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Print quality problem

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Hello to all,


I have had my Ultimaker 1 for about 6 months but for the last 3 months the print quality seems to have dropped damaticaly.

Here are a few pics to help me explain the problem


The first pic is of the Cura settings I am using. Although when I print I usually change the speed settings to 80 manualy on the actual printer controller.

The first yellow robot is the factory printed robot that came ready printed on my ultimaker.

The purple robot in the middle is printed with standard settings as explained above

The purple robot on the right is printed with the same settings but with the feed turned up to 150. This results in a very slight improvement but a loss of detail in other areas.

Also, for some reason no matter where i print the model on the plate the print quality seems to be worse at the back of the model. Very weird!

Any suggestions would be much appreciated



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It could be temperature. It could be a bad nozzle.

Consider looking at the tip of the nozzle with a magnifier to see if it has a symmetrical hole or if it is damaged. These only cost a few dollars so if it is damaged don't panic.

Consider calibrating the temp by setting the nozzle to 95C, and make sure it doesn't boil a drop of water placed on it.

If neither of these clues help you, please take a video of it printing badly.

I think it's the nozzle. I bet it will also print a little better (but still messed up) with .2mm layers.


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Good evening guys, thanks for the rapid response.

I tried a few test prints last night following your advice (Results posted on the link below)


Cura settings as laid out in my original post.

Left hand print is 50% Speed (Set on ultimaker), Hot end 210, feed 100

Middle print is 50% Speed (Set on ultimaker), Hot end 210, feed 120

Right print is 50% Speed (Set on ultimaker), Hot end 210, feed 130

Illuminarti - As you can see there was a definite improvement with speed reduction. I did do a print at 60% speed but results were better working at 50%. Tomorrow I will try dropping the speed even lower. However it does seem to be very extreme to print at such a slow speed. These prints all took 65 minutes each. The fan seems to be working correctly though and minimal layer time is set to 5.

Gr5 - I cant see any obvious problems with the nozzle (See picture link above) but I will order a new one to be on the safe side. The nozzle could be at least part of the problem as the print always has the most issues at the back on the left hand side. This can sometimes be kept to a minimum by increasing the feed rate as you can see.

Will try the water test tomorrow and let you know the results

Big thanks to both of you, I will look forward to reading your response.


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It's better, but it's still pretty bad. Nozzle looks ok, to me.

It seems to get worse as you go higher - which is when the fan is on. So maybe it's too much cooling causing problems extruding. It looks a bit blobby for that, like there's too much plastic, rather than not enough, but I'm not sure... So try a print at the 50º speed, but with the fan totally off, and see if that makes any difference.

Then as a second test, when slicing, in expert settings, under 'Retraction, set minimum travel = 1, turn off the enable combing option, and set minimal extrusion to 0. Then try printing that. I don't think that will help much, but I want to rule out slicing oddities.


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That is a very strange looking nozzle. It has a huge flat area. And it's more spherical - mine is more shaped like a cone. Are you sure it's a .4mm nozzle? If that's a .2mm nozzle with a 2mm flat area...

There's something weird with this nozzle. Here are 2 pics of the nozzle that came with my ULtimaker Original. It works great!


.4mm nozzle different angle

.4mm nozzle


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I did some tests a while back, (though not too comprehensively) The print quality seems to degrade if the surface is too large compared to the opening. It tends to smear plastic around...


The left was printed with the middle nozzle pictured above (stock ultimaker) and the Right was printed with the Nozzle on the right. (same diameter opening) .04mm




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So Luxy - if you got that - Valcrow and I both think you need a new nozzle - a better nozzle. Consider sending a PM to illuminarti as he might sell you one. Or get one from UM.

The nozzle you have now - I'm not sure if you created it or if it came from Ultimaker but it looks very bad.


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Hey sorry for the delay, things have been a bit hectic with the build up to christmas so I havent had much time to run any prints.

The good news is I did manage to get a new nozzle and there is a definite improvement as shown in the link below.

(All settings the same as in the initial post)


Left hand print is with the old nozzle at 100% speed (Ultimaker settings)

Middle print is with the new nozzle at 100% speed

Right print is with the new nozzle at 80% speed

There is obviously still some fine tuning to do but still a big improvement.

Gr5 - Thats the actual nozzle I received with my ulimaker, im not quite sure what happened to it!

How often would you expect to replace a nozzle?

Illuminarti - Could you send me more info on parts you are able to supply please. I would be interested to take a look.

Valcrow - Thanks for your help. Your prints are looking great.


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How often would you expect to replace a nozzle?


The damage you saw should never happen. Only if it got damaged by hitting or being hit by something harder than brass. Iron/steel/diamond - something like that. If it hit a screw head (like the screws holding the build plate) for example you could probably damage it instantly.

You are more likely to have gradual gunk problems inside the nozzle. Many people have been very happy when replacing their nozzles - their old nozzle gradually got more and more clogged over a year.


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