes to mind, and save your changes to a custom profile for later use.

kirimoto device menu


Next up, to configure print settings and adjust values such as line width, layer height, infill percentage, and more, you can use the right-side menu, where you will find the Layers, Base, Infill, Support, Output, and Expert options that you can press to bring up the menus that contain the corresponding settings.

kirimoto slicer settings


To import the STL file of your choice into Kiri:Moto, all you will need to do is to press the Import button that you can find by pressing the Files button on the left-side menu first, which will bring up your computer’s file explorer window, just as Cura does, and allow you to choose the STL file you would like to import to Kiri:Moto.

kirimoto importing stl file


Last but not least, for rotation and scaling, you can bring up the Rotate and Scale menus through the Tools button on the left-side menu, which works pretty similarly to the Rotate and Scale menus you can find in Cura.

rotating and scaling in kirimoto


Once you’re through with all the configuration, you can initiate the slicing process by pressing the Export button, which you can find by pressing the Start button on the left-side menu first, and save the G-code file to your Android device by pressing the Download button that appears on the pop-up window once Kiri:Moto finishes slicing your file, which also displays some extra information such as estimations for the amount of filament and time required for your 3D printer to complete the print.

kirimoto exporting sliced gcode


All things considered, we have found Kiri:Moto to be a great option for scenarios where having quick access to a slicer on an Android device becomes necessary, and even though it doesn’t offer as many options as Cura when it comes to print configuration, the features available are more than enough to create G-code files that you can use without any problems.

Conclusion

With no native Cura application available for Android, the only option to access Cura through your Android device is to connect to a computer that has Cura open, and while this solution does technically allow you to use Cura just as usual, it also comes with some drawbacks that don’t exactly make it the most convenient way of doing things.

With that said, if you’re looking for a native solution with a better user experience, it’s always possible to find some Cura alternatives that you can directly run on your Android device, and even though they won’t have the exact same features or interface as Cura, they will make it possible to slice your 3D models directly on your mobile device without the need for a computer.