Troubleshooting—3D printing problems and solutions
Beginners of 3d printer may experience some problems in 3D Printing, difficulties like 3d printer setup, 3d printer bed leveling, 3d printer jammed nozzle, 3d printer axis problem, etc. For beginners who are new to 3D Printing, it is better to understand the structure and working principle of a 3D printer to know how a 3d printer works. It will help you maintain the 3D printer and do the 3D printer troubleshooting when necessary. Today we’re going to offer some problem-solving methods for a 3D printer.
Q: how do I know if the model is printed appropriately during the 3D printing process?
A: When printing, you can observe the first layer bonding, whether there is a printing layer / underlying material bonding to the printing platform. If there is a problem with leveling, stop Printing and re-leveling it. When the underlying Printing is appropriate, you can occasionally observe if there is a warped edge problem(the four corners of the product are tilted upward) or no printing layer coming out from the print nozzle. The issue of edge warping can be solved by re-leveling, appropriately increasing the hotbed temperature, modifying the layered setting value to add wider edges to the model, or adding the underlying mesh.
Q: How to level the printing platform in a 3D printer?
A: In the FDM printing process, we need to level the printing platform before Printing (some printers have an automatic leveling function). The printing platform leveling is 3 points leveling. We can put a piece of paper between the print head and the printing platform and then adjust the distance between them to a state where a regular A4 paper can pass. You can feel the rub/friction between the print head and the printing platform. You can observe the printing result of the first layer. If you find that the consumables on the printing platform are pressed very flat, it means that our leveling distance is too close (if there is no very messy situation, leveling will not be a problem). If the consumables bulge very high, it means that the leveling (distance) is too far. We need to make some adjustments according to its actual situation.
Q: No layer/no melted material is coming out from the print head. What should I do?
A: if the machine does not respond after clicking on its feeding button, please check the hotbed temperature and print head temperature. The temperature of the nozzle needs to reach at least 190 degrees Celsius). If the temperature is 0 or too high, please check whether there is a short circuit or circuit break in the temperature measurement line.
If the motor is moving, but the consumables can not go in, please push the consumables slightly. If it still can’t feed in the consumables, you can check the material break detection device and check if the situation of the consumables is normal. Re-feeding consumables if it is necessary.
In general, if the temperature of the print nozzle is normal, you can hear the motor running. If you gently feed in the consumables, you can feel the consumables moving down.
Q: do I need to standby the 3D printer all the time when printing?
A: no, the machine will stop and cool down automatically after Printing. In the process of 3D Printing, you can do some other work, such as watching TV, doing fitness exercises, reading books, doing housework, etc.
Q: the printed model is too large to be removed from the printing platform by hand.
A: after Printing, you can remove the model from the platform by shovel. If the model is too tightly bonded to the printing platform, you can heat it a little bit and then remove it with a shovel knife. Never break or shake the model too much by hand. Otherwise, it may damage the printing platform.
For machines without a hotbed, you can stick adhesive paper on the printing platform to increase the adhesion between the extruded material and the platform and prevent the printed products from warping.
Q: The model I designed looks normal. Why can’t some parts of the model be printed?
A: because the printer consumables are extruded through the nozzle, the extruded material can only be as small as the nozzle’s diameter, which is usually 0.4 or 0.5mm. The layer will not be extruded if the model thickness is less than this because it is too thin. When designing the model, we suggest that the wall thickness be designed as 0.5mm, 1mm, 1.5mm, etc., so that it is a multiple of the nozzle diameter. In addition, you need to add supporting parts for some products with suspended structures. A product is printed layer by layer by the 3D printer, and the upper layer needs the support of the lower layer. Without supporting elements, the extruded material will not form solid layers, and they will fall or mess up.
Q: Why is it that the higher the model is printed, the lower it’s precision?
A: When printing some slim columns, sticks, and other structures, if the model is printed vertically, the higher it prints, the more significant shaking of the model. Model vibration leads to layer dislocation and displacement. Usually, when designing this model, we can add a supporting bar to ensure that the model’s top will not wobble and shake.
Q: What if the consumables are stuck in the nozzle of my 3D printer? What to do?
A: Please turn off the machine, disassemble the two screws at the bottom of the fan next to the extruder, remove the fan and the extruder, and see a hole leading to the nozzle. At this time, heat the nozzle to 200 degrees, then slowly press the consumable (like PLA or ABS）down along the hole with a cleaning needle, pull it out immediately (so as not to get stuck), press it down, and back and forth several times until the nozzle is no longer filamentous. Finally, put back the extruder and consumables, install the fan, restart heating, then you can start printing if there is no problem.
Q: What if the printer stops suddenly during the printing process?
A: There are three different reasons:
1). If the network is unstable when printing online, the file data will fail to read, and the printer will not print. We suggest you print through an SD card.
2). There is a problem with your G-code file in the SD card.
3). The SD card is unstable, which may be due to poor contact with the SD card and unsuccessful data reading. You can try to change the SD card.
Q: What if the upper layers are shifted to the other side/misplaced
A: 1). Print speed or moving speed of the print head is too high. Please try to slow it down.
2). The belt on the X-axis and Y-axis are loosened, and the synchronous wheel needs to be re-fixed.
Q: One of the motors in the X/Y/Z axis makes an intense noise and jitters. How to solve this problem?
A: 1). Check whether other objects stick the limit switch on the corresponding shaft.
2). the motor wire is loose. Please reconnect it.
3) if the driving current is too small or too large, it is necessary to disassemble the base to adjust its current.
4) The Motor is damaged. Please replace it.
Q. Abnormal preheating of the nozzle, extruded material can not come out normally. Any solutions?
A: 1). The material is blocked at the nozzle. Please clean the nozzle.
2). the printing temperature is too low, please raise the temperature appropriately (generally 200 degrees, the maximum should not exceed 220 degrees).
3) the heat dissipation of the print head is not enough. Please check and make sure the cooling fan is working normally
4). nozzle kit is damaged, please replace it.
I sincerely hope this 3d printer troubleshooting article can be of help to you. Let’s enjoy the 3D printing fun.