Questions tagged [print-quality]

Questions about troubleshooting and achieving certain print-quality. Please include photos of your problem, and also describe what the limits of your 'good' prints are.

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21
votes
2answers
1k views

Mushy small top layers?

I just added a fan to my printer because very small layers seem to come out very badly. For example, the 5mm PLA cube that's the top level of the test shape shown below. Watching closely, I can see ...
18
votes
1answer
8k views

How does one use a heat tower?

I've been asking around on how to choose the right temperature for a given filament. I noticed that with two different brands of pla I have to print at different temperatures, and the manufacturer ...
16
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I 3D-print fair dice?

As 3D printers become more and more reliable, their prints get better and better. But FDM printers do have their problems too: you print tiny ovals that smooch together at the edges, and infill makes ...
16
votes
2answers
13k views

Differences between moving build plate vs. extruder

What are the differences, and pros & cons, between 3D printers with varying layouts for moving head vs. moving build plate? Example layouts would include: X Head; YZ Bed; XY Head; Z Bed; ...
14
votes
6answers
37k views

What causes bubbles in extruded filament?

I've noticed this on almost ever print I've ever had. On the initial first line that clears the extruder nozzle tiny little bubbles/craters seem to form on the line. While I don't think these are ...
14
votes
1answer
3k views

How to improve face that are printed on support?

Is there anything I can do to improve the bottom side of surfaces that are printed on support? I always try to rotate the model so that surfaces that need to look nice are on the sides or top, and, ...
13
votes
3answers
36k views

What causes ripples on part of first layer?

I'm having issues with ripples on the first layer of big flat prints. The initial corner of a big flat print is fine, but then ripples begin to form as shown in the screenshot. I'm just a newbie, so ...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

Can I 3D-print a PET bottle?

I want to print a transparent PET bottle for my homemade lemonades and thought about 3D-printing them. I would like the printed bottle's quality to be as fine as a Coca-Cola PET bottle for coke and ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Second layer: gaps, poor adhesion - why?

I'm seeing the following pattern on my Prusa clone: The first layer prints OK, layer adhesion to the bed is good. The second layer shows the weird gaps. On larger pieces, or with an increased feed ...
11
votes
9answers
36k views

First 3 mm prints poorly, then fine after that

I have an Ender 3 that I have been pretty happy with so far, however it recently started an odd behavior and I can't figure out what's causing it. What happens is that the first ~3 mm of the ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

Layer delamination

I've printed mostly ABS in the past and encountered delamination between layers many times. I've ensured the following conditions regularly: Build plate is level Base of print isn't warped (using ABS ...
11
votes
2answers
20k views

How to choose an extrusion temperature?

From what I've been able to find out, online sources recommend around 205ºC for PLA and around 240ºC for ABS. But these are only guidelines, of course. Optimal printing temperature can be different ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Lines of PLA not sticking to the bed

When I am printing objects that have a lot of surface area on the first layer parts of that layer will rise up causing there to be gaps in the first layer. Here are two pictures. The first one was ...
10
votes
2answers
9k views

How can I improve the overhang angles my printer can successfully print?

Using an FDM printer and PLA or ABS, without adding support material. What modifications can I make to improve how steep an overhang my printer can print before it starts having problems? The obvious ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

What is causing 'droplets' on first layer?

I recently changed filament and for starters it worked perfectly well, but quickly I got some problems with my first layer. It's like droplets are forming on the surface (finished item + 3 undersides):...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

Under extrusion towards the end of the print

I have really strange problem. Thing is that my print (first layer) started ok, not good nor perfect but ok and everything was going well but then all of a sudden, near the end of a print, quality ...
10
votes
1answer
818 views

What parameters affect cylinder regularity?

I'm printing cylindrical pins for a spool holder, but all my pins have irregularities on the external surface of the cylinders (see photo for partially printed pin with irregularities). It's hard to ...
10
votes
2answers
398 views

Print fails at perpendicular boundaries

I recently changed the printhead on my DeltaMaker from stock to an E3D Lite6, and am struggling to get back to my original quality, reliability, and repeatability. I thought I had gotten the recipe ...
9
votes
3answers
442 views

Printing with colorfabb XT fails after several successful layers

I'm printing parts for a HEVO (HyperCube Evolution CoreXY), using Colorfabb XT filament. After several successful prints. I'm having a lot of failed prints. They start off pretty well but after ~15 ...
9
votes
7answers
28k views

Nozzle rubs on previous layers

I'm having a frustrating problem with my recent built custom 3D printer so every single print I made, from the third layer, the nozzle is "rubbing" on the already placed filament. This ...
9
votes
2answers
23k views

Any fix for PLA prints getting more brittle over time?

I've been printing small quantities from a PLA filament spool on a Craftbot printer for about two months now. Recently the printed objects have been coming out very brittle. Some structures that ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

How to utilize/calibrate print fans for PLA?

At the moment, I am thinking about print fans that cool the plastic when printing. I am not asking about the design of the fanducts, which might be a whole book on its own. I would like to know how to ...
9
votes
4answers
382 views

What can cause a sudden and dramatic loss in the inter-layer registration of my prints?

Suddenly, my printer has started producing prints that have a very pronounced layering. Normally, the alignment between layers is very good, and the prints look very smooth. Suddenly, the prints have ...
9
votes
4answers
908 views

Why is my print displacing along the y-axis by 2-3 cm?

I am encountering a problem with this ID3 printer using ABS -- at some point during the print the print head displaces on the y-axis by 2-3 centimeters. I cannot pinpoint how or why it is doing this. ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

Why turning off model cooling for first layer?

I had few printing troubles for first layer yesterday (will certainly ask there as soon as I can take photos) but one of the things I've noticed is that the model cooling fan (the fan that is supposed ...
9
votes
3answers
560 views

Which type of extrusion problem?

I'm a novice in 3D printing. I have a Lulzbot Kittaz 3D printer with a hexagonal hot end of 0.35 mm. I have printed a test subject, and while I was printing I encountered this extrusion problem. ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How thin can my extrusion be from a 1.2mm extruder?

I always assumed that the smallest diameter that you could extrude was equal to the diameter of the extruder tip itself. Recently I heard that you can actually extrude a line that's as little as half ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Delta printer distortion

I have make a little test with 4 dots aligned with A tower, B and C tower. Distance W and S are the same in the stl but not in the print. I have tried diferent values of diagonal root but S always is ...
9
votes
1answer
11k views

How can I prevent my nozzle catching on my print?

I have created a budget 3d printer using parts of old computers, specifically I used the CD drive mechanisms for the x,y and z axis. This printer is similar to the curiosity E-Waste printer, as seen ...
8
votes
4answers
15k views

What are the ideal print conditions for polypropylene?

I'm having a lot of trouble printing polypropylene right now, and I think it may have to do with the conditions. I'm using a very thin coat of ABS on the base plate (just as you would do when printing ...
8
votes
2answers
524 views

Irregular 3D printed part

I tried printing from an STL file on the QIDI TECHNOLOGY 3DP-QDA16-01 Dual Extruder Desktop 3D Printer QIDI TECH I. They recommend using the MakerBot software with the Replicator(Dual) profile. The 3D ...
8
votes
1answer
11k views

What is retract speed & length?

On a 3D XYZ printer extruder, I found two terms I have no idea about: retract speed retract length What are these and why/how should they be set?
8
votes
1answer
987 views

Is there any reason *not* to use a steel nozzle for printing all materials?

I know that for printing some materials like the carbon-fiber filled PLA it's recommenced to use a steel nozzle since it'll wear-out a standard brass nozzle quickly. Is there any reason to prefer ...
8
votes
4answers
293 views

Ultra high precision and accuracy printing

I work in a teaching hospital and we have a research project we're interested in pursuing. We'd like to 3D Print tubes we'd implant into rats to help with nerve regeneration. We're interested in the ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Height of printed part is incorrect

I have a weird problem with my old 3D printer, it is a Prusa/Mendel type. When I print a 20 mm cube, X and Y are correct, Z is resulting 16 to 17 mm. I have checked the correctness of the ...
8
votes
1answer
842 views

Getting started: shell passes not fusing in x/y, and a slanted wavy pattern on vertical walls

I'm trying to find the main reason(s) for the imperfections I'm seeing in printouts from my printer. It is an I3 clone from Folger Tech. I got this printer from a friend who used it to print a larger ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

First (bottom) layer has gaps

First off - I'm rather new to this and I might be on the wrong track altogether... I'm printing PLA using a simple DIY XYZ printer with a direct-driven extruder, 0.3 mm nozzle, 0.2 mm layer heights, ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

How to fix bulging first layers of print?

The bottom 1-6 layers of my prints always bulge, like an enlarged elephant foot effect. I've tried all the fixes for elephants foot to no avail. I'm using: XYZPrinting DaVinci Jr 1.0 Pro with their ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

I am experiencing some severe under extrusion

I did calibrate the extruder to extrude exactly 50/100 mm and it is fine. I have replaced the old (prehistorical) extruder that was giving me the problem with a new one. The issue does not go away. It ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

How small can I expect FDM 3d printers to print?

I was wondering if this printer(daVinci 1.0) had the ability to print very small objects, like insects, coins, or small nuts. (About the size of 1 -2 cubic centimeters) Here is a link to the printer ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does print fall apart at beginning of top layer?

I'm looking for any idea of what could cause this problem. I'm printing (1.75mm PLA @ 220C) a 14cm x 14cm box, sliced with Simplify3D. Relevant settings are 3 bottom layers, 3 top layers, 3 outline/...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Avoiding stringing with flexible filament

I have some flexible PLA filament (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VKSSA4E/, presumably a mix of PLA with some platicizer) that's supposed to be easy to print with settings similar to regular PLA. I've ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Why does my part-cooling fan cause stringing?

Really strange observation with my MP Select Mini V2 printing PLA. I've printed a dual-fan shroud so I can have a dedicated part-cooling fan. I've noticed that when I turn it on, the extruder starts ...
7
votes
5answers
8k views

How to fight lots of stringing with PLA at low temperature (185 °C)?

I just got my first 3D printer (Creality Ender 3) on Friday, 2 days ago. It works great, but for some reason I'm getting a lot of stringing on my prints, especially the ones where the extruder head ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

Should I vary the first layer height

Up till now, I've tended to scale my first layer according to the print quality, so a 0.12 mm first layer for a 0.08 mm print, and 0.28 mm for a 0.2 mm print. After changing to a ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Overhangs lift up

My printer is exhibiting a problem wherein it's as if the nozzle pulls up on layers. I don't think it used to do this - it seemed like it manifested after I replaced the broken x-carriage with a ...
7
votes
3answers
22k views

Ender 3 severe under-extrusion

I've been using my Ender 3 for about four months now and it's been working wonderfully. The print quality is amazing and all the prints are very strong. Then about three weeks ago, my entire system ...
7
votes
1answer
7k views

How to make moving parts not stick together?

I am new to the 3D printing world and I would appreciate if someone can give me advice on how to 3D print moving parts without them sticking together. I recently 3D printed the predator pliers from ...
7
votes
2answers
959 views

Why does my domed print have a thin shell?

I am making a "fun button", with a dome-shaped top. The vertical sides, top center, and raised lettering seem fine, but the more sloped outer parts of the dome are very thin, with some gaps and the ...
7
votes
3answers
272 views

3D printed mold techniques for long and short term usage

3D printing can be used to make injection molds of unimaginable complexity but which kind of 3D printing process is suitable when? Suppose that a part is to be made using injection molding in large ...

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