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Cura: Extrusion Multiplier – 5 Ways to Improve Your Prints

Picture of Tobias Hullette
by Tobias Hullette
Mar 18, 2019
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Let's take a look at Cura's extrusion multiplier, called flow rate. What is it? And how can you adjust it to fix certain print issues? All aboard the train to better prints!

Cura: Extrusion Multiplier What Is Flow Rate?

A new Titan Aero extruder from E3D.
A new Titan Aero extruder from E3D. Source: digitmakers

The extrusion multiplier, which is called “Flow Rate” in Ultimaker Cura, specifies the rate at which your printer will extrude material. Based on the value for this setting, Cura automatically calculates how fast to move the extruder motor for certain print speeds or filament diameters. 

By default, the flow rate is 100%, however not all 3D printers or filaments are created equal. You may need to adjust this value to print successfully with your specific machine and materials. Most materials use a flow rate between 90% and 110%, but you can increase this value above or below these percentages.

Here’s how to locate the flow rate:

  1. Once you have Cura open, open custom settings.
  2. Right-click and select “Configure Setting Visibility…”
  3. Select “Check All” and return to your (now expanded) set of settings.
  4. Under the Material Settings, you will find Flow Rate and Initial Flow Rate

In the rest of this article, we’ll dive into how to adjust these settings to rid your prints of 5 different issues. 

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1

Cura: Extrusion Multiplier Under-Extrusion

This Ultimaker bot was under extruded
This Ultimaker bot was under extruded Source: Ultimaker

Under-extrusion can be directly linked to an inadequate flow rate percentage. If you’re experiencing under-extrusion in your prints, try increasing Flow Rate in Cura by 5% increments until you see some improvement. 

However, don’t rely completely on Flow Rate. Sometimes under-extrusion can be caused by low print temperature, fast print speeds, or clogged nozzles. If you increase your Flow Rate to over 115% with no improvement in your prints, you should revert to other fixes.

Too high Flow Rate values can force too much material through the nozzle at one time. This results in a nasty nozzle to clean or replace.

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2

Cura: Extrusion Multiplier Over-Extrusion

This whistle was way over-extruded.
This whistle was way over-extruded. Source: BestCheap3DPrinters

On the other hand, if you’re having some over-extrusion in your prints, you should probably lower your printer’s flow rate. Do so in 5% increments, and check for print quality improvements. 

Like with under-extrusion, flow rate adjustment is not the only fix for over-extrusion. If you find that you keep lowering your printer’s flow rate with no print improvement, lower instead print temperature or the filament diameter input in Cura.

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3

Cura: Extrusion Multiplier Poor Bridging

This bridging test may need a lower flow rate.
This bridging test may need a lower flow rate. Source: Ultimaker

Poor, droopy bridges can also be corrected by adjusting Flow Rate in Cura. If filament is being extruded unevenly or at an excessive rate, material flowing from the nozzle will fall into a miserable mess.

Lower your printer’s flow rate in 5% increments and keep a lookout for improvements. If you start seeing some under-extrusion, bring the rate back up and use some of our other bridging fixes.

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4

Cura: Extrusion Multiplier Layer Delamination

This print exhibits some nasty layer delamination.
This print exhibits some nasty layer delamination. Source: MANUFACTUR3D / manufactur3dmag

Layer delamination is a pesky 3D printing issue. But proper calibration of Flow Rate in Cura can be an easy fix. 

Try increasing your printer’s flow rate in 5% increments and check for better print quality. Don’t increase the rate too much, though. This can result in over-extrusion and even nozzle clogging. 

If increasing the Flow Rate doesn’t work to fix layer separation, try applying some of our other delamination tips and tricks.

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5

Cura: Extrusion Multiplier Poor Bed Adhesion

This print has felt the power of the warp.
This print has felt the power of the warp. Source: Ultimaker

Prints popping off the plate is annoying. Warping is equally pesky. To improve print bed adhesion, you can try increasing Flow Rate in 5% increments. By increasing the amount of plastic extruded, the first layer will have an increased surface area with which to adhere to the print surface. 

However, don’t get rid of a print issue at the cost of getting another. Increasing Flow Rate too much can result in over-extrusion and nozzle clogging.

If inadequate adhesion continues in your prints, read about our easy fixes for warping in PLA, PETG, and ABS.

Cura: Extrusion Multiplier Related Articles

Luzbot Taz's single extruder toolhead.
Luzbot Taz's single extruder toolhead. Source: LulzBot

Ready to tackle some more settings and troubleshooting tips? Here are some more articles to help out!

Feature image source: BestCheap3DPrinters

License: The text of "Cura: Extrusion Multiplier – 5 Ways to Improve Your Prints" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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