26 votes
Accepted

Can I 3D-print a PET bottle?

No, due to 3 reasons PET is not (easily) printable. There is a lot of confusion on what Filaments you can buy: most times filament branded PET is actually PETG, sometimes PETT. PET is not an easily ...
  • 20.2k
22 votes
Accepted

How does one use a heat tower?

When you slice an STL of a heat tower, you need to tell the slicer that you need a different temperature at a certain level and maintain that new temperature until another change is requested. The ...
  • 32k
21 votes
Accepted

Mushy small top layers?

Layer Times See my answer to this question and pay particular attention to my suggestion about a minimum layer print time. I'm not sure if all slicing engines provide this option, but I know ...
  • 6,234
21 votes
Accepted

How do I 3D-print fair dice?

This is going to become a 3-step answer, as 3D Printing uses 3 different steps: Design, Slicing & Material choice before I elaborate alternate ways to some fair dice. Yet, we start with the ...
  • 20.2k
15 votes
Accepted

First 3 mm prints poorly, then fine after that

After much trial and error, I think I finally figured out the solution. Even though I could get better prints by tweaking with the temperatures, I could never totally eliminate the problem. The ...
14 votes

What are the ideal print conditions for polypropylene?

Polypropylene CAN be printed with excellent results, you just need a good filament roll and good printing setup. A few days ago I read this topic and was kind of afraid of testing it, now I am so ...
  • 141
14 votes
Accepted

Differences between moving build plate vs. extruder

Without going into too much detail, since this is a very exhaustive topic, I'll write some pro's of each down from the top of my head: Cartesian XZ hotend, Y bed (eg. Prusa Mendel): easy to build (...
  • 2,854
11 votes
Accepted

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

The two most important things you can do are: Provide adequate cooling to solidify the plastic quickly Minimize layer height Cooling is really obvious. You need the plastic to solidify before it has ...
  • 6,456
11 votes
Accepted

Print came out like a wafer

The phenomenon you experience is called under-extrusion. Under-extrusion is the effect of extruding lesser filament than required for the print. The result of under-extrusion (depending on the amount ...
  • 32k
11 votes
Accepted

A vertical scar on the print surface, what is the name of this problem?

This is the Z-seam, or just "seam". It's a consequence of the fact that the extrusion of each layer has to start and stop at some point rather than being a continuous path for the whole ...
10 votes
Accepted

I am experiencing some severe under extrusion

Assuming your filament dimension settings are correct and your extruder is correctly calibrated... Your extruder temperature may be too low. While 184C can be hot enough, it is very near the bottom ...
10 votes
Accepted

What causes "ghosting"?

Ghosting is an artefact in the print due to the vibrations in the printer that are induced by rapid changes of direction. It is important not to confuse them with inherent vibrations in the printer ...
  • 4,557
10 votes
Accepted

Why turning off model cooling for first layer?

Filament expands as it gets hot. Cooling the filament will make it shrink, so cooling the filament deposited on the bed can lead to adhesion problems and warping of your products. This is exactly the ...
  • 32k
10 votes
Accepted

Bed surface stability vs head movement efficiency question

The second placement is a better choice from an overall standpoint. In the vertical placement, adhesion is going to be more critical, although Prusa printers have good bonding for PLA and ABS, from my ...
  • 10.5k
9 votes
Accepted

How to choose an extrusion temperature?

Printing temperature basics Manufacturers generally specify a somewhat wide range of printing temperatures, and what temperature you should actually need can only be determined by trial and error: ...
9 votes
Accepted

How to utilize/calibrate print fans for PLA?

Everybody's combination of fan hardware and print settings is different. Unless someone else has the exact same printer and slicer profiles as you, there's no way to really say anything like "use X% ...
  • 6,456
9 votes
Accepted

Why is the bottom of my part not smooth

Your nozzle is too far from your bed. The first layer isn't squished down sufficiently, resulting in these gaps. If your first layer looks like this, you should cancel your print and adjust the bed. ...
9 votes

What is retract speed & length?

Retraction is the reversal of the direction of the filament and is generally used when moving from one non-contiguous point of the print to another, in order to prevent stringing and oozing of the ...
  • 5,831
9 votes

Printing with colorfabb XT fails after several successful layers

This looks a lot like under extrusion caused by heat creep. Heat creep is when the nozzle temperature 'creeps' up through the filament and makes it melt (a bit) and form a blob (or just widen enough ...
  • 864
9 votes

Infill not reaching perimeter

This has nothing to do with the infill overlap, the image you've added looks as if the issue is related to non-bonding perimeters (it looks as if it is in between the 2nd and the 3rd perimeter), hence ...
  • 32k
8 votes

What are the ideal print conditions for polypropylene?

Polypropylene is a bear to print. There's a good reason almost nobody does it. The main problem is that it's a semi-crystalline material, which means it doesn't follow the normal rules for warping ...
  • 6,456
8 votes
Accepted

Layer delamination

Cool environmental conditions are the single biggest contributor to ABS delamination. Delamination or edge/corner cracking is caused by warping stresses when the first layer adhesion is stronger than ...
  • 6,456
8 votes
Accepted

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

1) If we're talking about FFF/FDM printers: Accuracy of the electronics and motors allows it, yes. But how FDM printers work it might be very hard to lay down layers of molten plastic so small as to ...
  • 934
8 votes

Any fix for PLA prints getting more brittle over time?

PLA absorbs moisture, so keeping the filament dry is a key factor. Aside from that, PLA is naturally more brittle than other plastics like ABS and Nylon Sorry, tried to find a graph to prove it, but ...
  • 6,234
8 votes
Accepted

Irregular 3D printed part

Your print isn't cooling fast enough. With small, thin prints like this, PLA needs a fair bit of airflow to solidify before the next layer goes down. Your printer doesn't appear to have a proper print-...
  • 6,456
8 votes
Accepted

What causes bubbles in extruded filament?

Oh yeah, that's simple. You are printing too hot and are literally boiling the plastic. Else you have water. However if it was water you would hear Crackling as it printed. If it is too hot you will ...
  • 3,023
8 votes
Accepted

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

Thermal conductivity of brass is approximately twice as better than steel (not stainless). Given that the size of nozzle is relatively small, it should be able to transfer enough heat for a medium-...
  • 868
8 votes
Accepted

Relation between layer height and bond strength

My3dmatter.com performed a series of tests with PLA, using "a universal testing machine". They conclude: Layer height influences the strength of a printed part when it becomes thin. A printed ...
  • 926
8 votes

How can I have a large 3D printed object?

As Trish states, a print service would appear to be your best bet. Building a printer large enough may work out costing more than the print service, especially if it is only for one print of a proof ...
  • 5,831
8 votes
Accepted

Hemispherical Bowl : how is it possible?

There are several factors playing together. For example orientation, printer & slicer settings and more. Reminder First of all, not all overhangs of greater than 45° need support. Many printers ...
  • 20.2k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible