Stringing Issues on Anet A8
I have an Anet A8 and am having a hard time with stringing. I have watched the videos in the training suite, but I just can't seem to get the retraction_test.stl from the deep dive masterclass to print nice and smooth. I have printed out the test 6 times and keep tweaking the slicer settings in Cura, but to no avail.
The following is a google drive link with my Cura profile, pictures of each print, and a spreadsheet with what I have tried.
I have also looked up a couple forums to find what other people say they have been using, but when I try their parameters, I still don't get good results. See:
Any thoughts or insights would be greatly appreciated.
Edit: I have recently upgraded the firmware to the latest version of Marlin (thanks so much for your help with that), so I am hoping the e-steps are correct inside the Marlin pre-sets for the Anet A8. Do you think that could be part of the issue?
I have also checked the that the hot-end is properly attached and snug. And I took the cleaning pin that was included with the hotend I purchased and attempted to clean out the hotend. This has not helped unfortunately.
Thank you for sharing your experience and for the detailed information you supplied. That helps us to narrow the possible causes of your issue.
Stringing problems can be caused by two main issues: incorrect printing temperature and retraction settings. Since you have been experiencing different retractions settings; first, I would recommend you to find the correct printing temperature of your filament. As far I can see, you are printing close to the lowest limit, which is 195°C (even model N° 3 is printed under the minimum temperature). It doesn’t mean that it is wrong, but it could be affecting your overall printing quality. Did you print the temperature tower test? That model will let you set up a range of temperatures, which will help you to find out the correct printing temperature. If you already did it, would you show me your results? You can find the .STL file in the following link:
Taking a closer look at the pictures you sent, I could say that models N°1 and N°3 have a better look; therefore, I would work around those two models. Then, relating the retraction parameters, I would recommend you up to 3-3.5 mm for Distance and 30 mm/sec for Speed. Since your printer has a direct extruder, the retraction distance is much lower than in the Bowden system. In addition, have in mind the printing temperature you were able to determine with the temperature tower. In conclusion, I would start with those two parameters of retraction. For instance, in my case I have an Ender 3 Pro (with Bowden extruder) with the following parameters:
- Printing Temperature: 200°C (for Black I set up 205°C for better performance).
- Retraction Distance: 7 mm.
- Retraction Speed: 25 mm/sec.
With these values, I have very good results regarding stringing and oozing. I am giving you these values just for reference. Hence, retraction configuration will vary depending in the material and the printer.
Since you mentioned, the extrusion multiplier of material flow will also affect; but not only to stringing. Thus, I recommend you to calibrate your E-Steps in order to achieve the best performance for your prints. If your extrusion is not well calibrated, you will be adding more material and won’t compensate for the retraction. Especially when over-extrusion is taking place. Bearing this in mind, in the following link you will find a very useful guide to calibrate your E-Steps:
Once you calibrate this value, then you could set up the Flow parameter to 100%.
Another factor that affects striging (also printing in overall) is cooling. Since you are printing with PLA, you should print with 100% of Fan Speed. Due to the requirement of PLA to cool down fast, you should keep the cooling speed at its maximum. Except for the first two layers, when you set up the fan speed low in order to accomplish a good bed adhesion.
Finally, I would like to add two recommendations. When I was looking at the picture of your printer, I noticed debris in your extruder (I will show you this with the following picture). I recommend you to check the tension of the extruding gear. In addition, I would recommend you to elevate the spool position; because I notice the filament is entering the extruder at a 90° direction. This creates an additional resistance on your extruder. You could print the following model from Thingiverse:
It seems to be easy to print and place. But you could use any model that suits you better.
I hope I was able to help you with this issue.
I am looking forward to hearing back from you.
Hi Kat! How have you been? Were you able to solve the stringing issues?
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