Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems

Troubleshooting 3D Printers for solutions to the most common problems is very difficult for those who do not have previous experience.

Most people who have dealt with a 3D Printer know that it can go wrong relatively often, if you do not have the right settings.

With the amount of variables that can be set on a 3D Printer, it is also often the case that the problems can be remedied with software changes (changing settings) on 3D Printers.

We will go through the most common errors and corrections (usually with pictures) so that you can easily see what you should do in similar situations and errors.

 

What is included in this guide?

This guide assumes a substantially correctly built and calibrated 3D printer.

This guide is not intended as a design guide, but rather as a troubleshooting guide. If you have not read through and tried complete calibration first, see your machine’s calibration instructions.

Below we will go through the most common errors on 3D printing, and the solutions used to correct the problem.

Problems or errors without solutions are not included, and we refer these to forums or other websites that are discussion-based platforms.

It is also worth noting that the settings and solutions below that reference variables and names in different program types such as Slicer programs usually have different names between the different programs. It is up to you to find out the corresponding name.

Are you a beginner and want to read about 3D Printers?
All About 3D Printers – The Complete Guide

 

Problems with solutions are updated and added as time goes on

We also accept input in the form of problems and solutions from your own experiences. Feel free to share with you by emailing us. Pictures are usually a requirement, but do not have to be.

 

Problems and Errors on 3D Printers:

Below we begin the troubleshooting and the guide by heading each problem separately, with associated causes and solutions.

 

Too thick parts are printed out

Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems 1

3D Printing – for thick parts

The problem:
– The parts printed from the 3D Printer become slightly too thick or oversized.

Common causes:
– The slicer program’s settings for “perimeter width” are too high.

Solutions:
– Adjust the slicer program’s perimeter width setting under extrusion settings.

 

Insufficient filament during extrusion

Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems 2

3D Printing – Insufficient filament

The problem:
– Insufficient material / filament during extrusion with the 3D Printer.

Common causes:
– Incorrect parameter selected for filament diameter. Usually too large diameter selected.
– Temperature too low.

Solutions:
– Check that the correct filament diameter is selected.
– Check that the temperature is correctly measured by the 3D Printer.
– Increase the temperature.

 

Small holes on the sides of 3D-printed objects

Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems 3

3D Printing – Small holes

The problem:
– Small holes on the sides of printed objects.

Common causes:
– Steam is blown out, or bubbles of water absorbed from moisture in the air. ABS filament is more susceptible to this phenomenon.

Solutions:
– Protect filaments from moisture.
– Heat filaments before use to allow any moisture to evaporate and evaporate.

 

Extruder gets stuck

Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems 4

3D Printing – Extruder gets stuck

The problem:
– The extruder gets stuck or plugs again. After the extruder has been disassembled and cleaned, it is unusual to find the cause of what blocked the nozzle.

Common causes:
– Particles and dirt that collect, from possibly different filament brands when modified filaments have been run through the machine without changing the nozzle.

Solutions:
– Replace nozzle when using modified special filaments.
– Thoroughly clean the nozzle, but no guarantee that it will be completely clean, as small particles are difficult to detect.

 

Bouncing sound from the nozzle, like air bubbles exploding

Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems 5

3D Printing – Pop-up sound

The problem:
– Popping sound from the nozzle, like air bubbles bursting. May resemble Popcorn

Common causes:
– Air bubbles in the filament material from the manufacturer.
Moisture absorbed by the filament (Not PLA particularly susceptible to)

Solutions:
– Make sure that the filaments are of good brand and quality.
– Keep filaments away from humid environments.

 

Filaments are broken or broken directly from the spool

Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems 6

3D Printing – Filament cracks

Problem:
– Filament breaks or breaks directly from the roll when it is to be fed into the 3D Printer

Common causes:
– Errors in the manufacturing process.
Moisture absorbed by the filament (Not PLA particularly susceptible to)

Solutions:
– Make sure that the filaments are of good brand and quality.
– Keep filaments away from humid environments.

 

3D prints do not adhere to the building board properly

Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems 7

3D Printing – Filament does not adhere

The problem:
– 3D prints do not stick to the building board properly.

Common causes:
– The printhead is too high from the building board.
– Building board not clean.
– Building slab for low temperature.
– Nozzle for low temperature.
– Incorrect fastening material used.
– Building board not level-calibrated.

Solutions:
– Calibrate the building board and level control.
– Clean the building board thoroughly.
– Increase the temperature on the building board, but not above about 65 degrees C.
– Increase the nozzle temperature slightly.
– Use good fastening material.
– Decrease the print speed of the first layer.

 

Edges on 3D Prints come loose / lift slightly

Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems 8

3D Printing – Filament detaches from edges

Problem:
– Edges on 3D Prints are lifted / loosened

Common causes:
– Differences in cooling of the objects.
– Objects near the edges are cooled too much by ambient temp.

Solutions:
– Use a perimeter wall around the print so that the heat is kept inside and cool outside from the print.
– Make sure that the room temperature does not differ too much.

 

The 3D printout sticks to the building board

Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems 9

3D Printing – Printing does not come loose

The problem:
– The 3D print barely sticks and detaches from the building board.

Common causes:
– Wrong fastening material used.

Solutions:
– Make sure to check which fastener material fits the filament you are going to use.

 

The 3D model warps in height

Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems 10

3D Printing – The print warps at height

The problem:
– 3D The print bends / warps the higher it gets

Common causes:
– Too high temperature on the base plate.
– Too long at high temperature on the base plate.

Solutions:
– Lower the temperature of the base plate.
– Lower the temperature after a certain time, so it cools the higher the print.

 

The 3D model warps and collapses

Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems 11

3D Printing – Printing shrinks

The problem:
– The 3D model warps and collapses from below

Common causes:
– Too fast cooling creates an astringent effect, especially with ABS.

Solutions:
– Raise the temperature of the base plate.
– Use a perimeter wall around the print so that the heat is kept inside and cool outside from the print.

 

Prints have strings between the layers

Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems 12

3D Printing – Stringing

The problem:
– Strings of filaments between the layers that extend most at the endings

Common causes:
– Base plate is misaligned in Z-direction / incorrectly calibrated and causes filament tightening due to poor adhesion.
– The nozzle has too high a temperature that causes flow even though the extruder is stationary.
– The filament has moisture in it that causes a flow even though the extruder is stationary.
– Slow extruder movement.

Solutions:
– Change the Z-joint position with steps of 0.5mm at a time to see if stringing ends.
– Lower the temperature of the nozzle 2 degrees at a time and see if stringing stops.
– Keep filaments dry and moisture-free if possible.
– Increase extruder speed when filaments are not extruded (when going from one point to the next point).

 

Brewing gets worse over time

Troubleshooting 3D Printing Problems 13

3D Printing – Brewing gets worse over time

The problem:
– Brewing of 3D models in prints worse with time

Common causes:
– A common cause may be that particles from filaments have accumulated in the nozzle and cause the filament to become too narrow (diameter-wise) when it comes out.

Solutions:
– Measure the diameter of the outgoing side of the nozzle and compare with what it was like when the nozzle was new. If no measurement is available for reference, try cleaning the nozzle when it is heated.

 

Top layer on the print not solid

The problem:
– The top layer on the 3D print does not look complete and does not seem to be solid, may look like small holes or gaps left to fill.

Common causes:
– Cooling of filaments too quickly on the last layers.

Solutions:
– Increase the infill density of the last layers on the printout.
– Increase the number of last top layers.
– Reduce the speed for solid top bearings.

 

Layers do not attach to the previous layer

The problem:
– The layers on the 3D print do not stick together

Common causes:
– Too low temperature
– Too fast print speed.
– Room temperature too cold and uneven.

Solutions:
– Increase the temperature.
– Reduce print speed.
– Use a fenced or arrange a more even ambient temp.

 

Stock shift / 3D printing shifts

The problem:
– Stocks suddenly change in the middle of a printout

Common reasons:
– Too fast print speed.
– The X and Y axes skip steps / are loose.

Solutions:
– Reduce print speed.
– Check that the X and Y axes are stable and without problems.

 

Thanks to RepRap and other partners for information!

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