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How to Fix a Stringing 3D Printer

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If you’ve invested in a premium printer, you may still wonder, “Why is my 3D printing stringy?” After all, even top-end 3D printer users can run into stringing issues that prevent successful prints. Your 3D printer is stringing when threads and blobs of filament between parts of the 3D object. Luckily, you can use some basic 3D printer maintenance to limit seemingly hairy prints. So, stick around to learn how to fix a stringing 3D printer and ensure improved print quality.


  • Stringing is a common issue in 3D printing, where strands of excess filament drip and stick to parts of a model.
  • Keep your filament dry and the print head clean to prevent stringing complications.
  • Consider increasing your printing speed and decreasing the print temperature.

Knowing how many Watts a 3D printer uses can help you during the printing process. Power levels and your print settings can affect how long a 3D print takes. Additionally, knowing how to fix thermal runaway on a 3D printer can prevent printing errors and hardware issues.

Insider Tip

You can prevent some filament stringing by cleaning the 3D printer nozzle before printing.

Keep in mind that learning how to 3D print faster isn’t always a good idea. Long-time users know that rushing the 3D printing process can cause print failures and 3D printer stringing.

How to Fix Stringing on a 3D Printer

3D print stringing can lead to some disappointing prints, but learning how to fix a 3D printer should help you avoid the most common issues. Additionally, understanding how to print PLA should guide you to the best printing temperature and print speed for that type of filament.

Keep Your Filament Dry

Your 3D printing success rate will plummet if you’re working with wet filament. The damp filament can cause filament stings and globs of molten plastic as moisture evaporates during the printing process.

Experts recommend air-tight filament packaging and an automatic humidity control system in extreme cases. Additionally, check with the filament manufacturer to see if it is expired.

Keep the Nozzle Clean

The old or contaminated filament can become stuck in your print head, but the nozzle will still be hot. This causes the viscous filament to partially stick to each part of your print.

You can clean the nozzle with a brass wire brush or simply unclog it with a needle. If an external touchup doesn’t fix the issue, consider running a dedicated cleaning filament through the 3D printer.


Store your 3D printing materials in a cool and dark place; otherwise, the filament material may degrade, ruining future prints.

Incorrect Retraction Settings

A 3D printer retracts the filament back into the nozzle between parts of a print. The retraction distance controls how much filament the nozzle pulls in between sections, and the retraction speed dictates how fast the filament retracts into the nozzle.

Adjust the retraction distance in 1mm increments, and change the retraction speed in 5mm/s increments. Perform retraction test prints until you find the ideal settings.

Printing Speed

Unless you’re printing high-temperature filaments, your printing speed shouldn’t cause stringing on its own. Instead, increase your 3D printer’s travel speed, the rate at which the print head moves over empty space. If the travel speed is too slow, the melted filament has more time to leak onto the 3D model.

STAT: A 2019 Global EY study showed that 78% of the worldwide aerospace industry used 3D printing in their production lines. (source)

Adjust the Temperature Setting

Lower your printing temperature range to prevent your filament from thinning out during the printing process. Ideally, the filament should be viscous and not runny to prevent filament strands from forming on your models.

How to Fix a Stringing 3D Printer FAQs

Do I need a heated print bed?

You do not need a heated print bed unless you’re working with a specific type of filament. For example, PLA 3D printing is an excellent entry-level material because it doesn’t require a heated printer.

How long do 3D prints last?

A completed 3D print should last between 10 and 20 years, assuming it’s properly stored. While PLA filaments are bio-degradable, they should last as long as a typical plastic toy. That said, you can still break PLA down in a compostable environment within six months.

Can I recycle filament residue?

You can send filament leftovers to a recycling center or recycle them yourself to create new spools. Creating spools of recycled filament is an involved process that requires multiple tools, but it is a common trend in the 3D printing community.

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