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10 Minute Mini Calibration Test for Oozing/Retraction at Different Distances

by MrTestOne Oct 9, 2016
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Thanks for this, it really helped

Nice and easy print to figure out the right settings to decrease the oozing/stringing. I tried a few changes in the settings of my Anet A8 and on the end the biggest impact had the printing temperature. I lowered this from 200°C to 185°C and the most oozing/stringing was gone.
I could not get rid of all the oozing/stringing, but it is much better than before.

Sweet. Been looking for a test like this. Thanks

Great work !
I was looking for a model to calibrate my Anet A6 with its new E3Dv6 bowden extruder, it's just took me few prints to find the perfect settings.
I optimized Retractation Distance, Travel Speed, Material Temperature, Retractation Extra Prime Amount.
Thank you !

Can you tell me what perfect settings do you have? :D

Retractation distance : 2.5 mm
Extra Prime amount : 0.1 mm^3
Travel speed : 120 mm/s

The lenght of my bowden tube is about 35cm.
Every printers are different, you should adjust each parameters for yours. I can tell you that once these one adjusted, you will have better results :)

Hi, what's your Retraction Speed and Printing Speed?

Comments deleted.

Please help. I captured the problem in a slow motion.

I have an i3 mega and i am printing petg (from Ice Filaments).
In this video retraction is 5mm. The extrusion tube is not moving (fittings are very tight). Temperature is 210 (i tried lowering but it does not change much. Coasting distance is 0,10mm. Printing speed is 25mm/s, travel is 250mm/s. Retraction speed is 60mm/s
I have tried higher retraction values up to 8/9mm. It does make things slightly better but the filament starts breaking where the stepper motor pulls/pushes it.

What else can i do ? I am starting to think i need a direct extruder.

Hey davibe,
Not sure, what you tried already, so maybe you already tried this one: I would start at the very basic thing and with kind of default settings, before changing things like retraction, means:

  • set all settings to default, e.g. no retraction at all (this would be actually your ideal goal: have no retraction to avoid other negative side effects)
  • try to print with the lowest possible temperature: when layers not connect properly, it is too low. However in your case you have lot's of ooze and stringing, so would be rather too high temperature
  • increase the speed of travel, based on your printer specs, so it has "not so much time to ooze"
  • Already at this stage, oozing should be in a somewhat acceptable range
  • Afterwards I would start playing around with retraction speed and distance

Noticed, that you use a different design from the one I created. So difficult to judge, what distance you try to fix. Also later for you it is difficult to track, which setting had which result. I felt, that the 10 min. test model, which you can also label easily, should offer best usability. However of course is your decision. I personally was not able to remember with my 2nd or 3rd spool, which settings I used for the tests and materials in the past.

Regarding the printing issue: Bigger distance of course have bigger oozing and stringing issue. I would not advise to spend days and weeks to tweak for extreme distances, if you don't need it for your upcoming prints. Most prints are fine, when there is no significant oozing/stringing at the lower distances, like 10 or 20 mm. With 40mm you are most likely already at ~50% of your max. build length/width. Keep that in mind. Also is a bit weird, when you have great oozing/stringing control at 40mm, spent weeks on it and half of your material spool, just to print a 20x20mm part ;) And on top comes: once you use a new spool, you have to redo the adjustments.

You can also check the websites mentioned in old comments. They offer also good help for troubleshooting.

The model I use is yours. I have just moved it a bit below ground so that i print the upper parts i wanted to focus on :)

Thank you for your feedback and suggestions. At least they give me some perspective. Lower distances do not give me much troubles. I thought i wanted to fix the higher ones. I will try again but maybe it's not that useful as you say.

Generally speaking all these attempts make me feel like i want to move to a direct extruder, or maybe just a better extruder that does not leak so much filament while its not being pushed (during travels). Any suggestion on that?

I have a direct extruder, but never used the alternative one. So hard to say for me, what is better. Found an interesting article about that: http://3dprinterpower.com/bowden-extruder-vs-direct-extruder-showdown/

However as this looks like a big/costy change, I would first try different materials, before modifying the printer itself. Changing material = $25, changing printer components or whole printer = $xxx or even $x.xxx.... If changing materials still does not work out, you can afterwards still invest more time/money/effort to achieve better results. At that stage it does not matter whether you've spent $1.000 or $1.025, but at least there is a chance, that $25 might save the day (and the $1.000).

Depends of course also on how much time/money/effort you are willing to spend to solve that issue. But personally I would go with material first, as this is a low effort/cost and medium chance approach, that might already solve the issue.

And finally: If your aiming anyway to print smaller models, which have just low travel distances, I would save the effort completely, as you already mentioned that it works out fine ;)

This is a superior version of the K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle.

While I am no expert, I have been printing long enough to diagnose many problems like these with my own prints and my own printers.

However, this breaks retraction issues down to their absolute core. No waste; plastic, time or otherwise. I have shaved hours of of tuning because of this novel concept.

Honestly, before every new spool I am going to run this print as it has provided an excellent way to save time and (lets be honest with the actual cost) a few dollars due to wasted prints. After several dozen kilos of plastic, waste will add up.

Use this and PLEASE understand what the author is doing here if you have any intention of complaining about it. This is a tool. No more, no less.

Thumbs up, sir.

Appreciate your comment. Especially because I can feel, that I was not the only one, who didn't want to waste material and time with every new spool and that I was able to provide a tool for others, so we can minimize calibration effort and focus on what's more important: the printing of models afterwards :)

Thank you for this! What's your opinion about adding bridges between those columns?

Was thinking of that too. Actually I had already new versions with smaller towers and bridges in testing stage. However, the printing time increased to about 13 to 15 minutes. I know it does not sound like a lot for a single print, but felt a bit inefficient when considering the long run: 6 prints would go from 1 hour of calibration print fun to about 1.5 hours (just printing time, not included the adjustments and cleanings in between). And in the end bridges were not a big problem, when the towers were stable. So this add-on didn't help too much to get new info or calibration insights.

Maybe will still release it as a separate creation. Have already another idea, what could be added as another testing criteria.

Less is more sometimes :D Great work with this thing, it is my go-to quick calibration when I need to confirm my settings are gonna work.

Great test, helped a lot in finding the right settings on my A8 converted to a AM8;

5mm retraction distance
20mm/s (1200 mm/min) retraction speed
120mm/s (7200 mm/min) travel speed

This is great! Thank you! I've been having tons of trouble learning PETG and this has helped target many of the issues I was running into and quickly! I printed this tool 12 times and make 1 adjustment each time and documented the settings and results to obtain a print i'm fairly happy with! I'll try posting my pics soon! Thanks

Awesome model. I am new to 3d print and it helped me figuring out a lot of parameters on my printer. It is quick and you can troubleshoot and adjust quickly.

Thanks for this model. Much more convenient that the larger (more time consuming) printer tests!

This model along with the guide at https://www.matterhackers.com/articles/retraction-just-say-no-to-oozing were very helpful in cutting down oozing on my printer. I posted my results at https://www.thingiverse.com/make:260253

10 Minute Mini Calibration Test for Oozing/Retraction at Different Distances

yep, good guide which i also used. Found later another good addition: https://www.simplify3d.com/support/print-quality-troubleshooting/

Thanks for sharing your experience!