Quality

Track Width

This number defines the width of each line of filament that you printer draws while printing. Usually, you set your track width to be 1.2 times your nozzle’s diameter.

trackWidthLow

Lowering your track width will extrude less filament, and print tracks closer together. You can lower track width to ensure finer details in the X and Y directions come out in your print.

  • Do not lower your track width below your nozzle diameter.

  • If the width is too low your extruder won’t be able to extrude consistently.

trackWidthHigh

Higher numbers will increase the flow rate of filament out of your nozzle, and draw each track further from the last. Pathio expects that the extra filament fills the extra space.

  • If you raise the width too high, you’ll have spaces in-between your tracks.

Layer Height

This number defines the height of each layer of filament printed. Thicker layers will mean faster prints but poorer quality. 0.20mm is usually a good baseline for quality and speed.

trackThicknessLow

Lower numbers will improve quality at the cost of longer print times. Once you get to lower layer heights the resolution of the stepper motor driving your extruder starts to become an issue. The filament type you use also becomes critical, as some materials have better flow-rates than others and can be extruded at lower layer heights.

trackThicknessHigh

Higher numbers will decrease print time, but will make your print look rougher. Vertical curves will look stepped (like a mini-staircase) compared to lower layer heights. Higher numbers increases the amount of filament extruded, and the distance the nozzle raises for each layer. Because more filament is extruded at a time, your extruder will need to be able to handle the increased volume. A bigger melt-zone can let you print thicker layers, and a geared extruder will help you print smaller ones.

Extrusion Multiplier

This multiplies the amount of filament pushed out of your HotEnd for any given path printed by your printer.

Lower numbers will decrease the amount of filament the printer pushes out for a given length of track printed. Try lowering the extrusion multiplier if the perimeters of your prints are overlapping too much.

Higher numbers will increase the amount of filament the printer pushes for a given length of track printed.Try increasing the extrusion multiplier if there are gaps between the tracks of your print on layers other than your first layer (problems on the first layer tend to be leveling issues, not extrusion rate problems).

Retraction

Retraction is the process of pulling filament back slightly to relieve pressure in your nozzle while traveling around your print (and not printing). This cuts down on strings that can appear in the empty spaces of your print, connecting parts together. Retraction also reduces blobs formed on the outside shells of your print.

Retraction is recommended for any filament that isn’t flexible. Flexible materials frequently buckle when pushed and pulled while printed, and typically print better without retraction.

Retraction Threshold

This adjusts the minimum length of movement needed to trigger a retraction. This is to avoid multiple retractions in a row over a short distance, and can help eliminate filament jamming in your HotEnd. Frequently retracting can leave the tip of your nozzle unprimed, leading to holes in your print. Eliminating rapid-fire retractions will prevent this.

Lower numbers will allow retractions during smaller travel moves. This will leave your prints looking cleaner (less stringing) but may leave your nozzle unprimed for the next part of your print.

Higher numbers will raise the threshold required to trigger a retraction. This means fewer retractions in areas where there are lots of small travel moves.

Retraction Distance

This adjusts the distance filament is pulled out of the nozzle each time there is a retraction. Typically retraction distance is higher for bowden extruders, but rarely goes over 2.0mm. For direct-drive extruders, retraction is usually below 1.0mm.

Lower numbers will retract less filament, leaving less of a possibility of clogs in your nozzle.

Higher numbers will retract more filament, leaving less to ooze out during a retraction move.

Retraction Speed

This changes how fast retractions happen. This only applies to the move where filament is pulled out of the nozzle. It’s best to retract as fast as possible to save time and prevent oozing. However, when printing with flexible or soft materials it is typical to reduce retraction speed, if not turn off retraction all together.

Lower numbers will slow down retractions, and put less stress on your filament.

Higher numbers will speed up retractions and leave less time for ooze.

Unretraction Speed

This changes how fast filament recovers from a retraction (when filament is pushed back into the nozzle after a retraction). It’s best to unretract as fast as possible to save time and prevent oozing. However, when printing with flexible or soft materials it is typical to reduce unretraction speed, if not turn off retraction all together.

Lower numbers will slow down unretractions, and put less stress on your filament.

Higher numbers will speed up unretractions and leave less time for ooze.

Extra Unretract

This number is added to (or subtracted from) your retraction distance give the distance that filament will be unretracted. Too much extra unretraction can lead to blobs wherever unretracts happen. Too little unretraction can leave your nozzle unprimed, and lead to small holes where filament isn’t extruding yet (also starting from points where unretraction happen).

Z-Hop

Z-Hopping lets you raise the Z-axis of your printer while traveling. This helps keep the nozzle from accidentally knocking into any parts of your print, prevents the nozzle from dragging along the top surfaces of your prints, and can cut down on stringing. Some printers can’t perform Z-Hops quickly, which will lead to more stringing and wasted print time.

Z-Hopping may aid in reducing stringing in some filament types, but can exacerbate the issue for others. Experimentation is key to getting the right settings for your printer.

Z-Hop Threshold

This adjusts the minimum length of travel movement needed to trigger a z-hop. This is to avoid wasting time hoping over very short distances.

Lower numbers will allow z-hops during smaller travel moves. This will leave your prints looking cleaner but will lead to more time z-hopping.

Higher numbers will raise the threshold required to trigger a z-hop. This means fewer z-hops, and can reduce some of the benefits of z-hopping.

Z-Hop Distance

This adjusts the height of each z-hop. Typically z-hops are just a couple millimeters high — enough to get the HotEnd out of the way of your print.

Lower numbers will raise your nozzle off your print less when z-hopping. This will take less time, but might not break strings as effectively.

Higher numbers will raise your nozzle off your print more when z-hopping. This will take longer, but can help reduce stringing and collisions.

Coasting

Coasting replaces the end of a series of printed tracks with a small travel move. During this travel move filament is not actively extruded, and instead oozes from the nozzle slowly. This relieves extra pressure in the nozzle and can help reduce stringing during normal travel moves. Setting coasting too high can leave holes in the shells of your print.

CoastingMotor

Coasting Distance

This is the distance that the last track will be shortened. Filament will stop being extruded and the printer will travel the rest of the distance.

CoastingDistanceLow
CoastingDistanceHigh

Wiping

Wiping adds an extra little travel move to the end of each outermost perimeter track (for each island and each layer). Your printer’s nozzle moves back over the start of the start of the perimeter without extruding more filament. This can help fuse the ends of the perimeter track together, and allow for controlled oozing of filament out of the nozzle, much like coasting. Turn on wiping to improve how your Z-seams look and to slightly reduce stringing.

Wiping Distance

Wiping distance controls how long the wiping travel move is. Longer distances means more time for filament to ooze (which may or may not be desirable).

First Layer Height Multiplier

This lets you adjust the layer height of your first layer. It is common to increase your first layer’s height to improve adhesion to your build plate.

FirstLayerHeightHigh

Lower First Layer Height Multiplier

FirstLayerHeightLow

Higher First Layer Height Multiplier