A smooth finish is the general goal of most 3D prints. One of the many potential issues you can face is stringing. This is where strings of printed filament stick out from your print randomly. These strings can bridge gaps, or they can just stick out into thin air. In either case, stringing looks terrible. Thankfully it’s relatively easy to fix both in prints with the issue and for future prints.
The easiest solution is normally a good one. In this case, the easiest way to deal with stringing issues in already completed prints is to simply cut them off. With a very sharp knife such as a scalpel, cutting the strings shouldn’t be a problem as they’re typically quite thin.
How to Get Better Results in 3D Printing
The closer you can cut them to the surface of your print, the better your result. You’ll likely still want to sand down the resulting surface artifact. This isn’t ideal, of course, and is not really possible for stringing on inaccessible internal but visible geometry. In many cases, you can save affected prints if this is the only issue they’re facing.
Stringing is typically a result of slight over extrusion or the oozing of molten plastic. Thankfully, that can generally be sopped by enabling the retraction setting in your slicing software. Retraction simply retracts the filament before moving, just a tiny bit to pull it away from the hot end and from being printed.
This setting is typically a single checkbox to enable or disable. However, settings such as the distance the filament are withdrawn and the minimum distance the print head needs to move before the retraction is activated.
Often you don’t have to adjust these more advanced settings. However, if you find that you’re still facing stringing issues with retraction enabled, reducing the minimum travel distance should help resolve this. This value is usually quite low. The more often that retractions happen, the slower your print, so try to reduce it in small increments of around 0.5mm until the issue stops.
As the issue is related to excess filament leaking out of the print head, reducing the print head temperature, a few degrees can help a little. If you’re finding that the minimum travel setting is simply adding too much time to your print.
Stringing is an ugly but thankfully easy issue to deal with on both already completed prints and future prints. Following these tips should help you to resolve any stringing issues that you might be having. If you’ve any other tips to help resolve stringing issues, please feel free to share them down below.