Oct 26, 2018

PETG Stringing – 3 Easy Ways to Prevent It

PETG is a great material to print with. It's more durable, more flexible, and easier to print than many other materials. However, while it may not warp or shrink like ABS, it is notorious for stringing. Here are 3 easy ways to fix PETG stringing.

PETG Stringing PETG Stringing

A bad case of stringing. Source: Prusa Printers

Stringing is a problem very common to 3D printing. Basically, stringing or oozing occurs when melting filament oozes while the nozzle is traveling between two points. This problem gives prints annoying “hairs” that can be difficult to remove. 

PETG is especially notorious for stringing because it requires a relatively high temperature to ensure good flow. This increased temperature can encourage strings, allowing the filament to freely flow while traveling between two points.

This article will explore 3 tips to print PETG without those pesky strings.

PETG Stringing Tip #1: Increase Retraction and Decrease Minimum Travel Distance

Was there even any retraction here? Source: Ultimaker

If you’re struggling with stringing, you should first tweak your retraction settings. When retracting, the extruder motor pulls a set distance of filament from the nozzle. This operation should prevent unwanted oozing either on or between printed parts.

In your slicers settings, first try to increase the retraction distance by 1 mm increments and the retraction speed by 5 mm/s increments. (Note: If you’re using a Bowden setup, your printer will require higher retraction distance and speed.) Then, you can tweak these settings in tiny increments to dial in the perfect retraction settings for your printer. 

Related to retraction, you can also try reducing the minimum travel distance. This setting decides the minimum distance the printhead needs to travel before fully retracting the filament. Reducing it will make sure that even small distances are rid of strings.

PETG Stringing Tip #2: Increase Travel Speed

The result of a modest travel speed. Source: Thingiverse

Another quick fix for PETG stringing is to increase travel speed. The quicker the nozzle moves between two points, the less time melting filament will have to ooze.

Try increasing your printers travel speed in 10 mm/s increments until you find the perfect speed. Some makers even use travel speeds of up to 200 mm/s.

PETG Stringing Tip #3: Decrease Nozzle Temperature

Temperature Calibration Blocks Source: Thingiverse

If fixing your settings for retraction and speed don’t work, it’s time to chill out — literally. In other words, decrease your printer’s nozzle temperature. Obviously, if your filament is getting too hot, it will freely ooze regardless of retraction or travel settings.

To tweak your printer’s temperature, try printing a temperature calibration block, or a “temperature tower”. Most come with instructions to find the perfect nozzle temp in a single test! Be careful to find the perfect temperature so as not to eliminate stringing at the cost of smooth surface finish.

Happy Printing!

License: The text of "PETG Stringing – 3 Easy Ways to Prevent It" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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