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Recently started using my kit Prusa I3 Mk3 and noticed that with large horizontal surfaces a wrinkling pattern is emerging.

As you can see in the image the wrinkles seem to run parallel, the surface is 10 mm above the build plate with all bridges fully supported.

Has anyone seen this before? All other areas seem to be doing well.

This print uses PLA filament @ 235 °C hotend temperature and clearly shows a wrinkled pattern on the top layer

Print showing wrinkled top layer print issue


If it helps, I haven't changed the settings from the normal Prusa Slic3r 0.15 profile.

The problem reduced to an acceptable level by reducing the temperature to 205 °C but keeping the fan speed 100 %, I am printing PLA. I might reduce the fan speed if I feel troubled by the result.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi and welcome to 3D Printing.SE! Please share some print temperature and cooling fan settings, this definitely sounds like a too hot nozzle/too much fan cooling issue. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Mar 1 '19 at 9:26
  • $\begingroup$ how many top layers do you use? $\endgroup$ – Trish Mar 1 '19 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Oscar, so your solutions seem to have fixed the issue, thank you very much. The temperature was set at 215 degrees C and I reduced it to 205. $\endgroup$ – Paul V Mar 4 '19 at 8:27
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    $\begingroup$ @PaulV What was the bed temperature and fan rpm setting when you had the defect? And which material are you printing, PLA? Please update the answer by edit, thanks! With an updated question, it has much more value for other to use as a reference or for troubleshooting. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Mar 5 '19 at 8:24
  • $\begingroup$ 3 close votes? Does anyone want to admit to why? $\endgroup$ – Sean Houlihane Mar 8 '19 at 14:26
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Waves in printed surfaces with FFF are observed at either the bottom layer (common) or the top layer (less common).

Waves in bottom layer

Rippling/wave generation/wrinkling is a common problem for first layer to occur and has a direct relation to the print nozzle to bed distance; a too short of a distance or over-extrusion can lead to this effect. However, this effect is less commonly observed in top layer finishes. Bottom layer waves are described in more detail in this answer.

Waves in top layer

I have seen this defect before. It is caused by a combination of incorrect hotend temperature and print cooling fan settings. Please reduce the hotend temperature and reduce the fan cooling. The image below clearly shows the differences of such measures.

Solving waves in top layer of print

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  • $\begingroup$ I thought there was an answer which described the mechanism for these waves (talking about the first layer), but I can't find it. I'd be interested if you can expand on the process - unless you're suggesting that first and top layer effects have a different process? Edit : just found it: 3dprinting.stackexchange.com/questions/7229 $\endgroup$ – Sean Houlihane Mar 8 '19 at 14:19
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Might just be that you are bridging without collapsing but still have some visible sag. Things to try:

1) increase the support/infil density. If slic3r has a configurable setting like Cura does, you only need to increase the density for the last couple mm prior to the top layer.

2) increase the top plate thickness (number of extruded layers). This often allows the first extruded layer to sag, but the final layer or two to be quite flat.

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    $\begingroup$ I usually use 5 top layers and get most often a decent surface, if I need it really well, I pack 6. $\endgroup$ – Trish Mar 1 '19 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ Hi, the infill is 20% and the whole surface is supported (even the bridges) I was able to recreate the problem on a small 30 minute print, reducing the temperature to 205 degrees C seems to help. Now getting into trouble with bed adhesion but the wrinkles on the small test are gone :) $\endgroup$ – Paul V Mar 4 '19 at 8:26

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