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Gaps in 3D Print

  • 6 min read

Exploring Solutions: BridgingGaps in 3D Print Technology

Gaps in 3D print objects can present significant challenges for both enthusiasts and professionals. Their sneaky appearances can disrupt the accuracy, integrity, and overall quality of the final product. This article is designed to help you understand the causes behind these gaps and suggest effective solutions to overcome them. Furthermore, we will share handy tips to assist you in filling layer gaps within your 3D prints, thereby improving your 3D printing experience.

Causes and Fixes of 3D Printing Gaps

Explore common issues leading to gaps in 3D prints and effective solutions to achieve flawless printing quality.

First Layer Gaps

First layer gaps frequently arise because of an improper nozzle height or temporary under-extrusion. If the nozzle isn't adequately adjacent to the build plate, the initial layer will show 3D printing gaps between extrusion lines. Blocking within the extruder or an insufficient flow rate can result in temporary under-extrusion. Correct this by increasing the feed rate or reducing the print speed to allow more filament to form a firm layer. Raising overlaps and any settings that escalate extrusion would help alleviate this problem.

Top Layer Gaps

Top layer gaps or 'pillowing,' are commonly due to insufficient cooling that prevents filament from correctly setting on the top layer. Another potential cause is an inappropriate layer height. Improving the cooling fan's strength can help the top layers settle correctly, creating a smooth surface for the prints. If the issue isn't related to cooling, decreasing the layer height gradually may be beneficial. Adding more layers to bolster the print could also be a solution when the layer height is set higher than recommended.

Gaps in Floor Corners

The gaps found in floor corners are complex problems with various potential causes and solutions such as under-extrusion, insufficient top layers, high printing temperatures, poor cooling, low infill percentage, small overlaps, and excess retraction. To fix under-extrusion, increase the feed rate. To deal with insufficient top layers, enhance them to be at least 1mm thick. Regulating your printing temperatures as per the manufacturer's recommendations and ensuring effective cooling can also mitigate these issues. Increasing infill percentage, expanding overlaps, and lowering retraction settings can further help to address this problem.

Gaps Between Thin Walls

3D printing gaps between walls are also a common fault that can surface, which is often due to incorrect print settings in the slicing software. To fix this, one can increase the count of perimeters or outlines and adjust the extrusion multiplier to boost the amount of plastic being extruded, hence reducing gaps. Changing settings related to these variables to best match the printer and material in use may thus eliminate thin wall gaps.

Gaps Between Lines

These are indicative of under-extrusion, an issue that arises when the printer does not extrude enough filament. It results in gaps between different extrusion lines as the filament doesn't have adequate width to bond with adjacent lines. To fix this, look into potentially clogged nozzles or extruders, incorrect nozzle temperature, improper 3D print gap filler diameter settings in the slicer, or a malfunctioning extruder mechanism—practically anything that might prevent the printer from releasing an adequate quantity of filament.

Missing or Incomplete Parts

When some parts of your print model appear missing or incomplete, that's likely a result of under-extrusion attributable to an offset z-calibration. This happens when the nozzle is too close to the build surface, leading to unwanted retraction and nozzle congestion, preventing sufficient filament extrusion. Fix this by recalibrating the extruder height appropriately and cleaning the nozzle.

Tips for Filling Layer Gaps in 3D Prints

Discover expert strategies to seamlessly fill layer gaps, enhancing the strength and aesthetics of your 3D prints.


  1. Monitor Your Printing Speed: Fast printing speed can lead to under-extrusion, which is often a cause of gaps in 3D prints. Lowering the printing speed can ensure that the right amount of filament is directed to the right place, thereby reducing the chances of developing gaps.
  1. Maintain Nozzle Health: A clogged or unclean nozzle can disrupt proper filament extrusion, leading to random filament distribution and gaps. Regular nozzle maintenance and replacement of damaged ones can help to prevent this issue.
  1. Regulate Filament Feed Rate: A slow feed rate can prevent sufficient filament from passing through the extruder, resulting in gaps. Maintaining a balanced feed rate is the best way to fill gaps in 3D prints and ensure enough filament is available for accuracy.
  1. Control Retraction: During non-extrusion movements, the printer pulls the filament back into the nozzle to avoid oozing. If it's retracted too far, it won't be able to push out enough filament, leading to gaps. Managing retraction settings can help to mitigate this problem.
  1. Boost Bed Adhesion: Poor bed adhesion can cause gaps between layers due to model instability. Improving bed adhesion using adhesives or heating the print bed can reduce this problem.
  1. Ensure Proper Cooling: Gaps on the top layer, also known as ‘pillowing’, can occur due to insufficient cooling. Increasing the strength of your cooling fan can help top layers set correctly, thereby reducing gaps.
  1. Avoid Wet Filament: Moisture within filament can create trapped vapors that cause air bubbles when extruded. This can lead to layer separation and gap formation. Ensure filament is stored correctly to avoid moisture absorption.
For your ultimate 3D experience without gaps, check out these amazing top-notch companions from AnkerMake:


  • AnkerMake M5 3D Printer
The AnkerMake M5 3D Printer dramatically cuts printing time, revolutionizing the 3D printing experience. Our PowerBoost 2.0 technology ensures smooth power output, increasing power release by 30% compared to its predecessor. This enables the M5 to print at double the speed and acceleration, achieving a fast mode of 500 mm/s, without compromising on quality. With a print volume of 235×235×250 mm³ and precision as fine as 0.1mm, even at 5X speed, the M5 excels in detailed printing. The direct drive extruder and aluminum alloy structure contribute to this precision. Additionally, the M5's intelligent planning and monitoring capabilities help maintain the integrity of prints, effectively preventing and fixing common 3D printing gaps. With the AnkerMake App and Slicer, control is simplified, ensuring prints are accurate, consistent, and match your designs flawlessly, even remotely.

  • AnkerMake M5C 3D Printer
The AnkerMake M5C 3D Printer stands out as a revolutionary tool in combating common 3D printing issues like gaps. With its impressive top printing speed of 500 mm/s and a 35 mm³/s extrusion flow in Fast Mode, it cuts down waiting time without sacrificing quality. The printer's large build volume of 220×220×250 mm³, combined with an all-metal hotend capable of reaching 300°C, ensures detailed prints with 0.1 mm precision, even at high speeds. Our innovative 7x7 auto-leveling system plays a crucial role in maintaining consistent layering, thus effectively preventing the formation of gaps. The user-friendly features, such as a customizable one-click button and easy slicer software, streamline the printing process. Moreover, the printer's versatility in handling a variety of materials, including PLA+, PETG-CF, ABS, TPU, and PA-CF, makes it an ideal choice for diverse printing needs.



To warp up, if you're an additive manufacturing enthusiast, it's important to address gaps in 3D print. This can be a bit tricky, but it's worth learning how to fix inconsistencies, such as adjusting printer settings or using post-processing techniques. As you become more skilled in 3D printing, you'll find it more satisfying to fill in these gaps to create the perfect structure you envisioned.


Here are some commonly asked questions about gaps in 3D print.

What is the minimum gap for 3D printing?

The minimum gap for 3D printing primarily depends on material and geometry; however, a general recommendation is to maintain a clearance of approximately 0.3 mm for loose fits and roughly 0.15 mm for tight fits. This ensures a proper fit between the printed parts and optimal functionality.

What causes layer separation in 3d printing?

Layer separation in 3D printing is typically caused by insufficient layer adhesion or temperature discrepancies during the printing process. Factors that contribute to this issue include inadequate heating, improper cooling, insufficient material flow, or inconsistent extrusion rates. To mitigate layer separation, it is essential to maintain appropriate temperature settings, consistent extrusion rates, and proper cooling protocols.