3d printer problems solutions and fix

If you just purchased a 3d printer and are having problems then you have come to the right place. Even if you have been using one for a while and your 3d prints are looking like a spider’s web then we have some solutions for your to try out.

I have been using a Creality Ender 3 and an Ender 5 pro for a few years now and they are fantastic 3d printers. But like all 3d printers, they do have issues from time to time.

In this post, we will be covering all of the common 3d printing problems and solutions you may come up with. This 3d printing troubleshooting guide will apply to all printer brands.

The 3d printer won’t turn on

The 3d printer won't turn on
Voltage switch on the back of my Creality Ender 5 pro.

Check the power cable into the 3d printer that is plugged in and turned on. Also, check the voltage selector switch at the back of the 3d printer that it is set to your country. 110v for the USA, 230v for Australia and UK. An incorrectly positioned voltage switch will cause your 3d printer to not turn on. Here are some other country-specific standard voltages.

Make sure there are no short circuits in any of the power cables. Disconnect each drive motor and try turning the power on again to the printer to see if any of the drive motors are burned out. A high-power draw or short circuit will prevent a 3d printer from turning on.

Try loading the correct firmware onto the 3d printer just in case the original firmware is corrupt. Most 3d printer firmware can be saved into the root directory of the micro sd card and loaded up automatically when the printer is turned on.

Creality Ender 5 pro not turning on

I had a not turning on issue when I first built my Ender 5 Pro. The problem was that the voltage selector switch at the back of the power supply was set to 110v rather than 230v. Please check this first before turning on the Ender 5 pro.

If the voltage switch is in the incorrect position you could do damage to the internal electronics and drive motors.

Ender 5 plus stuck on boot screen

Ender 5 plus stuck on boot screen

This is a problem with corrupt, missing, or incorrect firmware. Please open up your printer motherboard to double-check the model number to make sure you have the correct firmware.

You could always roll back the firmware driver by loading up an old firmware .bin file into a blank micro sd card. Turn on your Ender 5 to begin the reflashing procedure.

Ender 5 with Creality control board 4.2.7 not flashing

Use a formated FAT32 16GB or less micro SD card with only the Creality firmware loaded onto it.

Turn off the printer, unplug the power cable, insert MicroSD with only the Firmware bin on it, reconnect the power cable, and turn on the printer. The Ender 5 screen will stay black for a few minutes and then flash the settings to the motherboard automatically. You will just have to wait.

Often it is a problem with people using a large unformatted micro SD card.

TMC Connection Error.

Basically, you will need to upgrade the firmware for your new 3d printer. Check the Creality Downloads page for your 3d printer and then flash the newest firmware for your printer.

Hotbed table too high with no adjustment in the table springs.

You will need to adjust the Z home end stop. There is a limit switch that is adjustable, limiting your printer’s Z-axis travel.

I had to adjust my Z end stop screw a few turns to be able to get more adjustment and level my hot bed. Try to move the limit switch slightly to the left or right so that the striker hits the limit switch on one end not directly in the middle.

3d print doesn’t stick to the print bed

3d print doesn't stick to the print bed
Early days when my 3d print was not sticking to the print bed.

The only way I could get my 3d prints to stick to the print bed was to wash the Ender flexible print bed cover with detergent and hot water. It was then fully dried and brought up to operating temperatures which is around 70 deg Celcius. Gluestick was then applied to the whole of the print bed both lengthways and widths way.

Sometimes on small narrow 3d prints, I will use the brim function to help with warping and prints not sticking to the print bed. A brim width of around 5mm is a good starting point.

Other solutions you can look at are:

  • Add Texture using sandpaper.
  • Level the Print Bed.
  • Adjust the Nozzle Height.
  • Clean the Print Platform.
  • Increase the filament and bed temperature.
  • Apply Build Plate Adhesion such as glue stick.
  • Add Supports or a brim.
  • Turn eco mode off.

3d Print Edges are Bending and warping

3d Print Edges are Bending and warping
Printing a slingshot with the Brim function enabled for 5mm.

If your print edges are warping especially with ABS then print a 5mm brim and use gluestick on the heat bed. Other options may help such as:

  • Use a heated print platform bed.
  • Add an adhesive such as a glue stick or hairspray to the print bed platform.
  • Swap from glass to a textured print bed.
  • Level the print bed.
  • Add platforms, brims, or rafts.
  • Adjust the temperature and fan settings of the nozzle.
  • Turn Eco mode off.

Extrusion Stopped Mid-Print

Extrusion Stopped Mid-Print power outage resume ender 5

If your 3d print stopped mid-print then check the following issues:

  • Check you have enough filament and that the end of the filament limit switch is not activated.
  • Check for stripped filament. Adjust tension.
  • Make sure the nozzle temperature is set to the correct working temperature for the filament.
  • Check for a clogged nozzle and clean.
  • Check for snapped filament inside the Boden tube.
  • Did the mains’ power turn off? or did someone pull out the power cord?
  • Is the .gcode file correct and not corrupted?

What Can Cause the Ender 5 to Have Stringing Issues?

What Can Cause the Ender 5 to Have Stringing Issues?

Stinging issues can show up on some different types of filaments more than others. I tend to get a little bit more stringing with PETG than PLA. Try an increased retraction to pull more filament back into the nozzle. Other things to check are:

  • Misconfigured retraction settings try more retraction such as 5mm or above.
  • A retraction speed of 30-50mm/s works well for me.
  • Too high print temperature try 5 or 10 deg lower.
  • Too low travel speed. Try speeding up your print speed to say 80mm/s.
  • Printing with a clogged nozzle. Clean it.
  • Printing with a moist spool of filament. Dry your filament in the oven or a dry box.

Experiment with different settings faster, slower, minimum retraction to maximum retraction. Clean or replace the nozzle and dry your filament in the oven at 50 deg C for a few hours.

3d printer can’t print circles

A simple way to fix 3D printed circles that are not round is to tighten the belts of your X & Y-axis. Loose travel belts can cause some slack in the movement of your print head or table, resulting in an oval-shaped circle. Over fighting the X and Y-axis can also cause jamming and print issues so try moving the print head by hand to see that it moves smoothly in all directions.

Make sure the working travel speed is correct for your printer and that the nozzle distance to the bed is set using a piece of paper. A bed that is not level can also cause a 3d printer to not print circles correctly.

3d printing first layer problems

3d printing first layer problems

If your 3d printer has first-layer problems try lowering the print speed to 20mm/s and check out the results. Your first layer has to be perfect as all other layers will be built on top of this layer.

  • Use a heated print platform bed.
  • Add an adhesive such as a glue stick or hairspray to the print platform.
  • Swap from glass to a textured print bed.
  • Check the distance of the nozzle to the print bed.
  • Level the print bed.
  • Add platforms, brims, or rafts.
  • Adjust the temperature and fan settings of the nozzle.
  • Check the tension on the filament feeder.
  • Check the tension on the drive belts.
  • Turn Eco mode off.

3d printing problems layer shifting

3d printing problems layer shifting

3d printing problems layer shifting can be caused by either your middle moving on the heated bed or slippage in the X/Y axis. Always use a brim when printing small items that could become dislodged on the bring bed.

If you suspect that the X or Y axis of the stepper motor is slipping check the tension on the drive belts. You could also have a 3d printing problems layer shifting issue if the drive belts are over tight.

Vibrations can also cause small movements on your 3d print. Make sure your 3d printer is on a level surface and rock solid. A rubber mat can help dampen the vibrations from your 3d printer.

If you are having stringing or excess material overhangs the 3d print head could be getting caught up in these fine bits of excess extruded filament. Try adding some Z-lift to raise the print head during retraction.

At the end of the day if everything else is correct slow down your 3d printer speed and see if that helps your layer shift problem.

3d printer not extruding during print

Please check that the filament drive is turning and that the grab roller tension is correct. You don’t want the filament to be crushed by the grab rollers only slightly pinched. You should be able to feel slight groves in the filament after it has passed through the direct drive filament roller motor.

Check for stripped filament. Adjust tension.
Check for a clogged nozzle and clean.
Check for snapped filament inside the Boden tube.

Your filament spool should be spinning freely. Rotate it by hand and look for any tangles in the filament or binding on the spool holder. There are a number of great spool holder clips available. This is the one I use.

3d printer not extruding enough

If your 3d printer is not extruding enough, check for slippage in the filament drive motor and binding of the spool. You could also have a partial blockage in the extruder so give it a thorough clean.

Check your 3d file in your slicing program like Cura that you have set up the correct parameters such as:

  • Flow rate
  • Top and bottom layer level.
  • Print speed
  • Nozzle size
  • Filament size
  • Nozzle temperature
  • Filament type.

Often beginners get these settings wrong and the 3d printer will not extrude enough filament.

Creality Ender 3 is not printing

If your Creality Ender 3 is not printing you have to check a few items first to diagnose the problem.

  • Check you have enough filament and that the end of the filament limit switch is not activated.
  • Check for stripped filament. Adjust tension.
  • Make sure the nozzle temperature is set to the correct working temperature for the filament.
  • Check for a clogged nozzle and clean.
  • Check for snapped filament inside the Boden tube.
  • Did the mains’ power turn off?
  • Is the .gcode file is correct and not corrupted?
  • Is the drive belt tension correct?
  • Check the voltage switch is correct on the power supply for your country.

Creality Ender 3 pro screen not turning on

If this is the first-time powering on build then double-check all of the cables. Make sure that the display ribbon cable is plugged into the correct port. Make sure there are no short circuits in the wiring. Also check the voltage switch is correct on the power supply for your country.

If all else fails try to reflash the motherboard with new firmware from the Creality website.

3d printer filament feeder clicking

If your 3d printer filament feeder is clicking then you could have a possible blockage, broken filament in the Bowden tube, lose tension on the filament feeder, or a jammed filament spool.

Conclusion

Hopefully, some of these 3d printer troubleshooting tips and solutions will get you 3d printing again fast. They are very reliable machines that will last 1000s of hours without a problem. I love 3d printing camping gear accessories and here are some of the best ones.

Just keep up some preventative maintenance like checking the drive belt tensions and lubricating the height screw. Make sure to clean the print bed after a could of use to have a solid 3d print model that sticks to the hotbed.

If you have an Ender 5 Pro these free upgrades will improve your final product.

Let me know in the comments if there are any issues you have with your 3d printer and I will try and help you out.

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