Today, we cover retraction, a crucial part of basic tuning! Dialing in retraction helps you get the best possible part every time.

In 3D Printing, retraction pertains to the process of physically retracting material within the printing head during movement. While printing, filament cannot go through the nozzle when the head needs to move from one area on the part to another. To avoid printing faults, the printer retracts filament back into the head, moves to the next coordinate, and then starts extruding again. This prevents oozing and globbing as the head moves around the print area.

Tuning your retraction is important because too much or too little will affect part quality. Too much retraction results in little gaps, or even globbing due to air pockets within the print head. When your printer does not retract enough, visible oozing will occur as the nozzle travels. You will see filament stringing between features as your nozzle is not stopping material extrusion before moving.

At Vision Miner, we tune our Funmat HT machines to retract between 2 and 6 millimeters, and this is standard across most machines, too. As you calibrate your part, you should play with values within this range until you settle on a retraction point that avoids gaps as well as globs or strings.

If you’re interesting in learning more about tuning, check back on the blog for more updates and visit our YouTube channel for more videos!