Printer: Ender 3 with a metal extruder - PLA

After a long break from printing anything, I started printing again, but the results had obvious underextrusion issues:XYZ block

But after I tweaked temp, flow, and speed for multiple test prints, the issues disappeared - even if the settings were returned to default.

Sadly, after a couple good prints, it started having issues again.

Why is my printer having these issues?

EDIT: The cause was that I didn't install the spring in the tension arm correctly-it was not compressed enough to deliver the necessary force to grip the filament.

Since my printer was working fine until recently, it leads me to believe that the spring must have weakened. So new question: is that the case? And do you recommend I unscrew the arm and release the spring when I'm not using the printer to improve lifetime?

  • $\begingroup$ Please remove the answer from your question and wait and accept the solution provided by R once he posted the answer. Or post your own answer. The new question should go into a new question preferably hinting and referring to this question. $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Feb 28 at 10:13
  • $\begingroup$ As 0scar has already corrected stated... Please, post the answer from your "edit" as an actual answer, otherwise you mess up the Q&A format of the site. Also, remove your new follow up question in that same edit and post it as a new question, otherwise it will not be answered - you can't have two different/disparate questions in one post, otherwise which answer would be the correct answer to mark as the accepted answer. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – Greenonline
    Mar 10 at 11:24

1 Answer 1


This is unlikely to be a settings issue. It's almost surely a physical issue with the extruder.

Usually on an Ender 3, this is a problem with the tension arm. The stock one is made of plastic and the arm, or mount that's holding the arm can crack.

It's also possible you have a weak spring tensioning it.

Aside from issues with the arm, the teeth of the extruder gear can get gummed up with chewed-up plastic, or worn down from printing abrasive materials, to the point they're no longer able to dig into the filament and push it effectively.


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