Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:59 pm

FlashForge Creator Pro left extruder retraction issue

Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:59 pm

Having a strange problem with the left extruder of my flashforge creator pro I have now for 2 years. When the left extruder does a retract / travel and does ooze control, it seems like the retraction distance is very high regardless of what I set in software. Like 4mm or more. When there is only a retract once every while the result is little gaps appear just after the retract/travel. The restart distance does seem to have the normal value though, like 1 mm. So for every 4mm retraction the filament gets pushed only 1mm back in.

When things get real nasty is when there are a few retracts quickly after each other. After 4 travel moves, the filament gets retracted 4x4 = 16mm! But is only pushed back in 4x1=4mm. Result: the filament even gets pushed upwards out of the extruder by 12mm and the model fails.

The right extruder is perfectly fine! And all other functions of the printer also work. I can load and unload filament in the left extruder and the extrusion itself is fine too. Temperature is also good. The retracting on the left extruder is just very strange.

Anyway, I can compensate the big retraction by adding a big extra restart distance of 4mm for example. But now the filament gets jerked up 4mm and down 4mm, making the extruder gear grind on the filament with unpleasent noises.... Also this aint a real solution and the model doesnt look as nice as it should.

I tried different slicers with different settings. But whatever I do, the left extruder has the weird retraction error and the right extruder is perfectly fine.

Also tried the following hardware things:
-Swapped stepper motors from left to right extruder--> No difference
-Checked cables with multimeter from extruder to mainboard --> All ok
-Swapped the removable Stepper Drivers (litte PCB's) around that are on the mainboard --> No difference
-Checked both extruders for jams and other errors --> All clean and good.
-Tried different filament --> Same result
-Put on new original nozzles --> No difference
-Leveled the nozzles and the heatbed to almost perfect settings --> No difference
-Updated firmware with FlashPrint to: ff_creatorx-2560_v7.8.0-Pro-20160523 --> Didnt solve the problem.
-Delete / reset EEPROM --> No difference
-Printing directly from computer instead of SD --> Same result

Also did some software things:
-Turn of retraction all together --> Left extruder prints ok, but with stringing.
-Set a very low retraction distance of 0.1mm --> Filament still gets pushed up by large amounts
-Set a very high extra restart distance of 4mm --> This kind of helps, but with grinding extruder gear and not so good print.

Anyway... I'm kinda out of ideas why this is happening except is a mainboard problem. And thats not cheap and altough it's still cheaper compared to a new printer, I do wanna make sure it fixes this problem. Any idea's what's going on here?

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:29 am

Re: FlashForge Creator Pro left extruder retraction issue

Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:36 am

I'm experiencing a similar issue with my PowerSpec Ultra 3d (Flashforge Dreamer). The initial layer is put down on the front edge of the bed, then a significant amount of retraction occurs, and no media is subsequently put on the bed (as the skirt starts or the print is supposed to begin).

Did you ever find a solution?

Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:41 am

Re: FlashForge Creator Pro left extruder retraction issue

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:13 am

I have seen this lately after the ooze line has been printed. After printing that line it retracts about 10 mm - with hot printing temps, this is causing pretty bad clogging as the soft/liquid filament is pushed above the nylon insert, hardens and then it requires removing of the nozzle to clean the mess. I have retraction set to 0.8mm, so it must be something else. Powerspec Pro (Flashforge clone).

Posts: 852
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:00 pm

Re: FlashForge Creator Pro left extruder retraction issue

Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:24 am

The first post is from Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:59 pm

but it is never to late for getting help!

But, please help the volunteers to help and attache your FACTORY-file (Tab File > Save as ... *.factory, not only fff)


Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:41 am

Re: FlashForge Creator Pro left extruder retraction issue

Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:26 pm

So, a problem that existed since 2016 and still, the community was not able to help any further?

Would love to attach the factory file, but as it contains IP that I am not willed to share in public, a bit unrealistic. Pointing at which command in the gcode causes the retraction would help...

Posts: 852
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:00 pm

Re: FlashForge Creator Pro left extruder retraction issue

Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:34 am

... the Retract is realized with a GCode like

G1 ...... E-10 (negative) ,when it pulls back 10 mm, for direct-extruders is 1 - 2 mm, for bowden-extruders ~5 mm normal, to be set in the Settings window, Tab Extruders

The print preview shows it also, scout the small nobbles on the surface when switching on / off the checkbox of Retracts in the left hand side bar of this window.

Visual Retracts.png

PS: Attaching the Factory-file don't needs the original, a simple test cube that shows the same issue is sufficient.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:03 am

Re: FlashForge Creator Pro left extruder retraction issue

Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:12 pm

I have the same problem actually with my Flashforge creator pro, bought one year ago. Everything was working fine until few days ago. The print start well but after 15 to 30 layers, the infill start to become sparse and messy and at some moment the material stop to extrude while the print continue.

It's not clogged, as if I cancel the print and run the load filament command, the filament will extrude well (but I need to push it in a bit in order to start it extrude). So I suspected a filament grinding problem and yes, when removing the filament I can see a grinded spot. Also, if I help push the filament in while printing the part and see the infill starting to become sparse, this will prevent the problem. But if I stop pushing, then it will stop to extrude at a moment. If I run the unload filament command, it will gets out well. I tried to clean the gears of the extruder with compressed air but nothing changed. I changed the nozzle but no effect again.

My printing setup is set to have a good retraction distance (3,2mm) to limit oozing (it's nylon) and this was working well for the past months. With no extra distance restart. I printed many dozens parts with this setup, many sizes and shapes.

So the grinding may be the problem but I dont know what cause it. The nozzle is not clogged and the filament spool run freely. Any idea ?

I wonder if a temperature problem could cause the nylon in the extruder to become less fluent and cause restriction but the printer show the desired temp (260C) and, like written above, the filament will extrude if I push it, so don't think it's the answer. I have a micro-swiss all metal hot end.

Anyone solve a similar issue ? Thanks

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