Troubleshooting

Here you will find common 3D Print troubleshooting topics.

First Layer Issues

The first layer of your print is probably the most important layer. As foundation to your whole print, it is essential in providing proper adhesion to the build plate.Many common 3D printing problems stem from a poor first layer. There’s a couple of things that can go wrong when printing your first layer.

Nozzle too close to the bed

Signs that your nozzle might be too close to the bed:
  • Printed line is way thinner than desired. It might get so thin it turns transparent.
  • Excess filament is squished upwards at the edges of the current printing line creating a rough surface and wavy patterns. (You can feel the roughness when touching it carefully even during the print).
  • Filament is getting torn off the bed when the next neighbouring line is printed.
  • Finished prints are hard to remove from the print bed.
How to fix:

Adjust nozzle to bed distance either by tightening the 3 or 4 levelling screws of your printer and using thicker paper stock for manual bed levelling or by adjusting your z-offset value when using a bed levelling sensor. Make sure you’re not pressing down on your bed when levelling it.

Nozzle too far away from the print bed

Signs that your nozzle is too far away from the print bed
  • When looking at the bottom of your printed object, you can clearly make out individual lines with a noticeable gap between each line.
  • During printing the first layer, the individual lines are not touching each other.
  • There’s small gaps where the lines of the infill are not touching the outlines of the wall.
  • The shape of the extruding line is very round. With the proper distance, extruded line is slightly squished, pancake shaped.
  • Individual printed lines are barely sticking to the build plate.
  • Parts are warping off the build plate or become loose during the prints.
How to fix:

Adjust nozzle to bed distance either by loosening the 3 or 4 levelling screws of your printer and using thinner paper stock (receipt paper is good) for manual bed levelling or by adjusting your z-offset value when using a bed levelling sensor. Make sure you’re not pressing the bed upwards while levelling manually.

Print Not Sticking

Signs that your print isn’t sticking:

Your print is lifting off the bed, such as warping, or returning to your printer with a birds nest (as per image in ‘Print Not Sticking To The Bed’ section below).

Filament specific tips

  • PLA likes to be squished more into the bed than other filament types to provide good adhesion.
  • PETG usually prints better with a higher nozzle to bed distance to avoid the nozzle picking up filament that might drip on your print later during the print. Also, the extra distance helps prevent excessive adhesion issue that for example might occur when printing on glass or PEI beds.
  • TPU and Flexible PLA will also adhere stronger than you might like if printed too close to a PEI or specialist bed surface (such as BuildTak).