I've noticed a lot of beginners with the Ender 3 are getting blobby prints. The default nozzle temperature with the slicer and printer is 200 °C. The filament's manufacturer's suggested nozzle temperature is 215 °C. What're the best Slic3r settings to solve this?

Here are some examples. These are supposed to be shaped roughly like a human eye. After the bottom right failure I tried doubling the default retraction distance and adding glue stick to the bed, keeping the nozzle temperature at 200 °C. The bottom left print was next. There was no severe blobbing but the nozzle still seems to have dislodged the print while transitioning from infill to the next layer's perimeter. The next print was the top one, which had +1 mm Z distance for the nozzle and increased the nozzle temperature to 215 °C.

three failed prints

Support material options are turned off. These prints seem to go bad within the first few layers. I've tried watching the print carefully and saw that the nozzle kept bumping the perimeter during infill. I tried a print with double-sided tape, which held the print more firmly. I finished one of the double-sided tape prints. Although most of the print was fine the first three layers are extremely harsh with very different consistency from the rest of the print. Subsequent prints get to about two inches in height then consistently fail at the same height. At about two inches the nozzle side-swipes the top layer of the perimeter. This tips the model over. The results are much as seen above. I tried a smaller model and the printer made the harsh layers then started the model but failed for the same reason, though within only a few layers.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Never had a print even remotely like that on my Ender 3 pro, there is something very very wrong going on. Try aother slicer if you think it's the slicer $\endgroup$
    – Kilisi
    May 8 at 8:06
  • $\begingroup$ From my perspective there has been basically zero help for this problem. I thought I'd be able to build the printer, plug a model in, and get a fair print that I could tune settings with. I've tried three slicing programs. Given how divergent things are I'd appreciate any guidance. $\endgroup$ May 9 at 2:20
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    $\begingroup$ Ender 3 comes with models (some already sliced or at least mine did), and filament, did you try those? It's difficult to help when you're not giving the basic info, no idea what type of filament you're using. Have you printed anything else successfully, did you just put the printer together? etc $\endgroup$
    – Kilisi
    May 9 at 11:44
  • $\begingroup$ I just put the printer together and tried a few thingiverse models. The first print was with the included filament, which did not come with a spool and had a rough texture. The included filament broke while printing a few times. I switched filaments in case that was the problem. $\endgroup$ May 9 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ Your filament changed colour? The included filament is white as far as I know. Thingiverse is not a reliable source of STL files. (You get what you paid for). From the look of your print though I'd think you may have made some assembly errors, loose belts and suchlike perhaps. $\endgroup$
    – Kilisi
    May 9 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


First of all, I would make sure that my bed is properly leveled. Download one of the bed level tests and keep adjusting until you get good, slightly smooshed lines. It's possible that the nozzle was too low but it's hard to say.

You might also want to look into changing your Z-offset (Ender 3 sometimes can have a slightly warped bed). The easiest way to adjust it is probably downloading Cura slicer, clicking on Marketplace > Plugins, and downloading a free Z-offset plugin. Then you can adjust your offset under build plate adhesion settings and, while we are on the subject, if your print falls over try printing with the Brim turned on.

Another reason might be a partially clogged nozzle, if you have an Ender machine you probably also got a bag with all the extra bits. It should have a needle-like piece of wire you can use to unclog your hot end.

You could also try some settings that limit the amount of time printhead travels over previously finished areas like Combing mode and Z-hop.

If your problems are indeed caused by wrong retraction settings try printing a retraction tower test. You could download the "Calibration Shapes" plugin for Cura. If you do so, under the Extensions tab you should see "Calibration Shapes". Select retraction tower to place it, then click on Extensions > Post-processing > Modify G-code > Add script > Retract tower. Adjust distance and speed in separate tests.

Alternatively, you can download a retraction tower model and use support blockers to create volumes with different print parameters (place a blocker so it overlaps with your model, under Per Model Settings select Modify settings for overlaps, load whatever parameters you like, and adjust them)

Poke your printbed to check if it has a wobble because it shouldn't, also if your printer shakes violently while at work you could lower your speed/acceleration/jerk settings. I'm theorizing but I think it could cause similar issues, though for me it was only ever a problem in direct drive printers, which would make sense because of bigger printhead inertia.

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    $\begingroup$ This is good advice, it could be the issue is related to adhesion, the question must become clearer, but this is a good primer! $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    May 11 at 8:20

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