Musings of a Noob chapter 2 : just because you can do something

My dad, god rest, use to say : just because you can do something does not me you have to.

Came accross a very instructive video on you tube. Creality CR-6 SE 3D Printer Direct Drive Install - YouTube

Very clear and instructive but what he fails to mention is why would I want to install a direct drive on my CR6-SE?

In order to get some sound advice I decided, once again, to turn to the great people in this community. So, why should I?

I agree with your Dad. I think people need direct drive where there is a desire to get rid of the Bowden tube, If you aren’t having trouble then its likly not necessary. People want to move away from Bowden tubes to print faster (they add a great deal of drag to the filament path) and also for printing soft materials it might be necessary, Simply because it’s easier to pull a rope than it is to push one.


There are pros and cons to the direct drive setup. I’ve got one Bowden and one direct drive machine.

I’ve noticed that my Bowden setup can print cleaner and a bit faster just because the hot end is significantly lighter. Alot less ringing and lost details at high print speeds.

On the other hand, I like the print in TPU and the direct drive setup is just significantly better at printing TPU for me. It seems to also have a more consistent extrusion compared to my Bowden machine. Not to mention it’s also a bunch easier to load and swap between filaments.

The only benefits I’ve noticed from my direct drive are that it is a bit more reliable than my Bowden setup, less clogging for me, and the ability to print flexibles reliably.

If you don’t care to print in flexible filaments I wouldn’t put a direct drive on.


For me direct drive means:

  • Increased print reliability
  • 0 clogs since install (due to less retraction)
  • better prints all around
  • easier tuning to eliminate stringing

Results can be subjective but overall based on my experiences with a number of printers I will never use a bowden setup.


retraction on mine is 7mm @70mm/s and this is the highest setting I’ve seen as a default on any printer but I never have stringing. so there must be something about these B1’s that needs it

I have read of extraction before. But I don’t really know what this is all about. Can you elaborate on this or is there a discussion about this in this or another forum?

So when a printer needs to move the nozzle from one place to another without actually laying down any plastic it’s helpful for the printer to reverse the filament back a distance at a speed to keep gooey filament from stinging all over. Different kinds of filament can use different speed and distance settings on your particular printer to get the cleanest results. These you can set in your slicer often in the properties setting for the filament that you can program in and select.

is this in the Travel section of the options? If so this is my default setting. I try not to tweek them unless I have been guided trough the steps to avoir causing more harm than good. Feel free to suggest mods in these settings.


That is where it is but it’s not shown in your photo. In version 4.8 there is a gear icon and I can turn things on and off if thats Cura and retraction is one of the settings. But if you “manage materials” (ctrl-K) you can set it in the settings for the filament itself after you determine the best settings through testing

Maybe the reason we don’t see it is that it isn’t Cura. It is the creality software that came with the printer. There is a Material option with a cog (the cog only appears with the mouse on it so you won’t see it on this pick.


Ah just found the cog in the Travel Section (visit R’lyeh for your vacation this summer).


Sorry. it looks like cura so I don’t know where to look in there. is there a search at the top you can type “retraction” in ?

typing retraction in the search bar yields this :

typing : order pizza, yields nothing unfortunatly.

Never thought to try it. but as I sometimes mumble when I type it could happen by accident thanks to Alexa

so yes that is set to retract 5mm at 45mm/s if you watch your extruder gear while it’s printing you will notice the retractions

One more thing. the creality slicer is like a Cura lite version I think… Hence, your confusion.

I once had cura Ultimaker when I had a CR-20 on loan. but after I returned the printer I removed the cura, not knowing at the time that I would buy a CR6-SE a year and a half later. when I got my own printer I norticed the similarity so did not see the point not using it.

Nyuck-nyuck! good one.

So I am good? No tweaking necessary?

I would only do this if I had problems in a print. So I have PETG in different colours and one is transparent they are the same maker but prints slightly differently and for the most part it doesn’t matter but on the transparent stuff I want it really nice so I went the extra step and tweaked that one.