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So I got my 3D printer (Anet A8) a few years ago and put it together. I couldn't figure out how to use it. Then about a month ago I decided to try again now that I am older and got it to work. I know more than I did by far. I have printed about 15-20 different times now, but then this problem occurred just now that I have never seen before. I tried looking up what it could be and google results in nothing and this exchange leads to one thread that is close to what I am having difficulty with but doesn't really help. I got the stl file from the internet on thingverse, so I am fairly certain they must have clicked the center and arrange when in the cad software to make the item, which is a phone stand. So my print all of a sudden starting printing in air. Here is a picture and thanks for the help.

Printer Anet A8 prints in the air

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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by print all of a sudden starting printing in air, you mean that the filament stops extruding but continuous printing, or does it raise the head and prints filament in the air. Looking at the image I assume you mean the first option, but please make that clear in your question. If so, what you then are looking for is a defect called clogging. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Mar 21 '19 at 7:38
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    $\begingroup$ Some thingiverse models are plainly broken, and you only see that when you switch to "layer view" in the slicer. Knowing the model can help in identiffying if it was this or some other fail. Also, the GCode you sliced would be helpful to see. I can assure you, that STL models don't contain arrangement information for the printer. In fact, they don't even contain any reference to the origin of the design program but a boundbox and a know length unit that then all the other lengthes are referenced against. $\endgroup$ – Trish Mar 21 '19 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ I can give the gcode file, but how exactly do I do that? Also, I opened up cura and I think I understand what you mean by "layer view" as there are 2 sliding bars (x and z or y probably) that you can slide to see how it will print. Sure enough it shows the exact thing that happened to me. So I agree that this model is broken and I will now check for this after downloading something from thingiverse. Thanks for this lesson as I did not know this, but I do now. However, is there someway I can fix this for the future if I catch it before printing? $\endgroup$ – john Mar 21 '19 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ To Oscar, I thought my picture was clear but it looks like it might not have been. What I mean was that the extruder is printing filament but is printing where there is no layer. If you look at the picture, you can see the filament coming out from the extruder where there is nothing there (hense air). You can take a look at my response to Trish as Trish hit it on the nail of my problem, I just want to know how to fix it now to prevent this from happening again. $\endgroup$ – john Mar 21 '19 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ @john please help us -- post the thingiverse link. We can examine, and probably repair, the source file for you. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Mar 21 '19 at 19:30
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Here's the pattern.

The problem is, you didn't slice the g-code using support. It won't print right without it.

From Thingiverse.com from blecheimer

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  • $\begingroup$ I see what I did wrong now. Thank you as I will now add support for all my prints that have overhang. I see where the support is in cura, its plain as day. $\endgroup$ – john Mar 22 '19 at 0:02
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    $\begingroup$ Not all prints need or want support material - Print in place regularily will fail or fuse fast with it, @john for optimal strength, I would print this on its side with support enabled and the everywhere choice. $\endgroup$ – Trish Mar 22 '19 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with @Trish . Print on its side to get greatly increased strength where it matters. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Mar 22 '19 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ If printed on its side, I think the finish would be tremendously better as well, since the support material would only be used on the thin side and not throughout the entire flat side of the print. $\endgroup$ – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 22 '19 at 18:53

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