You might have encountered a 3D printer retraction squeak when printing objects. This is usually a high-pitched noise that can be pretty annoying. That is why I wrote this article to explain why this might happen and how to fix it.
To fix squeaking noises when the 3D printer is retracting, ensure you adjust your retraction settings, tighten the bolt on the extruder gear, and move the filament away from the filament runout sensor. You can also upgrade the extruder and align the Bowden tube correctly.
I will provide more details regarding these methods, so continue reading to learn more.
How to Fix 3D Printer Retraction Squeak
- Move the filament away from the filament runout sensor or filament guide
- Adjust the retraction settings (retraction speed and distance)
- Tighten the bolt on the extruder gear
- Inspect and clean, and lube the extruder
- Upgrade the extruder
- Tighten the Bowden tube or align it properly
1. Move the Filament Away from the Filament Runout Sensor or Filament Guide
One fix for 3D printer retraction squeak is carefully moving the filament away from the filament sensor or guide during printing. When the filament comes into contact with these components, it can introduce friction and create a squeaking sound when the printer retracts.
A way you could do this is to use a zip tie to hold the filament away from the sensor or guide. This helps to ensure the filament path is clear for free movement. By stopping the filament from constantly rubbing against the sensor or guide, you can create quieter retractions.
One user who had installed a filament guide said that his 3D printer squeaked on retractions when printing with PLA because it rubbed on the guide. To fix it, he moved the filament away from the guide while printing, and the squeaking stopped.
Another user said a brass bushing connected to the filament runout sensor he had on his printer always squeaked when the filament rubbed against it. To stop the squeaking, he printed a simple tool that he used to zip-tie the filament to the top of the sensor.
A user said that they always put a piece of fabric on their guide to prevent the filament from rubbing against the filament guide. This helped to fix the 3D printer retraction squeak.
2. Adjust the Retraction Settings (Retraction Speed and Distance)
Another fix is changing the retraction settings in your slicing software. You can start by slowly reducing the retraction speed and distance values, and observing if the noise the printer produces increases or decreases.
Using the right retraction speed and distance helps to prevent stringing and oozing when printing. Wrong settings can cause the filament to move suddenly causing the printer to squeak when retracting. Once you experiment and get the right values, you can get rid of the noise produced during retractions.
One user recommended lowering the retraction distance setting. He explained that he had set a high retraction distance of 8mm, which caused his motor to move faster than it physically could. This caused squeaking noises. However, lowering this distance to 6mm fixed the issue.
Here is a video that shows how you can adjust the retraction settings in Cura.
3. Tighten the Bolt on the Extruder Gear
You can try to tighten the bolt on the extruder gear to ensure that it remains stable and firmly in position. A loose bolt on your extruder gear can cause it to go out of position in the extruder assembly.
Additionally, it can also cause the gear to wobble disrupting the smooth flow of the filament. This causes it to rub against the surrounding surfaces producing squeaking sounds when the printer retracts.
One user said the extruder gear on his Vyper started squeaking on retraction even after trying different speeds and retraction distances. He also tried cleaning it with compressed air and lubricating, but it didn’t help.
After troubleshooting, he found that the Allen key bolt holding the gear to the shaft was not screwed in, and the gear was loose. So, he tightened the Allen key bolt with the smallest Allen key that Anycubic provided, and it stopped squeaking.
4. Upgrade the Extruder
Upgrading to a high-quality extruder made from hardened steel or brass can help to grip the filament better which will reduce friction. This will make the filament move easily and freely reducing the squeaking noise when the printer retracts.
You should always follow your manufacturer’s instructions when replacing the extruder. Additionally, ensure you tighten and align the extruder gears properly after replacing your extruder.
One user said that he had a squeaky noise when his filament was retracted by the extruder. He wanted to lubricate the components of his 3D printer but wasn’t sure if it would help him stop the squeaking.
Someone advised him to upgrade to a better dual extruder that holds the filament firmly. This worked perfectly for the user.
Here is a Bigtreetech Upgrade Dual Gear Extruder for Creality Ender 3 V2/Ender 3/ Ender 3 Pro that you can find on Amazon.
Check out this video by The Edge of Tech on how to upgrade the Ender 3 V2 extruder in a few minutes.
5. Inspect, Clean, and Lubricate the Extruder
Another reason your printer may produce squeaking sounds during retraction is dirt, debris, or filament getting stuck in the extruder assembly. These factors can cause a lot of friction, making it difficult for the filament to move freely.
This will cause the 3D printer to squeak when retracting. So, you should carefully disassemble the extruder and check if the gears, idler, and other tensioning components have any dirt, debris, or filament stuck underneath them.
Clean it with a soft brush or compressed air, paying close attention to the gear teeth and bearing surfaces where dirt and debris can hide easily.
After that, apply a small amount of lubricant, such as PTFE-based oil or grease, to moving parts of the extruder, such as gears, idlers, and bearings.
Many users whose printers produce squeaking sounds when retracting said that they removed the extruder, cleaned it, lubed, and put it back together. This helped to fix the 3D printer retraction squeaking problem.
6. Tighten the Bowden Tube or Align it Properly
An effective way to fix a 3D printer retraction squeak is to firmly tighten the fittings at both ends of the Bowden tube to ensure it is properly held in place. Additionally, position it in a way that will ensure the filament moves in a straight and free path.
This is because a misaligned or loose Bowden tube can create unwanted movements which causes the filament to rub against the walls of the tube from the inside or rub against other components, creating friction. It is this friction that causes the 3D printer to squeak when retracting.
One user wanted to know how to stop the retraction squeaking on his Ender 6. A user noted that this could’ve been because his Bowden tube was bent at an extreme angle which destroyed the inside of the tube.
To fix the issue, he advised them to find a way to align the tube to ensure that it was not strained. If that didn’t work, he could also trim the tube he was using or buy a new one. However, it wasn’t clear whether the user applied this fix.
Another user recommended a simple Hot End Strain Relief that you can download and print from Thingiverse. This tool can help you align your Bowden tube correctly.