I'm having some problem with my Ender 3. I have been printing for almost a year with good results. Then, all of a sudden, the fan started to be noisy and the prints came out definitely not good.

From what I understood looking around, the problem could be under extrusion.

I replaced the fan (both of them actually) but the prints keep coming out badly. The software is always the same (Cura) and I never changed any parameter whatsoever.

This is what I tried so far:

  • printing with (four) different filaments (always PLA though).
  • changing the E-steps
  • unclogging and replacing the nozzle (twice)
  • re-calibrating Z like a million times
  • printing different projects, included those who I already successfully printed before

-> Nothing helped!

Then I was forced to also change the software (because my PC died...) But even with the new version nothing changed. Now the extruder calibration is okay (I print 10 cm and 10 cm of filament are consumed through a hot nozzle).

Increasing the flow by 5 % and the temperature by 10 °C (I'm now printing at 220 °C....) actually gives better results (the calibration cube is more definite and more solid) even if under extrusion is still appreciable.

Calibration cubes: Calibration cubes (before and after increasing flow and temp)

Printing example: Printing example

I don't know what else to try!!! Can someone help me?

  • $\begingroup$ Hi, welcome to 3DPrinting.SE! Indeed, under extrusion seems to be the problem. From the second image it looks as if the print started out fine, but under extrudes in the upper regions. The images aren't very clear. How did you test the extruder calibration, with or without nozzle? $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Nov 17, 2022 at 9:31
  • $\begingroup$ It's just because of the picture...under extrusion is present from start to end :( i tested the calibration with nozzle $\endgroup$ Nov 17, 2022 at 10:47

3 Answers 3


You are pushing 10 cm through a hot nozzle for calibration, this is sometimes different in terms of pushing it under load (back pressure from the deposition/squishing of the filament). Although the correct calibration, the prints are under extruded, so there is too less filament delivered to the nozzle.

This hints to a problem with the extruder; these type of extruders are known not to be the best type of extruders, common problems with these extruders are a lack of idler wheel tension, broken and cracked extruder lever and wearing out of the brass extruder gear.

You should closely check the extruder during printing, it is expected that not enough filament is pushed forward to the hot end. You could increase the tension on the lever, but is is probably best to invest in a better Bowden extruder, preferably using a dual gear and/or using a gear ratio (for more torque). Note that you may require buying a new stepper motor as well: Problems with stock gear with no screw on Ender 3 pro.


In addition to checking for a broken or improperly tensioned extruder, I would also recommend just checking the brass filament gear and cleaning it. It tends to get caked with a mix of dust, filament shavings, and whatever else they absorb out of the air - maybe even oils from the nearby Z leadscrew or motor bearings, etc. - and this significantly reduces the effective tooth depth and thus grip. The soft brass teeth might even wear down.

If it's just dirty, cleaning it could solve the problem, but if it looks like it's worn and needs replacement, replacing the whole (very bad) extruder would be a better option. No sense spending money on just the gear when pretty much everything about this extruder is bad, and for not too much more cost, you could get a better one.


I can think of the following causes:

  • if the thermistor and heater in the hot-end is loose it can lead to weird results due to inconsistent temperatures.
  • the gear grip for the filament feed might be slipping and lead to inconsistent feeding and print outcome.
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Hi Alex and welcome to SE.3DP. Without wishing to discourage you, seeing as this is your firat post, these seem more like questions requesting more details that really should go in the comments, rather than a definitive answer. If you could edit your post to turn the questions into actual statements of fact (which serve as answers) then that would be great. Otherwise, you answer may be converted into comments under the question. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – Greenonline
    Dec 18, 2022 at 15:10

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