I bought an Ender 3 two days ago and assembled it today. I think I did it properly, tested the movement of all axes which works for ever axes. Then I performed the calibration as described in the manual. Used piece of paper and adjusted the bed until barly fits underneath the nozzle for all four corners. Afterwards I wanted to print my first model so I selected the cat from the usb stick which came with printer. And now comes my problem. I let the printer run for 15 minutes. It moved and moved and moved but there was no filament on the bed. The nozzle and bed were heated properly. The one thing which I noticed was that the stepper which feeds the filament turns for like 30° and then flips back: to me it looks like the filament can not be fed in. After canceling the print the extruder moves back to the home position which is like 5 mm off the bed and then suddenly the filament flows out of the nozzle.

What part of the configuration I'm missing?

  • $\begingroup$ Is the printer still printing the first level after 15 minutes just before you broke it off? $\endgroup$ – 0scar Dec 22 '19 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ @0scar yes it did not move upwards. On the other side when I use the prepare menu I can tell the printer to move up and down the z-axis which works ( I did not measure if the spacing is correct) $\endgroup$ – Westranger Dec 22 '19 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ Be sure the nozzle isn't too close to the build plate. Try lowering the build plate. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Dec 22 '19 at 22:06

I am a fairly new user of an Ender 3 and had similar issues on a couple of occasions.

The main reason was as @0scar suggested - the nozzle was too close to the build plate preventing the filament from exiting - and the back-pressure was causing the filament to jump back, giving the extruder a "shudder" as it slips on the filament. Lower your build plate as suggested by @0scar. The paper should only just drag.

The fact that filament oozes after the hot end/print heads moves to home suggests you don't have a blockage... but you will if you don't adjust this.

It is better to have the nozzle slightly too high, so the first level does not stick and gradually raise the bed up while you are running the test patterns. Only turn the adjustment knob about 1/8 of a turn before checking - you are dealing in tenths of a millimeter here. Also remember that changing the front setting is going to change the back settings too because the plate will tilt.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for your help. It tourned out that the screw which fixes the threaded bar for the movement along the z-axis was not tight enougth. Afterwards I calibarted the the build plate height and now I'm almost done with my first print! $\endgroup$ – Westranger Dec 23 '19 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Westranger: The screw that fixes it to the Z motor? That would explain it. $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Dec 23 '19 at 20:05

I use Cura on my Anycubic Chiron which I encountered a similar problem with and I was able to resolve the issue by preheating the nozzle to a higher temp. I would test the nozzle and make sure it is feeding properly. What I mean by that is load the filament manually and make sure it comes out. Reason I say this is because the other issue you may be running into is either the nozzle is clogged or it may be too close to the bed for it to come out of the nozzle. This is all speculation but hopefully it helps.

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The stepper motor turning back is retraction. It is a normals process for 3D printers. I suggest you check that the filament is able to extrude at all.

  1. Using the control panel, go to prep then move axis and move the nozzle up(I forget which axis)

  2. Heat the nozzel up to 200 degrees.

  3. Push filament through the nozzel by hand and see if it extrudes.

If not, check that the nozzel is unblocked. To unblock the nozzel get a thin needle and clear the hole while still hot. Unless u have a nozzel cleaning tool.

If it is not blocked the filament may need changing.

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  • $\begingroup$ It is jumping back a step or some, extruder clicking is losing steps, NEVER retraction! $\endgroup$ – Trish Dec 25 '19 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ Ok chill.. maybe I interpreted the description differently. I apologise. $\endgroup$ – Tim Li Dec 25 '19 at 22:04

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