When using your 3D printer, stringing, which is also known as “hairy” prints, whiskers, or oozing, happens as a result of tiny plastic strings being left on the printed 3D model. It is among the most common issue that you will encounter when using your 3D printer and is caused by the discharge of plastic from the nozzle, whereas the extruder is shifting to a different location.
A Solution to the Fuzzy Problem
Fortunately, there are several measures you can implement to help resolve this issue. Therefore, in this article, you will be taken through the various ways you can implement to deal with stringing. Subsequently, you can be confident that your 3D printed models will look not only excellent but also guarantee optimal performance.
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Reduce the printing temperature
Printing temperature dictates the ease at which melted filament flows out from the nozzle, so it is an essential factor you need to consider. When you reduce the heat, the flow attributes of the melted filament are affected as it encourages it to last longer in the nozzle. Attaining the ideal printing temperature is usually dependent on the kind of filament you are using.
Therefore, you should first start by trying to reduce the printing temperature by increments of 10 degrees Celsius up to the point where you cannot see any more stringing. However, take care not to go very low because if you print lower than the recommended temperature range, your filament might cause your 3D model build to have poor layer adhesion or the extruder to jam.
Increase travel speed
Whereas most 3D printing professionals often consider travel speed as not one of the vital printer settings that cause stringing. This is because changing the travel speed will not help solve the issue if both the retraction and temperature settings are not yet optimized. Nevertheless, it is crucial to check it out if you want to make sure that you have done away with all the possible causes of stringing.
Many slicer software provides you with the option to increase the travel speed for the print head when it is not doing any printing. By increasing the print head travel speed while it is moving across the gaps, you get a reduced duration whereby no printing is occurring.
Therefore, the melted filament has less time to flow out from the nozzle and form unnecessary strings. The ideal speed for most of the 3D printing materials is between 150mm/s to 200mm/s. However, you should not set the travel speed at the printer’s maximum value, as this might cause even more severe issues. This is because a print head, which is traveling extremely fast, tends to overshoot the target destination, thereby leading to a fall in the quality of prints.
Moreover, the increased vibrations as a result of the print head’s rapid movement can interfere with the print’s structural integrity. Thus, start with reasonable values and then gradually increase the speed by 10mm’s until you get a perfect speed.
The retraction feature integrated into your 3D printer is, without a doubt, the most dependable way of minimizing stringing. This setting is typically comes enabled by default, but to obtain the best result, you can make adjustments to it. Retraction during the 3D printing process pulls part of the filament, thereby ensuring the melt zone is subjected to reduced pressure. Because the filament is already melted, it will remain in molten form, meaning it will eventually start to drip down.
There are three crucial settings for retraction, that is, minimum travel distance, retraction speed as well as retraction distance. Retraction speed is how quick the rotation of the extruders is to draw in the filament, whereas retraction distance is how far the extruder pulls the filament.
Moreover, the minimum distance traveled is the distance which the print head needs to move while not printing before the start of retraction. Lowering the minimum travel distance helps ensure that stringing does not happen even at small intervals.
When changing the retraction settings on your 3D printer, try to do so by retracting the speed by 5mm/s and in increments of 1 mm. Additionally, adjust these settings up to the point you achieve optimal results.
Ensure the filaments have no moisture
Every 3D printing filament is susceptible to getting moister once it is out in the open air. This moisture is usually present as microscopic bubbles inside the filament that expand and then burst once exposed hot temperatures at the end of a heated nozzle.
Whereas the presence of high-moisture content inside the filament often results in pockmarked print, it also does increase the likelihoods of stringing. Stringing occurs when a bubble containing moisture expands and then bursts while in the nozzle’s hot end. While the bubble is expanding, the pressure is exerted in every direction. When it reaches considerable levels, it causes the melted filament to ooze from the nozzle hence causing a stringing effect.
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Therefore, you should always store your filaments in airtight containers that contain some packets of desiccant to prevent string as well as problems associated with moisture inside the filament. Luckily, you can dry your filament in a food dehydrator or oven. However, only make use of an oven that can maintain a specific set temperature to avoid overheating your fuse and filament together.
Reduce the printing speed
The printing speed and printing temperature of your 3D printer go hand in hand. Therefore, if you want to reduce your printing temperature, you should also lower the printing speed. Fortunately, knowing the settings of the print speed are very high relative to that of temperature is easy as you will notice holes and gaps in your print. This is caused by the extruded filament that cannot keep up with the travel speed of the print head.
If you have decided to embark on 3D printing technology as either a profession or a hobby, stringing is undoubtedly among the main issues you inevitably face. Moreover, the likelihood is increased even further when you dealing with a filament you are not conversant to use. However, you can solve all your stringing issues by making a few changes to your printer’s settings without having to resort to buying extra parts or accessories.