Diagnosing a 3D printing problem

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Step 1 know if it is hardware or software

When doing a diagnosis you will first need to know whether it is a problem with the hardware or the software of the 3D printer

Software is your designing folder, design program , slicing program, the g-code for the printer , the printer firmware

Hardware is your printer,Filament, object that you are printing, the wires, etc.

Step 2.1

If your problem is hardware stay here otherwise scroll down

Below we at C4K have put together a list of the most common problems with descriptions pictures and possible solutions


This is one of the main problems every person with a 3D printer faces

How does this happen
  1. Cool air on the upper layers (wind/cold ambient temperatures) allow the filament to contract thus causing it to pull up on the edges

2) Poor bed adhesion this is when the print can’t stick to the build plate

How to bed level
How to solve this
  1. Bed level your 3D printer
  1. make a 3D print enclosure click here to know when we post a tutorial about it
  2. use a stronger bed adhesive such as
  • hairspray
  • Glue Stick/Prit used for paper (Works Great!!!)
  • For ABS ONLY ABS Juice
Be careful when making Find PPE here
  • Add a large brim to your object in your Slicing program
  • Add a raft (Not recommended for people printing in flexible’s/exotics )
No Filament Extruding
  • Crank the heat up by 10-15 degrees celsius and wait
  • Try and remove the filament from the extruder
  • Clean the nozzle
Method 1
Method 2
  • Try slowing down the print in your slicer i.e. from 90mm/s to 70mm/s (we found about a 20mm/s drop is sufficient)
  • Try bed leveling
  • None of the above worked contact us

Gaps in your 3D printed object
On the top layer
  • In your slicer add on to the amount of 100% printed top layers
  • Print the walls of the print slower (10%-15% slower)
  • Check your timing belt tension
On the bottom layers
  • slower speed by (10%-15%)
  • Bed level
  • Slow the print speed down by (aprox. 5%)
In the middle of the print
  • Print slower but 5-10mm/s faster than the top/bottom layers
  • print the outer walls at 5-10mm/s faster than the top/bottom layers but inner walls at the same speed as the top/bottom layers
  • turn up the heat on the nozzle
  • check timing belt tension and try to relevel the bed

Any burning smell

Stop and cut the power at the mains to the 3D printer

  1. Is there fire…..Yes Call your fire department and evacuate ONLY IF IT IS SAFE TO DO SO AND YOU HAVE THE TRAINING ATTEMPT TO EXTINGUISH
  2. Is there fire…..NO turn off the printer/pause print
  3. Look at all the wires on the outside of the printer and see if there any frayed/broken/damaged wires
  4. If you need to replace a wire unplug and replace
  5. If you cannot detect the problem by yourself turn off the printer and seek assistance
How to protect your 3D printer from being a fire hazard

Some videos which wwe find very helpful

Step 2.2 Software

Due to there being many different types of software and different operating systems we don’t have exact diagnosis for all but we do have some golden rules
  1. always have the latest update
  2. read the documentation
  3. Use the built in tutorial feature
  4. Gain experience
  5. Take your time
  6. Take breaks
  7. enjoy it

Cannot still find your problem or can’t diagnose

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