Let’s be blunt here: the current state of desktop 3D printers is rather unreliable. Prints fail frequently and operators must diagnose and fix the problems. But how?
One of the best resources we’ve found so far to assist in troubleshooting the numerous issues that may occur has been put together by the friendly folks at Simplify3D, who make independent slicing software for use on virtually all desktop 3D printers.
As a result of their testing on multiple devices, their experts have run into virtually every type of problem. And believe us, there are many different kinds of problems.
Simplify3D’s “Print Quality Troubleshooting Guide” is something anyone can use, even if you don’t use Simplify3D software. However, if that’s the case, then you’ll have to translate their instructions into the equivalent maneuvers on your own 3D print software.
Here’s the list of trouble situations they cover:
- Not extruding at start
- Not sticking to the bed
- Gaps in top layers
- Stringing or oozing
- Layer shifting
- Layer separation and splitting
- Grinding filament
- Clogged extruder
- Stops extruding mid-print
- Weak infill
- Blobs and zits
- Gaps between infill and outline
- Curling or rough corners
- Scars on top surface
- Gaps in floor corners
- Lines on the side of the print
- Vibrations and ringing
- Gaps in thin walls
- Small features not printed
- Inconsistent extrusion
While we’re quite certain you’ve likely encountered several of these problems already, there may be some you might not be familiar with. No worries - Simplify3D has detailed images showing the effects. We encourage you to look at the images because in some cases, you may NOT EVEN REALIZE you have the problem!
Each scenario is not only imaged, but explained in plain english so that anyone can easily understand the problem. Of course, there are root causes listed for each scenario, typically two to six, which again are clearly explained.
We’re quite impressed because the situations and solutions often go beyond mere software issues. This is NOT something just for users of Simplify3D; the guide often refers to hardware issues that software cannot fix. But they’ll help you fix them anyway.
If you have 3D printing issues, go to their guide. If you don’t have issues, go anyway! You will learn much about how your printer works.
Good work, Simplify3D!