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Why is My 3D Printer Clicking

  • 7 min read

Why is My 3D Printer Clicking?Solutions Provided

Many people using 3D printers might have encountered this issue once or multiple times: a "clicking" sound. Other than being simply annoying, it can signal big problems that might lower the quality of your 3D prints or even harm your printer over time.
In this article, we'll look closely at the question, "Why is my 3D printer clicking?" and offer practical solutions to fix it. We'll also share important tips on keeping your 3D printer in good shape. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned 3D printing enthusiast, this guide will offer some valuable knowledge.

Common Reasons and Solutions of 3D Printer Clicking

Why is my 3D printer making a clicking noise? Clicking noises in a 3D printer are often signs of a mechanical or setting issue. Below, we outline the most common reasons for these sounds and provide straightforward solutions to fix them.

Printing Speed Too High

Reason: A very common cause of clicking in 3D printers is setting the printing speed too high. When the printer operates faster than it can effectively handle, the extruder struggles to push filament through at the required rate, leading to clicking sounds.
Solution:Reduce the printing speed. Check your printer's manual or specifications to find the optimal speed range and adjust your settings accordingly. Slower speeds allow for more consistent filament flow and reduce the strain on the extruder, eliminating the clicking noise.

Temperature Too Low

Reason:If the temperature of your 3D printer's nozzle is set too low, it can lead to clicking sounds. This happens because the filament doesn't melt sufficiently to be extruded smoothly, causing the extruder to struggle and produce a clicking noise as it tries to force the filament through.
Solution:Increase the nozzle temperature to ensure the complete melting of the filament. Each filament type has an optimal temperature range for melting and extrusion. You can set the ideal temperature setting for your material. Gradually increasing the temperature and monitoring the printer's performance can help you find the right balance where the filament extrudes smoothly without clicking.

Bowden Tube Issue

Reason: Clicking sounds in 3D printers can also be caused by issues with the Bowden tube. The Bowden tube guides the filament from the extruder to the hotend. If this tube is clogged, kinked, or too long, it can create excess friction or resistance, hindering smooth filament flow and leading to clicking noises from the extruder.
Solution: First, inspect the Bowden tube for any signs of clogging or damage, such as kinks or bends. If it's clogged, try to clean it out; if it's damaged, it's best to replace it. Additionally, ensure that the tube is properly seated at both ends—the extruder and the hotend. If the tube is too long, it can also cause problems, so trimming it to the appropriate length, as per your printer's specifications, can help.

Clogged Hotend

Reason:Filament residue or foreign particles accumulating in the hotend can lead to clogs, which are a common reason for the extruder clicking. When the filament cannot pass through the hotend due to a blockage, the extruder gear struggles to push it, leading to a clicking noise. Regularly cleaning the hotend is crucial to preventing such clogs.
Solution:Using special cleaning filaments or a small needle to clear out residue can effectively maintain a clear hotend. Another way is using the cold pull. The ‘cold pull’ method involves heating the hotend, inserting filament, then cooling it down slightly and quickly pulling the filament out, hopefully bringing any clogged material with it.

Extruder Problem

Reason:At times, the clicking noise may originate from the extruder mechanism itself. Determining factors can be observed through a thorough checkup and observation of the device. Signs to look out for are occurrences such as wear and tear of the extruder parts, incorrect tension in the extruder spring, or misalignment of the gears that feed the filament, which can hinder its proper functioning.
Solution:Regular inspections of the extruder for signs of wear or misalignment are important. Adjusting the tension on the extruder spring and ensuring that the gears are properly aligned can often rectify these issues. In some cases, replacing worn or damaged extruder components may be necessary to restore optimal functionality.

Other Tips for Maintaining Your 3D Printer

Beyond troubleshooting specific issues like 3D printer clicking, regular upkeep can prevent many problems before they start. Here are some essential tips to help you maintain your 3D printer effectively:
  1. Clean Regularly:Dust, filament scraps, and other debris can accumulate over time, causing blockages and affecting the printer's performance. Focus on cleaning the build plate for optimal adhesion, the extruder to prevent clogs, and the moving parts like rails and rods for smooth operation. Use a soft cloth for wiping down surfaces and a small brush for tight spaces. Additionally, using compressed air can effectively remove dust from hard-to-reach areas.
  1. Lubricate Moving Parts:Over time, the lubricants can dry out or get contaminated with dust, which might lead to increased friction and wear. Focus on applying recommended lubricants to the printer’s rails, rods, gears, and bearings. This will significantly reduce operational noise, prevent wear and tear, and enhance the precision of movements. It's also important to use the lubricants specified by the printer's manufacturer and to apply them sparingly to avoid attracting more dirt.
  1. Tighten Loose Components:The constant motion and vibration during printing can cause components to loosen over time, leading to misalignment, wobbling, and degraded print quality. You need to pay special attention to the components of the motion system and the extruder assembly, as they endure the most movement. Use appropriate tools to tighten these parts without over-tightening.
  1. Update Firmware:Firmware updates often include bug fixes, improvements, and new features that enhance your printer’s functionality. These updates can improve printing speed, quality, and even introduce new capabilities. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when updating to avoid any installation errors.
  1. Regular Calibrations:Regular calibrations include leveling the print bed, ensuring proper alignment of the printer's axes, and calibrating the extruder for accurate filament feeding. An uncalibrated printer can lead to various issues, like uneven layers, poor adhesion, or inaccurate dimensions in prints. It is advised to use calibration tools or software provided by the manufacturer for precise adjustments.
  1. Inspect and Replace Worn Parts: Over time, certain components of your 3D printer will experience wear and tear, necessitating inspection and replacement. This includes the print bed surface, belts, nozzles, and bearings. A worn-out print bed surface can lead to adhesion problems, while stretched belts might result in inaccurate prints. Nozzles can become clogged or eroded, affecting print quality. Replacing these components as needed not only improves the print quality but also prevents larger issues from developing.


If the components of your current 3D printer are beyond repair due to wear and tear, it might be time to consider an upgrade. We recommend exploring the high-quality AnkerMake 3D printers, known for their reliability and advanced features. Here are two top recommendations:


  • AnkerMake M5 3D Printer
The AnkerMake M5 3D Printer sets a new standard in the realm of 3D printing with its remarkable maximum speed of 500 mm/s, significantly enhancing printing efficiency. It also shines in its precision, capable of printing at an impressive 0.1 mm detail. This precision ensures that even the most complex and intricate designs are brought to life with exceptional clarity and sophistication.
Equipped with a built-in AI camera, the AnkerMake M5 takes monitoring to the next level, offering continuous observation of the printing process. Additionally, the AnkerMake M5 features an advanced 7×7 Auto-Leveling system, which automatically ensures a perfectly leveled bed, a key factor in preventing the clicking problem and achieving flawless prints consistently.

  • AnkerMake M5C 3D Printer
The AnkerMake M5C 3D Printer is a pioneering tool crafted to transform your 3D printing journey. This printer boasts an easy multi-device control through our AnkerMake app, streamlining your workflow by enabling smooth management of multiple printing tasks across different devices.
The customizable one-click button further simplifies the printing process, making it more efficient and user-friendly. With a remarkable speed of 500 mm/s, the AnkerMake M5C drastically cuts down print times, while its 35 mm³/s extrusion rate ensures consistent and reliable output. The advanced 7×7 auto-leveling system can intuitively adjust the print bed, ensuring a perfectly level surface for each print, thereby avoiding common issues like 3D printer clicking and ensuring optimal print quality.
Its all-metal hotend, designed for heat resistance and versatility, supports a broad range of printing materials. The robust aluminum alloy structure of the AnkerMake M5C not only adds to its durability but also ensures steady performance under various printing conditions.


In summary, the question "Why is my 3D printer clicking?", often points to a deeper problem within the printer. Several potential causes for this sound include a clogged hotend, Bowden Tube issue, high printing speed, or incorrect temperature setting. By examining the filament feed, ensuring proper nozzle maintenance, checking mechanical components, and adjusting the temperature, you can troubleshoot and resolve the clicking problem. Regular maintenance is also key; it keeps your printer in top condition and reliable for all your projects. By solving the issue, you can realize your creative visions with precision and high quality.

Frequently Asked Questions about “Why is My 3D Printer Clicking

Is a Clicking Extruder Bad?

Yes, a clicking extruder in a 3D printer is generally a sign of a problem that should not be ignored. While the printer might still operate and produce prints in the presence of a clicking sound, the quality of these prints is often compromised.

What to Do When You Can't Figure Out Where the Clicking Problem Come From?

If the source of the clicking is unclear, a systematic check of the printer is advisable. This includes inspecting the filament, extruder, hotend, and printer settings. If the problem persists, seeking guidance from the printer's manual, manufacturer, or community forums can be beneficial.