Material

Default printing temperature

This is the printing temperature of the materials as found in the materials panel, without any extrusion rate corrections applied to it.

Printing temperature

This refers to the temperature of the nozzle while printing, including the adapted extrusion rate. Each printing profile has a slightly different printing temperature to create the best print result.

Printing temperature initial layer

This is the printing temperature of the layer that adheres to the build plate. Printing at a slightly warmer temperature increases the adhesion between the build plate and the model.

Initial printing temperature

This setting is only used in dual extrusion machines. When switching nozzles, the inactive nozzle cools down to the standby temperature. During the warm up, the nozzle is allowed to start printing when this temperature is reached. The temperature is slightly lower than the printing temperature since the filament already obtained heat from the nozzle for a longer period of time.

Final printing temperature

This setting is only used in dual extrusion machines. When switching nozzles, the inactive nozzle has to cool down. Just before the nozzle switch, the nozzle is allowed to cool down to this temperature while continuing to extrude. This prevents excessive oozing when in standby mode.

Chart showing temperature change during print

Extrusion cool down speed modifier

The temperature change here indicates how much faster the nozzle cools down when extruding. The extra heat lost by extruding hot filament is compensated by this value.

Build plate temperature

This setting defines the heated bed temperature during the printing process. Each material has an ideal build plate temperature, which is set here. When printing with two different materials, the temperature will be an average of the two. Changing this value is uncommon.

Build plate temperature initial layer

This is the temperature of the build plate when printing the first layer. A slightly warmer build plate during the layer reduces the chance of warping.

Diameter

This setting defines the diameter of the filament in order for Ultimaker Cura to calculate the extrusion rate correctly. All Ultimaker filaments have a diameter of 2.85 mm, but you might need to change this setting when using filament from other suppliers.

Flow

The flow is the amount of material that needs to be extruded over a specific amount of time and is based on the filament diameter and print speed. The flow is always set to 100%, which means that the extruded amount of filament will match the calculated amount. This setting is not usually changed, as the calculation is done automatically, but it can be useful when printing with experimental materials.

It is not advised to increase the flow to compensate for under extrusion. This will only work temporarily and won’t solve the underlying cause.

Enable retraction

Retraction is used at the places in a print where the printer has to do a travel move between two printed parts. Without retraction, extruded material will hang between the parts. By using retraction, “stringing” (thin threads of plastic in between the printed parts) is prevented, resulting in a much cleaner model. Exercise caution when using flexible materials or models that require a lot of retractions as it may lead to grinding of the filament.

Retract at layer change

This setting forces the printer to retract the filament before it starts printing the next layer.

Retraction distance

This is the distance in millimeters that the material is retracted from the nozzle. A long retraction creates more stress on the material, takes time and minimizes oozing. A short retraction has an increased chance of oozing, but keeps the material secure and print time shorter.

Retraction speed: retract and prime

This refers to the speed, in millimeters per second, at which the material is retracted and primed. A high-speed retraction minimizes oozing, but can cause material grinding. A low-speed retraction has an increased chance of oozing, but will protect the material.

Retraction extra prime amount

This is the extra amount of material that is extruded after a retraction to compensate for oozed material after a travel move. This setting can be useful, especially with flexible filaments as these require extra pressure to print properly. By increasing the retraction extra prime amount, more pressure is added which helps compensate for the material.

Retraction minimum travel

This setting determines the minimum distance the print head must travel before a retraction move is initiated. With retraction-intensive models, you could increase the value, which decreases the number of retractions and reduces the possibility of grinding. However, the value must not be set too high as this might lead to stringing and cause ugly “blobs” to form on the print.

Example of adjusting the retraction minimum travel
This close up of a tiny fence shows retractions (in purple) on the left model. The right model is not allowed to retract (in blue) the short distance between the railing bars due to a minimum travel restriction that is greater than the actual distance

Maximum retraction count

The maximum retraction count sets the maximum number of retractions on a certain length of filament (see minimum extrusion distance window). All retractions above this value will be ignored. The benefit of maximizing the amount of retractions is that it decreases the possibility of grinding. However, for models with a lot of holes (e.g. a voronoi print), this can lead to stringing if the value is too low.

Cross section of the feeder mechanism
Cross section of the feeder

Minimum extrusion distance window

This is the length of filament over which the maximum retraction count is enforced. This value protects the number of retractions on the same piece of filament.

For example: If you set the maximum retraction count to 25 and the minimum extrusion distance window to 1.0 mm, it will do a maximum of 25 retractions per 1.0 mm extruded filament.

Standby temperature

This refers to the temperature of the nozzle when it is in standby mode, while the active nozzle is printing. The standby temperature is low enough to protect the filament from degrading or clogging, but is high enough to quickly continue printing.

Nozzle switch retraction distance

This is the length of the retraction of the filament when the nozzle goes into standby mode. This value is higher than the normal retraction distance, since the nozzle will be in standby for a longer period of time.

Nozzle switch retraction speed

This refers to the speed of the retraction when the nozzle switches to standby mode. A higher retraction speed results in a better print, but has a higher chance of causing filament grinding.

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