Can’t figure out print problem

UPDATE - I used the little needle thing to clear o it any potential partial clog and it seems to be printing fine now. I don’t know why I didn’t try that before.I think one of those all-metal hot ends might be in my near future…Thanks everyone!

I am at my wits end - cannot figure out why my printer has become possessed. It was printing perfectly fine, and now layers aren’t sticking to each other. :disappointed_relieved: I changed no settings, I’ve relevelled (multiple times!) and nothing is working. Anyone have advice?

Please note I’m not a very technical person, so please bear with me if I don’t initially understand suggestions and ask clarifying questions.

Using an Ender 3 v2. Originally using the Ultimaker Cura slicer, also tried the Prusa slicer - same issues.

Printing PLA at 200.

In pic, left item is one printed fine, right is now it’s printing now.

If you didn’t change anything, I’d suspect a clogged nozzle. If you have another one, swap and see, maybe


Is it the same filament…I’ve noticed differences in heat requirements between batches and brands…is it pla?

A few things to try:

  1. Move the extruder positioned so that you can see the tip of the nozzle clearly. I have an Ender 5Pro so these next instructions may not be exactly the same as on your machine: On the controller, select Prepare->Preheat PLA->Preheat PLA (yes, the menu item has the same name as the sub-menu). When the Hotend shows it has reached operating temperature (200C give or take), select Prepare->Move Axis->Extruder->10mm then rotate the knob to extrude 20 to 30 mm of PLA. Watch the nozzle closely as it comes out. Does it come out straight down and at a consistent speed? If it’s coming out at an angle or coming out in spurts, you have a clogged nozzle. Change it while the hot end is hot (you’ll break something if you try to do it while it’s cold).

  2. If the nozzle seems clear, use a different roll of PLA. Different PLA from different manufacturers are made with different formulas and can have different printing characteristics. Unfortunately, the same can be said of the different batches of the same PLA from one manufacturer. Some companies pay more attention to quality control than others.

  3. I have found that 3D printing is heavily influenced by the environment. In my case, I had a similar problem that I was able to fix by selecting a slower fan speed. In my case I dropped it to 80% for one particular roll of filament. It seemed like it was solidifying too quickly. It has to come out hot enough and stay hot long enough, that it melts a few molecules of the layer below it so that the old layer and the new layer melt into each other. Similar to airflow, I find the temperature of my room changes my success rate. I work in the basement and I find I have to keep the fireplace (gas) running to keep the room at a more liveable temperature. Normally it’s cold down here and I just wear a housecoat over my clothes to compensate but the printer seems to like it warmer too. Interestingly, I’ve seen people reporting that they run their printers in the garage so maybe my temperature anecdote is just wishful thinking on my part.

  4. On the subject of temperatures, I suppose you’ve heard already to keep the printer away from windows and drafty areas? Usually this is related to the corner of large prints lifting off the build plate but it’s really all about keeping the filament happy.


Assuming your settings are the same and you’ve now changed the nozzle, try a different roll of filament. Also do a test to make sure your extrusion is correct - especially after you change the nozzle. Measure out 100mm and mark the filament and then extrude that much filament to make sure you hit the expected mark. If you’ve tried all of the obvious things, this will verify that your extruder is working properly as well as the stepper on the extruder. You can also do a PID calibration on your extrusion heater, just in case it’s changed somehow and isn’t actually at the temperature you think it is.


Looks like it was a partial clog.

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the detailed responses, as it also helps me to learn what to think of/consider when I have an issue.

I know I have a long way to go! Thank goodness the store is close enough for when I can’t get it fixed!


You could also check to make sure the knurled wheel is actually moving the filament. I had this happen where there was a build up and the filament wasn’t actually seated on the wheel.