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What Is Ringing in 3D Printing?

  • July 31, 2020

Have you heard of the 3D printing phenomenon known as “ringing.” If so, you might be wondering what it is exactly. 3D printers, of course, build objects by depositing material onto a print bed. They generally add the material layer by layer, starting from the bottom and working their way up. In some cases, though, 3D printers can suffer from ringing. For a better understanding of ringing and what causes it, keep reading.

Overview of Ringing

Also known as ghosting, ringing is a 3D printing phenomenon that manifests as the superficial defects consisting of fine lines on the surface. As previously mentioned, 3D printers build objects by depositing material onto a print bed. When all goes well, the finished object will have a smooth surface — assuming it’s designed that way in the computer software. With ringing, the 3D printer will deposit material in a way that creates unwanted lines, which you can see and feel on the surface of the finished object.

Common Causes of Ringing

Ringing is typically caused by excessive vibrations produced by the 3D printer. 3D printers contain various moving parts, including a print head with an attached nozzle. If the print head moves too quickly, it will vibrate. These vibrations can result in the 3D printer depositing material unevenly or in the wrong areas, in which case ringing may occur.

While most instances of ringing are caused by excessive vibration, this phenomenon can also occur if the wrong type of print bed is used. If the deposited material fails to stick or adhere to the print bed, for instance, ringing may occur. It’s not as common as vibration-related ringing, but the wrong print bed can still cause this phenomenon nonetheless.

How to Prevent Ringing

Because it’s caused primarily from excessive vibrations, ringing can be prevented by minimizing the vibrations produced by the 3D printer. Vibrations occur when a 3D printer — specifically its components, such as the print head — moves too quickly. Depending on the type of 3D printer, you may be able to adjust the speed at which it moves. If you discover ringing on a finished object, try lowering the speed at which the 3D printer moves. A slower speed will require a longer length of time to build objects, but it will lower the risk of ringing and other related defects. Alternatively, you can try switching to a different print bed. If you believe your current print bed is responsible for ringing, using a different print bed may solve this problem.

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