I'm new with my 3D printer, I just print two different pawn pieces from thingverse. I just used Cura to convert the files to be readable for the printer. Is my problem with the pieces has to do with the configuration from the Cura software? or with my printer itself?

Print showing issue


I just printed a baymax that came with the SD printer. And it looks awesome. I think the problem is with the configuration from Cura.

Print of acceptable quality

  • $\begingroup$ Could you edit the title of your question to be slightly more descriptive of the problem? "Problems" is too generic. $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2016 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ You should include a bit more information in your question, like what settings you are printing at, what material, etc... $\endgroup$ Dec 28, 2016 at 8:53
  • $\begingroup$ I update the title and add an Image. The default piece (Baymax) looks awesome. Dont know yet the configuration it has. $\endgroup$
    – Pulse9
    Dec 28, 2016 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ What printer profile do you use in cura? $\endgroup$
    – Gunslinger
    Dec 28, 2016 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ Don't use the GCode on the memory card. Setup your Cura correctly and try with new filament. $\endgroup$
    – Horitsu
    Feb 13, 2019 at 5:23

2 Answers 2


Underextrusion (as this looks like) could be a extruder problem. The extruders main part is the small gear that pushes the filament through the hotend. There could be lots of reasons for it to fail:

  • The motor driving it isn't strong enough. Poorly designed printer (yeah, ultimaker, I'm looking at you). Not very likely. But a geared extruder or motor can improve extrusion.
  • You print at to low hotend temp. If you increase the temperature the filament will become more fluid and easier to push out. Increasing the temperature will unfortunately increase risk for clogging and stringing.
  • The filament has absorbed moisture. Try drying it.
  • You print to fast. Lowering the speed may do the trick. You also have to wait longer (dhu).
  • The acutal gear in the extruder is full of filament bits, clean it.
  • You don't put enough force on the filament against the gear. Can you tighten it?
  • The gear is not hobbed. A hobbed gear will grip the filament better. You might not be able to switch it.
  • The filament has become tangled on the spool. Be careful when you handle it to not unroll it. This usually results in that the filament becomes entirely stuck though.
  • The nozzle is clogged. See answer from @Tom van der Zanden.

If you don't have a geared extruder you can print one. There are plenty of them on thingiverse. Increase the temp and lower the speed to get this vital part in good quality.

Or you can buy a geared extruder. (I use the titan extruder from e3d) Or you can buy a geared motor.

How to detect an extrusion problem:

It is quite easy to hear if you have extrusion problems (at least some of them). The Extruder will make a sound like "drrrr" with regular intervalls as it tries to push through the filament. Almost like a clock ticking but slower. This is the gear slipping against the filament.

If you don't have an extrusion problem: Experiment with upping the Material flow rate in your slicer (in your case Cura). Try something like 300%. Stand watch and see what happens.

enter image description here

If this almost fixes the problem, you must calibrate the printers extrusion. It is possible that the already generated Gcode (found on the sd-card) compensates for this.

  • $\begingroup$ I just print a baymax that came with the SD from the printer. and it print great. I think the problem is with the configuration from Cura $\endgroup$
    – Pulse9
    Dec 28, 2016 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Pulse9 edited my answer $\endgroup$
    – Gunslinger
    Dec 28, 2016 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, the problem was the configuration from cura, Im not sure what was my last configuration but when I update everything it looks awesome. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – Pulse9
    Dec 30, 2016 at 5:56
  • $\begingroup$ this is more than a year and half later: but always check the line above flow to be the right diameter! I had one time CURA resetting from 1.75 to 2.85mm after an update. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Jul 8, 2018 at 10:43

That looks like horrible underextrusion. Either the extruder steps/mm are way off, but more likely is that your nozzle is clogged (because I wouldn't expect the steps/mm to be this far off). It's also possible that the temperature you're printing at is inappropriate for the filament you're using. Also, make sure that the fan that is cooling the heatsink of the extruder is always on. If not, filament may soften in places it's not supposed to and jam.

Try heating the extruder up and pushing the filament through by hand. You'll probably feel a lot of resistance and the filament won't come out smoothly. You could try doing a couple of cold pulls, that is, put a piece of filament in while the hotend is hot, then let it cool down and attempt to extract the filament at the lowest possible temperature. This may pull debris or particles blocking the nozzle out.

If this doesn't help, there are various other ways of clearing a clog from the nozzle. One popular technique is disassembling the entire hotend and burning out all the debris from the nozzle with a blowtorch. Another is using a special drill bit to clear out the nozzle but this has a high risk of damaging it.

  • $\begingroup$ I use a strand from a wire to clear the nozzle if I need it. But the cold pull is preferred. $\endgroup$
    – Gunslinger
    Dec 28, 2016 at 9:56
  • $\begingroup$ Hi, I printed a baymax that came with the SD card from the printer (I update the post), and it printed really well. I think the problem is the cura configuration. Is there any how to get the configuration from the baymax file? $\endgroup$
    – Pulse9
    Dec 28, 2016 at 17:29

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