retracts over Firmare or PrusaSlicer?

  • Hello as the Topic name already says do i ask my self is it better to let the Slicer du the retracts or the Firmware?
    Cause i got a Bowden Extruder and the pure lenght of the Tube is about 840mm +/- and it oozes a lot and i hope Firmware retracts are better.
    Can someone pls tell me if this is the case or not?

    (Bondtech QR 2.85/3mm and e3D Bowden Hotend for 2.85mm Filament)

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    I would use firmware retraction and pressure advance. The only reason to use slicer retraction is for using the coasting and wiping features, which usually don't work as well as pressure advance anyway.

    Firmware retraction is also much easier to tune because you can control it during a print.

  • @AS-3D-Druck In operational terms, both the slicer and firmware do the same thing. That is to say, both will run the extruder in reverse by an amount at a certain speed. Firmware retraction will also allow you to optionally use "Z hop" and set a different "un-retract" speed and distance but most slicers do this too. However, as @Phaedrux said, using firmware retraction does give you the ability to change parameters while a print is in progress, which is much easier than re-slicing and re-printing repeatedly. Also as @Phaedrux said, you may well benefit from using pressure advance which will likely allow you to use less retraction, regardless of whether you use the slicer or firmware to do those retractions.

  • I'll throw a different opinion into the mix: I prefer slicer retractions to firmware retractions. My reason is that when I slice a model, I have a group of settings tailored to a type of filament. This includes nozzle/bed temperatures, speeds, and retraction distance/speeds.

    I don't think it's possible to configure a slicer to send per filament retraction distances/speed/zhop in the header of a gcode file, and then only to use firmware retraction while printing the actual model. (In other words, I don't think I can configure a slicer to send the proper M207 command (to configure retract lengths/speeds/z-hop) even with macros when it's set to do G10/G11 for firmware retract.)

    That implies that for each print, I'd have to configure some filament specific things in the slicer, and different filament specific things via printer macros or console - which is just one more thing for me to forget.

    Please note that I typed that I don't THINK its possible. If there's a way to have Cura (the slicer I use) send it's profile configured retraction distances/speeds/zhop via M207, AND to use firmware retraction, but to NOT actually also do software retraction/zhop, then I'm not aware of it... I also doubt S3D would support it. For other slicers, I don't know.

  • Moderator

    @garyd9 said in retracts over Firmare or PrusaSlicer?:

    I don't think I can configure a slicer to send the proper M207 command (to configure retract lengths/speeds/z-hop) even with macros when it's set to do G10/G11 for firmware retract.)

    In Prusa Slicer it's easy to configure this in the filaments tab in the custom gcode section. I really wish this was more common.

    For Cura you'd have to add it to the start gcode of the printer config and change it to suit every print since it doesn't have any filament specific settings unfortunately. S3D support for firmware retraction is a little weirder still.

    There's also the option of using the DWC filaments functionality and using the load and unload filaments commands that can load specific config options for each.

    I used to configure separate retraction for different filaments but once it was dialed in it seemed like it didn't really make a difference. I'll watch the first few layers of the print and if need be I'll modify the retraction, pressure advance, temp, flow, etc in real time.

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