Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
Sign in to follow this  

inconsistent feeding and extruding Please help

Recommended Posts


Hi guys

I am a total newbie and I dont even know how to start.

As you can see on the photo, the print starts pretty well but after several layer, the PLA doesnt extrude well and the print failed.

It didnt happen when I first bought Ultimaker but recently it keeps happening on me.

So I assumed the problem is from the extruder so I purchased extrude drive upgrade and just installed but the problem still happens.

I drew black mark on the filament to see if the mark is going up.

I see the PLA feeding is very inconsistent.

Sometimes it goes up and sometimes it doesnt, even the extruder is rotating.

I dont know what the problem is.

Temperature seems ok though. I set it at 210C.

I googled regarding about the issue but I cant find good solution.

Someone please help me with this.

I really want to print toys for my niece but I am struggling so much. :(



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you locking the extruder drive properly? The bolt on the lever needs to be pushed all the way to the bottom of the slot before you rotate it to horizontal. The compressed spring on the back of the extruder drive should be about 11mm long when the drive is locked, and filament loaded.

Also, what speed and temperature are you printing at? I'd start at 40mm/s, 0.2mm layers, 220ºC.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are so many possibilities unfortunately:

1) Nozzle plugs (probably not likely but this could be the problem which requires removing nozzle and burning everything out of it). Make sure your filament is clean and doesn't carry any dust into the nozzle.

2) Temperature variations. For many people something goes wrong with the temperature reading (after a few months) and the nozzle ends up being much colder than expected. Do you have a way of testing the temperature? What you show is classic of printing too cold and/or too fast. Try the settings illuminarti suggests but at 240C. I print at 240C often so it's a safe temp to print PLA. Also try setting it to 105C and make sure watter sizzles/boils when it touches the print head. Also have you had any mintemp or maxtemp errors lately? If so then probably a bad wire. Many people deal with the temp variations by simply recalibrating every 10C and replacing the temp table in Marlin.

3) Feeder - check the hobbed bolt. Is there plastic in there jamming it up? Please send photos of the feeder both open and closed and inside where the hobbed bolt is (with good lighting and focus - maybe use reading glasses on your camera if it can't focus that close).

I think #2 is most likely.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your feedback. I am at work now but I will take some pictures and post it later.

But as for my print settings, I just used fast lowest quality print setting in Cura.

I am no expert so I didnt even think about using advanced setting at all.

I think the temperature was 210C default so I just used that too.

I believe the lever is completely down and I set the spring compressed to 11mm.

Temperature seems pretty consistent without too much curves on the graph.

I kind of worry that I sat my printer filament out for long, there might be a chance that there are lots of dust on it.

I didnt realize I have to clean the dust.

However I will try the temp and speed setting that illuminarti suggested me later and see if it prints better.

Hopefully not a major problem which I have to remove the nozzle and clean.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for late reply. I was little busy during weekend and havent had a chance to work on the printer.

But I came back home tonight after work and I checked extruder drive and wiped filament before testing.

I tried printing a small object with 240C, 0.2mm, and 40mm/s but no luck.

So I just heated up the nozzle to 240 just to see if I can extrude PLA.

Unfortunately I couldnt extrude any but the retraction was working fine.

And like gr5 told me to, I set the nozzle temp to 105, soak water on q-tip, and touched nozzle but no sizzling.

But at 240 temp, water sizzled though.

Now I am pretty stuck and dont know what I am going to do.

Please help. Thank you


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't touch the nozzle, touch the aluminum block.

Well first calibrate. Figure out at what temperature it starts boiling. If it boils at 130C then it is about 30C off and you can just raise all temps by 30C. If it boils at 200C then you really need to fix the temp sensor.

Your temp sensor may be fine - you might just have a clog. When you heat PLA too hot for too long (e.g. 240C for 10 minutes) all the "good" stuff boils away and you are left with brown or black gunk that clogs up the nozzle. You can burn it out by heating it over a gas flame and preferably cleaning with thin wire such as the strands in an electric wire.

But first step is to figure out if temp sensor is working or is off and how much is it off by.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Our picks

    • How to 3D print with reinforced engineering materials
      Ultimaker is hosting a webinar where we explain how you can achieve and maintain a high print success rate using these new reinforced engineering materials. Learn from Ultimaker's Product Manager of Materials and top chemical engineer Bart van As how you can take your 3D printing to that next level.
      • 0 replies
    • "Back To The Future" using Generative Design & Investment Casting
      Designing for light-weight parts is becoming more important, and I’m a firm believer in the need to produce lighter weight, less over-engineered parts for the future. This is for sustainability reasons because we need to be using less raw materials and, in things like transportation, it impacts the energy usage of the product during it’s service life.
        • Like
      • 12 replies

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!