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3D Printing Problems

  • 8 min read

Understanding and Solving Common 3D Printing Problems 101

3D printing continues to revolutionize many industries, yet it's not without its unique array of challenges. This brings attention to the crucial concept of 3D printing problems. A thorough exploration of these issues, their causative aspects, and well-articulated solutions form the core of this article. Struggles with filament depletion, messy overhangs, or even diagonal scars on print? Explore here a well-rounded perspective on these common 3D printing problems, presenting expert solutions for each hurdle encountered. Let's get started!

Causes of 3D Printing Problems

Below are some of the leading and common causes of 3D printing issues:

  1. Poor Bed Adhesion:Insufficient adhesion between the first layer of print and the printer bed can lead to warping or displacement of the object. These 3D printing bed adhesion problems may arise due to an uneven or unclean bed, incorrect bed temperature, or a flawed height adjustment.

  1. Layer Shifting:This is characterized by misalignment in successive layers of the print. Possible causes include loose belts or pulleys, lubrication deficiencies in the mechanical parts, overheating stepper motors, or a collision of the print head with the object.

  1. Over-Extrusion and Under-Extrusion:Over-extrusion entails excessive plastic being pushed through the nozzle, leading to blobbing and stringing. Under-extrusion involves too little filament being dispensed, resulting in gaps in the print layers.

  1. Filament Quality:The quality and type of filament used in 3D printing could lead to issues such as warping, bubbles in print, or weak structures. Inherent aspects like filament diameter, moisture content, and material type significantly influence print output.

  1. Print Speed:Errors can be introduced if the print speed is too fast or too slow. Fast speeds may lead to under-extrusion and poor layer adhesion, while slow speeds can cause over-extrusion, resulting in bloated prints.

    3D Printing Problems

    Here are some of the most common 3D print problems and solutions:

    Filament Depletion

    First on our list for 3D printer problems and fixes is filament depletion. When this occurs, your print will have gaps, fail altogether, or become structurally weak. To resolve this issue, ensure that you have enough filament before starting the print. If you run out mid-operation, pause the print, add a new filament spool, and resume the printing process. You can also use an external filament monitor to pause the printing automatically when the filament runs out.

    Filament Breakage

    Filament breakage usually happens due to brittle or damaged filament, causing disruptions in the print. To fix this, check the filament quality and storage conditions before printing. Store your filament in a dry, cool place, and use silica gel packets to minimize moisture. Replace old or damaged filament spools, and when connecting broken filament, ensure a smooth, seamless joint for continuous flow.

    Clogged Nozzle

    3D printer nozzle problems are caused by impurities in the filament, filament jams, or residue from previous prints. To clear a clogged nozzle, use a thin, flexible wire or a 0.4mm nozzle cleaning needle. You can also use the "cold pull" technique to remove blockages. Regularly clean the nozzle before and after use and set the correct nozzle temperature to prevent clogging.

    Supports Fell Apart

    When supports fall apart, the printed object loses stability, and it's essential to fix this for successful prints. Ensure proper adhesion by increasing the support density or brim width. You can also try adjusting the support angle and pillar size to improve stability. Use high-quality filaments to produce stronger supports.

    Messy Overhangs

    Messy overhangs occur when the printer fails to maintain clean and level edges at the top of the print. To fix this problem with 3D printing, reduce the printing speed to let the layers cool and harden before the next layer is printed. Adjust the cooling settings and use fan cooling to achieve better overhangs. You can also alter the print orientation for better support of overhangs.

    Messy First Layer

    A messy first layer can be attributed to an uneven printing surface or incorrect nozzle height. Calibrate the printer to ensure proper first layer adhesion and uniform printing. Use a thicker first layer, or apply adhesive materials like glue or bed adhesion sheets to help with adhesion on the print bed. Ensure a clean and leveled build plate for every print.

    Incomplete Layers

    Incomplete layers often result from under-extrusion, which can be caused by issues with the extruder, incorrect print temperature, or insufficient filament flow. Resolve this problem by checking the extruder for blockages, adjusting the print temperature, and increasing the flow rate for the material to ensure consistent layer application.

    Messy Bridges

    Messy bridges occur when the filament sags or is uneven during the bridging process. To fix this, reduce the printing speed while making bridges, adjust the bridge cooling settings, or increase the number of perimeters for better support. Properly tuning the extrusion settings also helps to produce strong, clean bridges.

    Cold Resin

    Cold resin causes uneven curing or insufficient adhesion, which leads to failed prints. To fix this problem, maintain the recommended resin temperature by using a heater or heating pad in the printer's resin vat. Make sure to agitate the resin before pouring it into the vat, as it can separate when left idle, which might result in an inconsistent print.

    Diagonal Scars on Print

    Diagonal scars appear due to inconsistent nozzle movement or backlash. For these 3D printing troubleshooting problems, check and tighten the printer's belts and pulleys, ensuring there is no play when the printer is in motion. Also, check for loose screws in the frame and ensure a sturdy, level printer setup.

    While 3D printing issues can be resolved in various ways, the quality of your printer plays a crucial role too. Consider models like the AnkerMake M5 and AnkerMake M5C - printers built with user-friendly features and advanced settings to ensure high-quality prints, alleviating common 3D printing problems.

    Let's have a closer view of these two 3D printers:

    AnkerMake M5C 3D Printer

    • PowerBoost™ 2.0: Redefining Speed and Precision

      One of the standout features of the AnkerMake M5 is our PowerBoost™ 2.0 technology. It achieves a smooth power output and a remarkable 30% increase in power release compared to its predecessor, PowerBoost™ 1.0. What does this mean for you? It allows for a doubling of the printing speed and acceleration of the M5, all without compromising the quality of your prints. Say goodbye to long hours of waiting for your creations to materialize.

    • Precision Beyond Expectations

      At Anker, we understand the importance of precision in 3D printing. With the M5, achieving 0.1 mm detail accuracy is a breeze. Even at 5 times the usual speed, you can trust the M5 to deliver intricate and flawless prints. Thanks to our new ultra-direct extruder and the integrated die-cast aluminum alloy structure, you'll experience unmatched precision in every project.

    • Stay on Course with Intelligent Planning

      The AnkerMake M5 takes the guesswork out of 3D printing. Our intelligent planning system calculates a precise printing plan and uses extra processing power to ensure your print stays on track. An integrated intelligent camera keeps a watchful eye, ensuring that your model perfectly matches your design. No more surprises; just the satisfaction of seeing your vision come to life as intended.

    • Ease and Accessibility

      We've designed the M5 with convenience in mind. Whether you're in your lab or miles away across town, you can start and manage your prints anytime and anywhere. Use the AnkerMake App, Slicer, or even Amazon Alexa for seamless control. No matter your level of experience, our AnkerMake Slicer and AnkerMake App provide you with complete guidance and control, making slicing and parameter adjustments effortless. 

    • Unleash Your Creativity with Color

      Color adds a new dimension to 3D printing, and with the AnkerMake V6 Color Engine, your creativity knows no bounds. The M5 add-on allows you to infuse vibrant colors into your models, taking your creations to the next level.

    In conclusion, the AnkerMake M5C 3D Printer is a game-changer. It not only addresses common 3D printing problems but also elevates your 3D printing experience to new heights.

    AnkerMake M5 3D Printer

    • Effortless Multi-Device Control:

      We know that efficiency matters. With easy multi-device control, you can manage your prints from anywhere, anytime. Whether you're in the lab, at home, or on the go, our AnkerMake App ensures that you have complete control at your fingertips. 

    • Customizable One-Click Button:

      Simplicity meets customization with our one-click button. Tailor your printing process to your liking, with the power to initiate specific actions effortlessly. No more navigating through complex menus; it's all at your command.

    • High-Speed Printing, Minus the Hassles:

      Our M5C boasts an impressive 500 mm/s high-speed printing capability, all while maintaining precision down to 0.1 mm. You can now enjoy rapid prototyping and detailed projects without compromising on quality. Say goodbye to lengthy print times and hello to efficiency.

    • Extrusion Flow That Never Disappoints:

      With a consistent 35 mm³/s extrusion flow, filament jams and under-extrusion are problems of the past. Your prints will flow smoothly and consistently, achieving the desired results every time.

    • Precision Auto-Leveling:

      The M5C features 7×7 auto-leveling, ensuring that your print bed is perfectly calibrated for each project. No more leveling headaches – our printer takes care of it for you.

    • Built to Last:

      Crafted within a sturdy full aluminum alloy structure, the M5C is built to withstand the test of time. Its robust construction ensures durability and stability, preventing unwanted vibrations and ensuring precise prints.

    • All-Metal Hotend:

      We've equipped the M5C with an all-metal hotend, enhancing heat dissipation and filament compatibility. Say farewell to nozzle clogs and welcome consistent extrusion.

    In conclusion, designed with precision and user convenience in mind, the AnkerMake M5 3D Printer is engineered to eliminate common 3D printing problems, ensuring that your creations come out exactly as you envision them.


    To sum up, both novice and experienced users meet with 3D printing problems at various stages of the printing process. Conquering these obstacles demands a measured approach, deep understanding, and continuous learning. With technological innovations on the rise and more efficient printing methods emerging, a substantial decrease in these challenges is foreseeable. Indeed, the journey may be fraught with difficulties, but overcoming these 3D printing problems will undeniably lead to substantial advancements, driving us towards an enticing era of digital manufacturing and production.


    Here are some commonly asked questions about common 3D printing problems.

    What are the disadvantages of 3D printing?

    While 3D printing provides innovative solutions in various sectors, it also comes with a set of challenges. The drawbacks include high initial cost, slower production speed for bulk orders compared to traditional methods, limitations in material choice, issues with copyright infringement, and the creation of potentially harmful fumes and microparticles during the printing process.

    How can I prevent 3D printing problems in the first place?

    The key to preventing 3D printing problems largely lies in preparation and maintenance. This includes using high-quality materials, setting correct printing parameters, diligently maintaining the printer (regular cleaning and calibration), using proper software for design and slicing, and constantly improving your knowledge about 3D printing technology. Such measures not only enhance the printing quality but also ensure the longevity and safety of the printer.

    Will 3D printing affecttheenvironment?

    Yes, 3D printing could both positively and negatively impact the environment. On the one hand, it reduces waste significantly due to its additive manufacturing nature compared to traditional subtractive methods. On the other hand, it may consume more energy during operations and some materials used can be non-biodegradable or generate harmful emissions. Therefore, sustainable practices and material choices are crucial for 3D printing to be environmentally friendly.