by Sharon Jones

When your 3D printer stops working it can cause major panic. You just don’t have the time to waste and you need solutions. 

When you need a quick fix, we take you through two of the most common problems that you’ll find with today’s 3D machines and how you can get yours up and running again.

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Image from Pixabay. CC0 licence

Surface Problems

Everything was ticking along fine when your printer suddenly stopped attaching properly to the surface  on which it was printing. This may not be the first time this has happened, as this is possibly the most common error when using a 3D printer. However, with a little know-how it’s also fixable.

There are probably several reasons why it’s failing to stick, so it’s always best to start by ruling out the basic issues. Take a look at the position of your printer. Is it level? Even a slight imbalance can cause problems. Next check that it is calibrated properly by running a computer diagnostic. Recalibrate just in case if you want to make sure all is as it should be.

 If these two processes don’t correct the problem then take a look at your bed temperature and check that it is at a consistently high enough temperature to keep the plastic resin melted. If you think it might not be, then increase it in increments.

Finally, check that the printing bed is spotless and doesn’t have anything in the way that might be clogging it up or preventing it from working properly. Clean it with a special cleaning fluid if you’re not sure.

Stringing

Then there’s the issue of stringing or what looks like cobwebs of plastic connecting the different parts. This is likely to be a nozzle problem, when the nozzle leaks out excessive 3D printing resin that gets caught on the thing you’re printing. Try cleaning the nozzle first and if that still doesn’t work then you might want to try lowering the heat just a little. Do this by small increments to see if it makes a difference.

You also have the option of adjusting the speed of the printer and seeing if a slower or faster speed makes a difference. Again, try this in small stages to make sure that you don’t over or under compensate.

While 3D machines can produce the most amazing results and will regularly perform to a very high standard, there are times when they don’t deliver your 3D print projects in the way that they should. Having a little expertise will help you to eliminate the most obvious problems and will hopefully mean you can get back on track with your work as quickly as possible.

If you do find yourself tackling a problem that is outside of your expertise, you’d be well-advised to call in your tech support services sooner rather than later and if you’re unsure about whether you should tackle the issues yourself, defer to the experts. Get back up and running and producing those amazing 3D objects as soon as possible.