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I recently got an Ender 3 Pro for my birthday, and I am having some problems with elephant's foot (as the title suggests). I have tried several fixes; lowering the print speed, changing the print micron size (quality) in my slicer, and I have also tried the masking tape trick (it definitely does not work). I want to know if there are any other ways to prevent elephant's foot on my prints. I first noticed it on a game-cartridge holder. It was four and a half millimeters thick on the bottom. I think that it could be an issue with the design, but I'm not entirely sure. I can send the specs for the design if you want to look at them.

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  • $\begingroup$ If you are using Cura, have you tried adjusting the Initial Layer Horizontal Expansion under your Shell settings? $\endgroup$
    – agarza
    Mar 31 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ Happy Birthday!!!! Enjoy the hobby $\endgroup$
    – user77232
    Apr 1 at 19:46
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Elephant's foot can be caused by different causes.

  • Incorrect leveling or incorrect nozzle to bed distance
    This answer describes that it can be caused by a too low nozzle to bed distance.
  • Bed temperature
    A too high bed temperature and weight of the print can cause bulging out of the bottom layers. This also frequently occurs as the result of an uncooled/too less cooled first layer.

Improved cooling, lowering bed temperature or adjusting nozzle to bed distance and proper leveling are the most obvious solutions to fight this problem. Other solution can be found in using chamfers on the bottom of the print (requires modifying the model) or printing on a raft, this latter solution does lead to losing the nice bottom layer finish.

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Elephant foot on an FDM machine is typically caused by more material (filament) being present in that layer than it has space for.

The most common cause of this is your z-zero is too low, so for the first layer the nozzle starts too close to the bed and the filament gets "squeezed" laterally. You can try adjusting your z-zero or z-stop to allow slightly more space, fractions of a millimeter, between the nozzle and bed for your first layer.

If you don't want to try that, or you'd like to try a different solution first, consider printing the part on a raft so that it starts raised up off the bed and away from that elephant-footing.

There are a handful of other potential causes and factors which can make this better or worse, things like having a large footprint on the bed, but I hope the above is a quick and easy place to start.

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If bed temperature is the cause, but you need that temperature for the first layer to stick, Use that bed temperature for the firsts layer, then set the bed temperature lower for subsequent layers.

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