If you want to gain more accuracy and improve the quality of your 3D print but somehow you’ve experienced some problems during the process, the following list may help you. Here you can find the most frequent complications that can occur while 3D printing.
This article provides possible causes and solutions to your problems. To make it easier for you, each printing problem is presented in the picture.
Bottom Layer is Incomplete
Adjusting print settings is very important as far as the quality of the print is concerned. Proper settings practically eliminate the risk of weak points in the final look of your model.
Incomplete bottom layer of the model is one of such weak points. If there are any deficiencies in the bottom layer, it is most likely due to improper settings.
Such a problem can be solved in the Z-SUITE. Go to Advanced Settings while preparing the model to print. Increase the value of the BOTTOM layer in Surface Layers section by adding a number of additional bottom layers.
Inadequate settings can cause another issue with 3D printed models. There are a few settings in the Z-SUITE that you need to verify to avoid the problem of hanging strands on the model: SUPPORT, LAYER THICKNESS and FAN SPEED.
To avoid such imperfections on your model, you need to make a few adjustments in the Z-SUITE. Increase the value of the SUPPORT ANGLE, set the lowest possible LAYER THICKNESS and set additional FAN SPEED – 80-100%.
If there are walls missing in the structure of your model, LAYER THICKNESS settings are probably inadequate.
Redesign the model or place it differently in the workspace view – the walls in the X and Y axes should not be 0,4mm thick or less.
Printing walls 0,4mm thick or less is possible in the Z axis and with right LAYER THICKNESS settings.
Pillowing is another problem caused mainly by improper settings in the Z-SUITE. This effect is always visible on 3D models with flat surfaces and lower infill. The top surface can be uneven and show bumps or sometimes holes in it. You can experience this effect or even other imperfections on your models after setting too few top and bottom layers in the Z-SUITE.
The Z-SUITE automatically adjusts the optimal amount of top and bottom layers according to the infill and layer thickness settings so that the pillowing is effectively avoided. Therefore, changing the settings can sometimes have a negative influence on your 3D print. If you change the default amount of these layers, you risk having quality problems.
Sometimes the problem of pillowing is caused by a faulty heater. If you acquire prints with bumps and holes in them, but you haven’t changed the settings in the Z-SUITE, consider replacing the heater & thermocouple. See the manual:
Heater and Thermocouple Replacement.
The Size of Holes is Too Small
While designing holes in your model you have to keep in mind that the designed hole should be bigger than the desired one. The hole should be ~0,3mm bigger than the one you want obtain.
You can redesign your model or use OFFSETS -> HOLES in Advanced Options in the Z-SUITE.
Burn Marks on the Model
Maintenance work is crucial in order to achieve high quality prints every time. Some parts require maintenance before each print and some every few hundred working hours. Therefore, no maintenance work can have a negative influence on your print.
If you notice burn marks on the surface of the model, there may be some problems with the nozzle, for example there are material residues on it.
There are two ways to solve this problem. You can either clean the nozzle by scrubbing it with a spatula and then by putting it in a container with acetone or replace the nozzle with a new one. See the manuals: Nozzle Cleaning or Nozzle Replacement.
Material Deficiency in the Model
Technical problems are common causes of serious printing issues. Worn or damaged replacement parts have a negative influence on the final look of the model. For example, a damaged extruder cable will cause insufficient supply of material.
Therefore, if the extruder does not supply enough of material, you will surely notice it in your print. There will be a visible lack of the material on the top and bottom part of your model.
The recommended solution for deficiencies in the print is to replace the extruder cable. See the manual: Extruder Cable Replacement.
Another printing issue is caused by different technical problems.
The heater and thermocouple are responsible for providing sufficient temperature while the material is melted in the hotend.
Therefore, improper temperature may influence the final effect and cause some irregularities on the walls of the model.
To solve this problem replace the heater and thermocouple. See the manual: Heater and Thermocouple Replacement.
If replacing the heater and thermocouple doesn’t help, replace the extruder PCB.
Another undesired effect of overheating is called stringing or, in other words, “hairy prints.” Stringing is especially visible on models with thin parts that are arranged at a certain distance from one another. This effect occurs while the material becomes too liquid due to overheating and it leaks through the nozzle while the extruder moves to print a different part of the model.
Stringing appears while the printer is unable to control the proper material melting temperature in the hotend. If you notice strings of plastic on your model, the heater and thermocouple in your printer may be faulty.
In order to prevent stringing from becoming visible on your model, at first try cleaning the nozzle and increasing the FAN SPEED in the Z-SUITE. If that does not help, replace the heater and thermocouple. If replacing the heater and thermocouple doesn’t improve the quality of your prints, consider replacing the extruder PCB.
If layers on your model become shifted during the print, you need to do some maintenance work because this printing issue is caused by loosened pulleys on the X or Y axis motor.
When you come back to your printer to see the results of your 3D print and all you can see is a fragment of your previously designed model, there is likely to be a problem with the material you used.
The prints lack some parts when:
- the material gets tangled up on the spool,
- the material simply runs out,
- the material gets blocked in the extruder,
- the SD card reader or the display set is broken.
To avoid having to reprint the model, make sure that the material is not tangled and you’ve prepared enough of it to print a given model.
If there is a blockage in the extruder (the material does not load and if you can hear a clicking sound), at first clean the nozzle according to this manual. Additionally, carry out the extruder maintenance. Follow the steps from this manual.
If the problem is caused by a faulty display set, replace it according to this manual.
Problem with Extrusion
If you can hear a clicking sound coming from the extruder motor during the material loading or printing, at first check if the cables are properly connected. See the picture.
If the problem still occurs, the extruder cable is probably damaged. Replace the extruder cable. See the manual: Extruder Cable Replacement.
If replacing the extruder cable doesn’t help:
- replace the heater and thermocouple. See the manual: Heater and Thermocouple Replacement,
- replace the extruder PCB.
Raft Does Not Stick to the Platform (Warping)
Raft is the first and the most important layer of every 3D print. The final look of the model depends on the raft so if it does not stick to the platform properly, the whole model may get deformed during the printing.
While printing large models or when the platform maintenance was not run properly, or when the printer was exposed to draught, it is possible that the raft may not stick to the platform. We call this issue a warping syndrome.
Warping is mainly caused by an uneven platform. To solve this problem, the distance between the platform and the nozzle must be adjusted properly – calibrate the platform and carry out platform maintenance. See the manuals: Platform Calibration and Platform Maintenance.
Remember to avoid draughts and print at a temperature between 21 and 28 Celsius degrees. Use the side covers to keep a stable temperature inside the chamber.
Delamination of Layers (They Split Apart)
Good printing conditions ensure printing defect-free models. Always print in a room with little air flow at a stable room temperature. Layers of material need proper temperature to stick to one another.
The problem of delamination of layers and cracks on the model often happens with large models when the printer was exposed to draught or when an improper material was used.
Keep in mind that it is necessary to avoid draughts and print at a temperature between 21 and 28 Celsius degrees. Use the side covers and turn off the bottom fan. To avoid cracking, use materials with a low shrinkage level.