How do I reduce stringing?

When the print head moves between parts, it can leave a thin trail of filament. Our recommended solutions are:

  1. Cut off the strings with a scalpel after printing.
  2. Ensure that your filament has been properly stored in a sealed container with silica gel. If not, it will have absorbed some moisture, and you may see an improvement after leaving the filament in the oven for two hours at 40 degree celsius. Try this on a small piece of filament first, just in case it melts.
  3. Increase the retraction settings of your printer - this controls how much and how fast filament recedes back up the print head when moving between parts.
  4. Ensure your printer is set to the correct thickness for your filament: for example, if your filament is 1.76mm thick, then it won't do to have your printer think it's only 1.7mm thick - this will cause too much filament to be spurted out. To check the actual thickness of your filament, use a pair of vernier calipers with digital display. These are an invaluable tool for 3d printing, and cost around £20.
  5. If you're using cheap filament, it might be time to upgrade.

How do I stop warping while printing?

You need to improve adhesion to the build plate. First ensure your build plate is level, and that the first layer of print is making good contact. Clean the build plate of any dust or grease. Many printers have the option to print the item on a "raft" (a detachable rectangle which is printed first), and this will also help with adhesion. Finally, consider using Kapton tape (possibly sanded on the top side). Finally, you can reduce shrinkage (which contributes to warping) by printing slower, at a slightly lower temperature (although that will also reduce adhesion), in a warm draught free room, or on a heated bed if you have one.

How should I store filament?

In the sealable bag provided, along with the sachet of Silica gel. Don't leave filament out for any longer than necessary, as it will absorb water from the atmosphere, and then your prints may suffer from stringing and bobbing. To restore quality, place in a very low fan oven (40 to 50 degrees Celsius) for a couple of hours (test on a small piece first to make sure you don't melt it).

What’s the difference between PLA & ABS filament?

We'd recommend PLA as the first choice for home users. ABS is slightly stronger, and more demanding to print with. It needs a heated bed for proper adhesion.