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3D Printer Nozzle Leaking

  • 6 min read

3D Printer Nozzle Leaking: Troubleshooting Guide 101

The world of 3D printing offers seemingly limitless possibilities, but like any technology, it can sometimes give birth to unforeseen challenges. One such issue is 3D printer nozzle leaking, which can hamper printing progress and the eventual quality of your output. In this article, we will tackle what a nozzle is on 3D printers, then discuss the various causes and fixes for nozzle leakage, ranging from high extrusion temperatures all the way to broken nozzles. So, let's get started with addressing this common 3D printing problem and help you achieve the best quality prints possible.

What Is a Nozzle on 3D Printers?

In 3D printing, the nozzle is the fine-tipped component where the melted filament is extruded to create your print. It's a small but vital piece, usually made of brass, stainless steel, or hardened steel, determining the print's resolution and quality.
The nozzle works by extruding the heated filament onto the build platform, layer by layer. It moves precisely under the control of the printer's software, translating digital models into tangible objects. The diameter of the nozzle opening, which generally ranges from 0.1mm to 1mm, directly affects the print's detail level - smaller diameters allow for higher precision.
Different nozzle materials cater to different filament types. Brass nozzles are common for standard materials like PLA and ABS. In contrast, stainless steel or hardened steel nozzles are better suited for abrasive materials like carbon fiber-infused filaments, offering greater durability.
A well-functioning nozzle is key to a great print. It needs to be the right type for your filament, free from clogs, and in good condition. A small issue with the nozzle can mean the difference between a flawless print and a failed project.

Causes and Fixes of 3D Printer Nozzle Leaking

Nozzle leaking in 3D printers can be a frustrating issue, leading to poor print quality and wasted materials. Understanding why filament leaks out of nozzle and how to fix it is crucial for maintaining the efficiency of your 3D printer.

High Extrusion Temperatures

Cause: Excessive heat can make the filament overly fluid, leading to leakage. This is often due to setting the extrusion temperature above the recommended range for the filament.
Fix: Adjust the temperature settings. Check the filament's packaging for the optimal temperature range and set your printer accordingly. Gradual adjustments are recommended to find the perfect balance.

Wrong Coasting Adjustment

Cause: Coasting is a slicer setting that stops filament extrusion just before the end of a print segment, allowing the residual pressure inside the nozzle to push out the remaining filament and avoid over-extrusion. Incorrectly configured coasting can lead to filament leaking from nozzle. If the coasting distance is too long, the extruder stops early, leading to pressure buildup and subsequent oozing as the nozzle moves to the next area. Conversely, too short a coasting distance causes continuous filament flow, resulting in over-extrusion and leakage.
Fix:Start by tweaking the coasting distance in your slicer settings, making small changes and closely observing the outcomes. Different filaments may need distinct coasting adjustments due to their unique properties, so adapt the settings for each type you use.

Wrong Assembled Nozzle

Cause:Incorrect nozzle assembly can also result in a 3D printer leaking filament. The nozzle should align perfectly with the rest of the extruder assembly to ensure a tight seal. Any misalignment can cause filament leakage from any gap.
Fix: Ensure the nozzle is tightly screwed in and properly aligned with the heat break. This might involve disassembling and reassembling the nozzle.

Nozzle Not Retracting Filament

Cause: Nozzle leakage can occur because of improper retraction settings. Retraction is the action/process of pulling the filament back when the nozzle is moving across non-printing areas. If the retraction settings are not proper, the filament may keep oozing out.
Fix: Ensuring the retraction settings are optimized helps to fix the issue. Refer to the printer's user manual or suggested settings for correct retraction settings for the used filament type.

Dirty Nozzle

Cause: A dirty or clogged nozzle can cause filament to back up, melt, and eventually seep out of weak or unsealed areas.
Fix: Regularly clean your nozzle. This can be done by heating the nozzle and using a needle to remove the debris or by conducting a 'cold pull' with a nylon filament.

Broken Nozzle

Cause: A cracked or physically damaged nozzle can leak filament during printing. Regular wear and tear or mishandling can cause physical damage to the nozzle.
Fix: Replacing the broken nozzle with a new one is the most effective solution. It's a good practice to keep spare nozzles and replace them periodically, especially when you notice signs of wear or consistent leaking issues.
At AnkerMake, our passion is to deliver dependable and innovative 3D printing solutions that cater to all your needs. One key aspect of this commitment is ensuring hassle-free nozzle replacement. Discover our amazing offerings:
10-Pack Nozzle Kit (0.4mm, M5/M5C)
Step up your 3D printing game with our 10-Pack Nozzle Kit (0.4mm, M5/M5C). Designed for M5 and M5C models, these 0.4mm nozzles support high-speed printing with enhanced precision, thanks to their extended molten pool. Made from premium brass, they ensure consistent heat transfer and superior durability for flawless prints every time.

AnkerMake M5 3D Printer
Experience a upgraded speed with our AnkerMake M5 3D Printer, now upgraded to print at an impressive 500mm/s. It's not just fast – it's precise, with a detailing capability of 0.1mm. The M5 comes with AI camera monitoring for seamless operation, allows for stunning time-lapse creations, and includes an app for connecting multiple devices. Our printer ensures hassle-free assembly with its robust aluminum alloy structure, offers comprehensive 7x7 auto-leveling, and boasts a generous print volume of 235×235×250 mm³.
AnkerMake M5C 3D Printer
Our AnkerMake M5C 3D Printer prioritizes convenience and control, offering easy multi-device control through our AnkerMake app and a customizable one-click button. It achieves impressive high-speed printing up to 500mm/s and an extrusion flow of 35mm³/s, along with precise 0.1mm print quality. Built to last with a full aluminum alloy structure, the M5C includes an all-metal hotend and a sophisticated 7x7 auto-leveling system, making it a top choice for both beginners and experienced users.
At AnkerMake, we pride ourselves on offering top-of-the-line 3D printers and accessories that make 3D printing more accessible, efficient, and enjoyable for everyone.


Overall, addressing 3D printer nozzle leaking in a timely manner can significantly enhance your printing experience and extend the life of your device. Ensuring regular maintenance, familiarizing yourself with the possible causes, and applying appropriate fixes paves the way for efficient and trouble-free 3D printing. By doing so, you will effectively prevent both minor issues and potential long-lasting damage from impacting the quality of your prints.


Here are some commonly asked questions about 3D printer nozzle leaking.

Do 3D printer nozzles go bad?

Yes, 3D printer nozzles can go bad over time. The wear and tear depend on several factors such as the type of filament used, printing frequency, and the temperature at which you print. Abrasive materials like carbon fiber or glow-in-the-dark filaments can wear down nozzles faster than standard PLA or ABS. Signs of a worn-out nozzle include inconsistent extrusion, under-extrusion, or a noticeable change in print quality. Regularly inspecting and replacing nozzles as needed is key to maintaining print quality.

Does PLA wear out nozzles?

While PLA is considered to be a gentle material on the nozzle of the 3D printer, over time and with continuous usage, it can still cause wear-out. The specific rate of wear heavily depends on the quality of the PLA, the temperature at which it's printed, and the diameter of the nozzle. But for the most part, compared to other abrasive filaments like carbon-fiber or metal-filled, PLA causes relatively less wear and tear on the printer's nozzle.

When should you replace the 3D printer nozzles?

The timeframe to replace a 3D printer's nozzle will largely depend on the extent & type of usage. However, as a general rule, it's a good idea to replace it once you start noticing consistent issues with your print quality that can't be resolved through cleaning or recalibration. Some common warning signs to look out for include stringing and oozing, inconsistent extrusion, or if the nozzle exhibits visible signs of wear or enlargement of the nozzle hole.