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All of a sudden I seem to be having a lot of issues with under extruding on my Ender 3. The bottom layer (of height 0.1 mm) prints perfectly fine. This is done at 15 mm/s speed. However, The moment the print moves to layer 2 and above (at the default speed of 60 mm/s), I start hearing a lot of clicking noise on the extruder.

So far I have tried the following

  • Replace nozzle to eliminate clogs
  • Cleaned the inside of the hot end assembly
  • Calibrated extruder steps/mm
  • Reduced the layer height from 0.3 mm to 0.2 mm
  • Reduced feed rate to as low at 50 %
  • Cleaned the filament feeder assembly and verified that it is able to push the filament properly (Extruding when the print is not happening works just fine with no clicking)

Even with all the above, the issue is still persisting. I am not what else could be causing this.

I am printing with PLA at 200 C

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi, welcome to 3DPrinting.SE! $\endgroup$ – 0scar Feb 6 at 7:15
  • $\begingroup$ Temperature? Material being printed? $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Feb 6 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ @R..GitHubSTOPHELPINGICE added in question $\endgroup$ – Ankit Feb 7 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ I has a similar issue. The reason it happened in my case is because a lot of pressure was created in the extruder due to the temperature being to low. Thus the plastic wasn't getting viscous enough. Try increasing the temperature with steps of 5 degrees until the maximum limit of the manufacturer for the plastic and see what happens. $\endgroup$ – Coder_fox Feb 7 at 21:56
  • $\begingroup$ What's the slicer you use? What's the extrusion multiplier/flow setting? to me it seems like a slicing error... $\endgroup$ – Trish Feb 8 at 12:16
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Not allowed to comment, so have to answer:

  1. The temperature sensor is a thermally sensitive resistor. Unfortunately, the temperature is near the high limit of that sensor, and the manufacturing tolerances are very significant. That is why a temperature tower is important for each printer, as well as each filament. (I have 4 printers and each requires a different temperature for the same filament. My worst-case is out by 25 degrees! - it's the one I bought second-hand because the original purchaser couldn't get it to work. I could replace the NTC, but it is easier just to have settings to suit that printer.)

  2. Filament does change over time. Lots of theories about why, but the practical response is to tune settings to suit the filament. The alternative is to modify the filament (eg drying, adding oil to surface, etc.), but even with really old filament, I've found adjusting settings (in the slicer, like Cura) to be the most generally workable solution.

Bottom line is to test, adjust settings and repeat until the system achieves the result you need. Treat most recommendations as serving suggestions, so use them as clues (but not rules) for the puzzles presented as 3D printing.

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  • $\begingroup$ Temperature variation is not going to cause what OP is seeing unless something us seriously physically wrong with the printer. $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Feb 9 at 5:08
  • $\begingroup$ First layer is slow enough for extruder to keep up, but hotend is not hot enough when going faster! Test, measure, learn. $\endgroup$ – user19977 Feb 9 at 5:17
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, the original 200/60/0.3 could certainly have that problem, but OP seems to have claimed trying 200/30/0.2 which should not be a problem at all. $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Feb 9 at 5:21
  • $\begingroup$ My whole answer is that when machine says 200 degrees, the real temperature may be anything from 180 to 225: the NTC is just not very accurate. Typically, results for a given device are reproducible. A batch of NTCs are usually similar enough, and some manufacturers do have testing to weed out off-spec batches. But, they do not all age the same way, and in-service failure is always possible. For OP, just need to do a temperature tower, and use that result. $\endgroup$ – user19977 Feb 9 at 6:25
  • $\begingroup$ I think you're right that this might be a problem, but 20° is huge and I'd replace the hardware if I found it that faulty rather than just adjusting sliter settings to compensate. $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Feb 9 at 15:47
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I bought an Ender 3 and I had the same problem.

I was changing few things and finally got success when I changed the nozzle to the second one (I had two in the set). At the end changing the nozzle was the primary step, but in my opinion more important was reduce speed printing, from 100 % to 80 %.

Since this simple modification (till now) all prints are fine now.

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I too had this problem recently. I followed all the many hundreds of steps people suggested and nothing helped. I unistalled Cura 4.4 restarted my computer, installed Cura 4.1 problem fixed. Cura was the problem in my case.

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    $\begingroup$ For many people including me, Cura 4.4 works just fine. Most probably a setting has been changed causing problems, installing an older version might have helped because in that version, the settings are okay. This only works if the older version has been installed before and had correct settings, or if it has never been installed before. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Apr 4 at 21:38
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A temperature of 200 °C is fine. You probably have heat creep from a Bowden style extruder. The filament starts getting softer due to heat creeping up from the hot nozzle. Filament expands and clogs the tube causing gear clicking. Usually there is a heat sink at the the Bowden tube connection. You need to cool that immediately. Which is, to set your fan to 100 % speed at layer height = 0. That should do the trick!

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    $\begingroup$ Hi welcome to 3D Printing.SE! Please note that most fans that cool the coldend are not scheduled, so the advice to set the fan speed to 100 % at layer height 0 is not accurate; people may be inclined to think that the print part cooling fan needs to be scheduled to 100 %, which will not work and bring its own problems with it. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Feb 13 at 7:30
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    $\begingroup$ Heat creep does not have anything to do with a Bowden. You seem to be confusing the Bowden tube with the PTFE lining in the coldend leading up to the heat break. These can be physically the same tubing, but even a direct-drive system will have a PTFE liner unless it's with an all-metal hotend, in which case you have even worse heat creep and jamming because the liner isn't providing insulation. $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Feb 15 at 1:36
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    $\begingroup$ The Ender-3 in question can't shut off the coolend cooling fan at all, it is a safety measure. Most direct-All-Metal hotends also have a liner for the upper part of the coolend to reduce drag in this zone. The only print-setup that completely can ignore any liner seems to be - at the moment - the e3D Hermea $\endgroup$ – Trish Feb 15 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ @0scar: Re: safety measure, youtube.com/watch?v=NDXUHImA3Xc 🤔 $\endgroup$ – R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE Feb 16 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ @R..GitHubSTOPHELPINGICE I don't understand why you posted the link, the video contains a very custom temperature controller which cannot be scheduled, it does that automatically. It is a cool project though, but I doubt if many people have done this. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Feb 16 at 21:05

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