In my latest 3D model, the Prusa i3 MK3 stops, heats and then continues the print. However, there's no noticeable drop in temperature. The display shows 210°C/90°C (nozzle/bed) as expected. I have printed the same part 3 times now and the behavior is similar. I've seen a maximum of 211°C/90°C and a minimum of 209°C/89°C.

Unfortunatly, it seems that stopping the head seems no good idea. The nozzle is very close to the object and it seems as if either there's a bit of filament leaking, causing too much filament, or the existing filament is melting.

Irregularities in print

The irregularities are always in the same XYZ positions. The print is still usable for my needs, but I'd like to understand this behavior better and find a fix, if possible. My meterial is HDGlass (PETG) and I'm printing with default settings, 20% infill and first layer 200°C, following layers 210°C.

I've looked up the print quality troubleshooting guide. It looks a bit like blobs and zits, just much less and much more subtle than in the example there. Also, the solution is not applicable, because Slic3r does not show a planned retraction in those positions.

My model is available online and the issue appears near the large bottom layers and the large top layers.

My questions are:

  • what is the problem called / what problem category do I have here?
  • what is a potential fix?
  • since the filament also extrudes at 200°C, can I prevent the printer from stopping the movements unless the nozzle temperature drops below e.g. 207°C, although the nominal temperature should be 210°C?
  • 1
    What is the wattage of your power supply? I'm wondering if it is not able to keep up with the power demands of the heat block. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Dec 2 at 22:20
  • 1
    that, or the triggering is too tight. – Trish Dec 3 at 14:04
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2: well, you can ask questions ... I don't know and I couldn't even find an official source on how much power it should have. There are some forum posts that talk about 240W. The website just says it will consume 120W when printing ABS. – Thomas Weller Dec 3 at 22:37
  • There should be a data plate on it which tells you how much power is available on it. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Dec 4 at 0:23

Your allowable temperature tolerance might be too low.

You have seen what I call emergency-halt the print on getting too far away from the set print-temperature. As described, the allowable tolerance seems to be 1 degree, which means pretty much any variation in the printer head's temperature will trigger the stop before the software even can counteract it.

To counteract this, you might try to increase your allowable range slightly, for example to about 2.5 of more degrees, either way, giving the printer time to compensate without halting the print.

How the tolerance area works

  • Let's assume the printer has 210 degrees with a stable heat input from the cartridge and monitored by the thermosensor.
  • conditions are met to start printing.
  • Filament is pushed into the nozzle, picking up heat energy from the heater block.
  • The temperature of the heater block drops, as the thermal energy (=heat) input from the cartridge did not yet include the new thermal energy drain in the shape of the filament.
  • The Thermosensor registers the thermal drop a little bit later and notifies the chip
  • The chip increases the voltage on the heater cartridge with a little time difference
    • With a very low tolerance, it is possible to fall below the threshold before the cartridge could heat up to compensate
  • the cartridge pumps in way more heat than needed, raising the temperature rapidly back into the print-temperature tolerance area...
  • ...and overshoots the aimed for 210 degrees.
  • The thermosensor only registers the aimed temperature with a short delay
  • the chip cuts the voltage to the heater cartridge lower
  • but there is still a lot of extra thermal energy banked in the heater cartridge, heating the block over the aimed 210 degrees
    • which again can trigger the stop for the temperature rose over the allowable tolerance.
  • That would be awkward behavior for a genuine Prusa i3 MK3. Maybe you could explain what the OP has to change exactly in his software/firmware? Maybe @ThomasWeller can explain if the firmware has been altered? – 0scar Dec 3 at 15:04
  • @0scar: I have upgraded the firmware to 3.5.0-1749 (2018-11-22) recently. Unfortunately I have never printed this part with an older firmware before. – Thomas Weller Dec 3 at 22:39
  • In Slic3r, there are not many options which have the "degree" unit. There is "first layer temperature" and "other layer temperature" for both the nozzle and the bed. The only setting left is "ooze prevention", which is under "multiple extruders", which I don't have. – Thomas Weller Dec 3 at 22:47
  • @ThomasWeller I believe tollerance would be set in the firmware... I just made a rough guess from what you explained as a behavior... hmm... odd idea... did you run a PID Tuning? I believe I red that this could help the chip better adjust the temperature to be less... wobbly. – Trish Dec 4 at 0:24

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