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I got my Ender 3 a couple weeks ago. Within a couple days of test prints, I was able to get it working pretty well. Prints looked great. However, I installed a more permanent solution to my X-Gantry binding issues and now print quality is down again.

Layer separation issues

The bottom .25" of the calibration part looks absolutely terrible, with hideous layer separation issues, while the upper .75" looks flawless. I have little idea what could be causing this issue.

Macro closeup on layer separation

The only possible failure mode I can think of is that the bed isn't the right distance from the print head, but even fiddling with the knobs doesn't yield any better print quality than the print on the right of the first image. What can I do?

I slice with Cura and can make my profile available if it would be useful.

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Well, you have several problems with your print. One that could be affecting your print is the nozzle temperature. The print looks wavy and has a lack of adhesion, so the filament is not flowing properly, causing under extrusion and will provoke a clogged nozzle.

Try to increase the temperature by 5°C and do a small test, don't wait to waste material and try another 2-3°C more.

Try to reduce the printing sped; try reducing the feed rate on your printer to 90% or less. While printing you can reduce the feed rate to see which speed works better at your printing temperature. I prefer to do this first rather than change the temperature; If you notice that your print gets better at lower feed rate then change your temperature higher to print a higher speed.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your answer is a bit confusing. Also, what about the fact that print quality gets exponentially better as the height increases? How does your flow rate and temperature theory account for that? $\endgroup$ – ifconfig Aug 14 '18 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ @ifconfig This is not a theory, if you see your print the temperature and flow is better on top than the base. The top has a higher temperature on each pass due the previous layer is still hot; the combination of both temperatures provoques a better adhesion. so for larger areas the temperature of nozzle need to be higher. A lower speed rate (not flow rate) will give more time to the filaments get added to the previous layer. $\endgroup$ – Fernando Baltazar Aug 14 '18 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ Okay.... That sounds good, but these exact settings worked phenomenally before I changed out the z axis stepper adapter. I don't see how that could have affected the max speed and or required nozzle temp. $\endgroup$ – ifconfig Aug 14 '18 at 21:26
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    $\begingroup$ The adapter should not be the problem since this is not a lack of adhesion of first layer. Is common to see this defect on uncalibrated Z height but only on the first 3 layers but not the whole part. Also this happens when the layer height is to close to the nozzle diameter. for example Nozzle Diam=0.4 and layer height 0.3 or 0.35. your problem is related with plastic feed.Other wise, remove your new improvement that does not work as expected. $\endgroup$ – Fernando Baltazar Aug 15 '18 at 0:31
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The answer now seems brain-dead obvious now. Hindsight is 20/20, amirite?

I had a decent filament clog in the extruder past the end of the Bowden tube. This was resolved by sticking a nozzle cleaner rod up and down the filament path from the top of the extruder block several times and clearing the filament jam from the bottom of the Bowden tube. The printer works flawlessly now.

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I had a real problem with what I was poor bed adhesion and layer separation on my 6month old Ender 3 pro. this problem started all at once, I checked the bed height several times and layer height, temperatures etc still the problem was there. Then I noticed the filament guide pinch roller was at a slight angle and on further inspection the plastic arm on removal was fractured so instead of holding the filament against the toothed drive it was metal to metal causing a slip on the nozzle feed. I ordered a replacement aluminium feed roller kit at £6.99 the machine is working as it did when I first got it. So it’s worth removing the pinch arm and inspecting.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi Len welcome to 3DPrinting.SE! SE websites are driven by questions and answers, your answer is more a forum style "Me too" comment to the question. I think you can save your answer by explaining more clearly you had the same problem and solved it by replacing it with new rollers. After all, a clog or filament slip result in the same under extruding condition. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Nov 28 '19 at 11:48

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