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Creality Slicer has a setting labeled "Limit Support Retractions"

It's description is as follows

Omit retractions when moving from support to support in a straight line. Enabling this setting saves print time, but can lead to excessive stringing within the support structure.

Presumably other slicing software has similar settings.

Could somebody please explain what the consequences of excessive stringing in the support structure could potentially be, and why you might want to avoid them, as the support structure is typically removed and discarded, so stringing wouldn't seem like a big problem.

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    $\begingroup$ At first guess, I would think the stringing between the support and the main model would make them more susceptible to fusing together. $\endgroup$
    – agarza
    Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 14:02

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Potential consequences include:

  • Structural problems from underextrusion (failure of support to hold up right) immediately after wherever the stringing happens. This is especially likely if you have lots of small supports for fine detail, where the problem will quickly accumulate.

  • Strings getting dragged into places where they bond with the actual model and mar its surface.

  • Support structures becoming brittle and breaking up/splittling at layers lines when you try to remove them, rather than coming off cleanly in chunks.

  • In a worse case (most likely when stringing accumulates after travel to several very small support regions), underextrusion in the actual model immediately following printing of the supports, until the nozzle pressure can build back up to match the flow.

If you have a direct drive printer with very little oozing during travel, and have your travel speed and acceleration set high, it's possible that none of this will matter. I always had very bad results with "limit support retractions" and just turned it off. It only saves any significant time on printers that need long/slow retractions, which are typically the ones where it harms print quality the most. If you find your retractions are taking up signifcant time on a direct drive printer, you're either trying to do a 5-minute Benchy or your retraction settings are just way too long/slow.

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