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What your 3D printer can create is incredible. But we’ve all experienced those frustrating situations where a seemingly straightforward model won’t print correctly despite everything.
While 3D printing, we’ve experienced a lot of print failures. With that in mind, we wanted to create the most comprehensive manual for identifying and resolving common 3D printing issues, embracing FDM and SLA technology. This guide was directly inspired by our experience troubleshooting 3D printers.
SLA 3D printing is also susceptible to its unique set of printing problems. Hence, problems with warped prints, print bed adhesion, layer shift, and other 3D printing errors are not exclusive to FDM. Fear not, though; we’re beginning to expand this guide to reflect the rise in inexpensive desktop SLA printing. We provide thorough 3D printing troubleshooting advice for those elbow-deep in resin with no prints to show.
This article is the first post of the 40 articles series. Subscribe to updates or join our weekly newsletter to receive our best content, tips, and product updates.
No matter what you do, your print won’t lift off the ground. Your hot end does not extrude any filament; there are many potential reasons why this type of 3D printing issue could occur. One of them is run out of filament.
What’s the FDM 3D PRINTING PROBLEM: Out of Filament?
Even though the model has been set and configured correctly in the slicing software, nothing is printing. However, nothing happens no matter how often you send the print to the printer other than the occasional spit of filament protruding from the nozzle.
Alternatively, a model may be printed partially before the filament extrusion stops, but the nozzle still prints into the air.
What’s Causing the FDM 3D PRINTING PROBLEM: Out of Filament?
The issue is evident and unmistakable in many printers, like the Prusa i3 style machines, where the filament reel is in full view. Still, on other printers like the XYZ DaVinci, Cel Robox, and Ultimaker machines, the problem isn’t always immediately apparent.
These and numerous other printers either incorporate the filament into their design or conceal it around the back.
Of course, some printers have “smart spools” that relay information to the software and flash a warning when the filament reel is running low on material or has run out. On the other hand, other printers are devoid of any sort of failsafe whatsoever. However, since most of us enjoy tinkering, we occasionally bypass such failsafes by using our own customized firmware or third-party software.
In all cases, especially with Bowden style extrusion systems, you will have to extract some remaining filament and feed in fresh material.
3D Printer Troubleshooting: Out of filament
- Check the filament reel
- Use Filament Run Out Sensor
3D PRINTING TROUBLESHOOTING TIP: CHECK THE FILAMENT REEL
Check the filament reel to see if any filament is still on it. If not, start a new reel. Easy.
3D PRINTING TROUBLESHOOTING TIP: USE FILAMENT RUN OUT SENSOR
How do filament runout sensors work?
However, there are different filament detecting technics; the filament runout sensor is designed to detect whether your filament is run out during the printing process. The sensor will send the signal to the printer when the filament is run out. The printer will pause the print job until the new filament is loaded when the printer has the correct firmware and setting.
What happens if I run out of filament during a print?
The printer will automatically pause the print and remove the last few centimeters of material from the heatbreak if it has a filament sensor. Additionally, move the X-carriage out of the print’s path. A new filament must be inserted, and the spool must be changed.
So, all you need to do is load a new roll.
After restocking the filament and putting it through the extruder, you can instruct your printer to continue printing where it left off.
Watch this video to learn what to do if your 3D printer has a sensor and the filament runs out.:
What To Do if Your Printer Doesn’t Have a Filament Sensor
Printing a 3D object can take several hours to complete. Some tasks may even require an entire day or more. As a result, it is anticipated that you won’t be able to oversee the whole process. And it’s reasonable if your filament runs out in the middle of a print without your awareness. Now, depending on several variables, here are some options you have if your 3D printer runs out of filament and doesn’t have a filament sensor:
1. Print the Unfinished Portion Separately
When your 3D printer runs out of filament, and it doesn’t have a filament sensor, its print head will keep moving up with each added layer of your print. It’s too late to pause your printer so you can load a new spool. Additionally, you cannot carry on printing with the same G-code file.
You have no choice but to print the remaining portion of the object as a new, independent project. This is how to do it:
- Get the height of your unfinished print using a ruler.
- Open your 3D project in your slicer software and bury the area of the object that has already been printed in Cura. If you use PrusaSlicer, cut the object and don’t keep the bottom part.
- Create a new G-code and begin printing the 3D object’s unprinted portion.
- You can glue the two pieces of your 3D object together once the second part has finished printing.
However, there’s a good chance that the layers of the two portions won’t perfectly align. If this happens, you can fix it by sanding and filling the gaps with glue.
2. Pause the Printer Manually and Load New Filament
You can step in and hit pause if you are nearby just before the filament runs out.
Most 3D printers let you change the filament by pausing the current print. When the print head returns to its starting position, you can take out the used filament and swap it for a brand-new spool.
Once you’re done loading the new filament, you can now feed the new filament to the extruder and resume printing.
3. Print From the Beginning
Suppose it turns out that your filament was only enough to print a few layers, and you’re willing to throw away the original object out of convenience. In that case, you can print a new one from the top. Just be sure to load sufficient filament this time to finish the print.
It frequently happens when printing 3D objects to run out of filament. It’s common for you to miss that your filament is almost out because printing takes a long time. Fortunately, fixing this issue is simple if your 3D printer has a filament runout sensor. It will automatically pause and wait for you to load a new spool.
Without a sensor, things might become uncomfortable for you. Your best option in this situation is to print the remaining portion of your 3D model as a new, independent project, then glue the two pieces together.
What is your best way to fix the run out of filament mid print issue?
Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page to let us know your ideas, and we would appreciate seeing pictures of your works of art! Sign up for our free weekly newsletter to receive all the latest 3D printing info in your email!