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I have a monoprice Voxel 3. I am having an issue where the gear grabbing the filament at the roll is pulling the filament, then pushing it back, causing the roll to rock back and forth. It also makes an "putt" sort of noise, when it pushes the filament back. I have observed the mechanism in the filament compartment, the toothed gear is rocking back and forth.

The printer also makes the "putt putt" noise without the gear rocking.

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That is quite normal behavior, what you are experiencing is called retraction. This is an opposite direction of the extrusion of the filament. Extrusion unrolls the spool, retraction pushes the filament back causing the filament to become hanging loose or rocking the spool.

Retraction is necessary to prevent unwanted filament from leaking or oozing out the nozzle. Basically, retraction stops the melted or almost-melted filament from coming out the nozzle. Insufficient retraction (length) causes a problem called "stringing" or leakage from filament from the nozzle (which can catch parts of the print where you do not want material to deposit), too much retraction may cause your hot end to clog/block. The amount of retraction depends on the extruder type (direct or Bowden driven).

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! I am a little new to the trouble shooting of 3d printers so this explanation is helpful. Also it isnt necessarily unspooling the filament more pushing the spool as whole with sharp push. Should it be fixed or is there a way too fix? $\endgroup$
    – Leif
    Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 15:49

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