It’s undeniable that with the rapid advancement in technology, Android devices are becoming than just mobile devices and starting to replace computers in many areas with the portability and the comfort they offer.
As the lines between computers and Android devices keep getting blurrier, with these devices becoming capable of doing things that used to be computer-exclusive, the demand for computer software to be ported over to Android is also increasing with each passing day.
For the purposes of 3D printing, the possibility of using slicer software, such as Cura, on an Android device is the first thing that comes to mind, considering how convenient slicing and printing directly from a mobile device can be without the need for a computer, which will be our topic for today.
So, can you download Cura for Android devices?
For now, it’s not possible to download Cura for Android as Cura does not have an Android-compatible application that can run natively on these devices. A native Cura on Android would only be possible if Ultimaker decides to develop an application specifically for Android devices.
On the other hand, you can control the Cura interface on your Android device by running Cura on your computer and connecting to the computer on your Android device with the help of remote desktop software.
Next up, we will discuss why it’s not possible to download Cura on Android natively, explore an alternative option to access Cura on an Android device and find out if there are any slicer software that runs natively on Android.
Can You Download Cura for Android?
Being able to download Cura on an Android device would, without a doubt, make the 3D printing process much smoother and comfortable, especially considering that it’s not always possible to sit in front of a computer.
Since there is no official Cura application developed by Ultimaker for Android devices right now, it’s not possible to download and run Cura natively on Android devices.
Considering that the development process of Android applications is entirely different than the development process of computer software, developing Cura for Android would require Ultimaker to dedicate a considerable amount of resources and time to it.
At the time of writing, Ultimaker has not announced any plans stating they are working on a native Cura application for Android, meaning that even the possibility of Cura for Android is not something that we should currently anticipate.
That being said, there is no need to lose hope, as in the next section, we will explore ways to access Cura on a mobile device through alternative methods.
Can You Run Cura on Android Devices?
The absence of a native application isn’t always the end of the road, as technology often offers us alternative ways to accomplish a task by utilizing other tools.
You can technically run Cura on Android by running it on your computer first and connecting to your computer through remote desktop software, such as TeamViewer, with your Android device.
Doing so will allow you to access the interface of Cura on your Android device as if you were on your computer, meaning that you will be able to use all the features Cura offers without issues.
Here is a step-by-step guide for connecting to your computer with your Android device through TeamViewer, a popular remote desktop software.
- Download and install TeamViewer on your computer.
- Download and install TeamViewer Remote Control on your Android device.
- Launch the TeamViewer application on your computer, and note the ID and the password on the screen.
- Launch the Teamviewer app on your Android device, and input the ID you have obtained in the previous step.
- Submit the ID, and wait for the password input.
- Enter the password you have noted in step 3, and submit.
After completing the steps above, you should see your computer’s screen on your Android device, where you can access Cura (and anything else) through your smartphone or tablet.
An important thing to note is that as TeamViewer sends the input to your computer as if you were using it regularly, your computer should not be in use while you’re operating it with your Android device to prevent clashing of inputs.
Is There a 3D Slicer for Android?
Even though Cura itself is not available for Android natively, it’s possible to find applications that can fulfill the tasks of a slicer software directly on an Android device, without the need for a computer.
While not a slicer that directly runs on your Android device, AstroPrint is an Android application that provides a cloud slicing service with both the Cura and the Slic3r engines available, allowing you to perform all your slicing tasks directly from your smartphone or tablet.
Alongside the slicing, AstroPrint also allows you to control your 3D printer and manage your printing tasks, essentially allowing you to manage all parts of the 3D printing process directly from your Android device.
An important point to consider is that with no computer, you will also need an alternative way to get your 3D printer connected to the Internet for AstroPrint to communicate with it.
To get your 3D printer connected to the Internet and ready to communicate with the AstroPrint app, you can use the hardware AstroPrint offers (AstroBox Touch or AstroBox Gateway) or the AstroPrint plugin for OctoPrint/OctoPi if you are familiar with the Raspberry Pi.
While you won’t get direct access to the Cura interface with this method, the AstroPrint interface will most likely be more than enough to satisfy all of your 3D printing needs and save you from having to buy a computer only for 3D printing purposes.
While having a native Cura application on Android would be a dream come true for many 3D printing enthusiasts, there is no denying that the alternatives provide a fantastic experience and make slicing on an Android device perfectly viable.
To summarize, even though a native Cura application that allows you to run Cura on Android devices does not exist right now, it’s possible to access Cura on an Android device by casting your computer to your smartphone or tablet.
If you’re exclusively looking for a native solution that does not require a computer, software such as AstroPrint that offers slicer functionality with various slicing engines through the cloud, including the Cura engine, is something we recommend considering.