What Causes Stringing in 3D Printing?

3D printing methods, including fused filament fabrication (FFF), offer an easy and effective way for manufacturing companies to produce objects in custom sizes and custom shapes. Using a 3D printer, manufacturing companies can build objects using a digitally created model of the respective object. With that said, some manufacturing companies may encounter stringing when performing 3D printing. So, what causes stringing in 3D printing exactly?

Overview of Stringing

Also known as dribbling or oozing, stringing is a 3D printing phenomenon in which the excess and unwanted material remains on the object after it has been printed. In other words, the finished object doesn’t have the exact dimensions that it should. It contains extra material that’s typically located on the sides and edges of the finished object.

It’s called “stringing” because the excess and unwanted material typically resembles strings. It consists of long and narrow strands of the material used to build the printed object. As the material hangs off the sides of the object, it looks like strings.

Common Causes of Stringing

Stringing can typically be avoided, but manufacturing companies must first understand what causes this phenomenon. One of the most common causes of stringing is excessive heat. 3D printers often use heat to make the raw material more pliable. When a polymer material is heated, it begins to melt. The melted material can then be deposited layer by layer to build the object. If a 3D printer produces too much heat, though, it may experience stringing. As the temperature increases, the 3D printer’s nozzle may leak small amounts of material that drips down onto the printed object, resulting in stringing.

The speed at which a 3D printer operates can affect its risk of stringing. If a 3D printer moves too quickly, it may create either holes or stringing. Most 3D printers have an adjustable speed. Manufacturing companies can speed up their 3D printer, or they can slow it down. With an exceptionally fast setting, however, imperfections like holes or stringing may occur.

In Conclusion

Stringing is a 3D printing phenomenon that involves the addition of excess and unwanted material on the printed object. The material looks like strings, which is how it receives its namesake. It can occur when a 3D printer is set to a high temperature or fast speed. By adjusting the temperature and speed of the 3D printer, manufacturing companies can prevent this phenomenon from occurring.

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