Jump to content
UltiMaker Community of 3D Printing Experts

Shifting, bending and stepping layers on shell model


Recommended Posts

Posted · Shifting, bending and stepping layers on shell model


For the past weeks I started to have an interesting problem printing a shell model with Ultimaker S5. 

The model itself is a airplane fairing modeled in rhino (here is just a part) - the surfaces are smooth, no bends 


So, first I test printed it in PLA with PVA support - the result was ok-ish with some hard to see bends - however, it didn't matter since it was just a test to see if it fits properly on the plane.


The next step was to print it in PETG (Polymaker Tough PETG white) since it will be outside and exposed to the elements. After a first few failed prints with common problems for this material (oozing, stringing), and some weak layer adhesion, I played with the settings and got to a sweet spot. I ditched support entirely since it would get between PETG layers and add to the weak layer adhesion (also, the model prints just fine without one).

However, since then, I haven't been able to print the piece completely. From a certain point on, I either get layer shifting, bending, stepping, or, like in the latest print, all three of them. It's important to note that it doesn't happen in the same spot - it is random.


At first I suspected somebody in my office may have *nudged* the printer - however, these errors also appeared when nobody was around. So next I checked the belts, pulleys and axis - these too seemed fine (didn't move, I couldn't tighten the pulleys anymore). Next, I suspected that the temp was too high inside the print box and some kind of warping was occurring, so I lowered the hotbet temp. This too, didn't help. Next, I checked if the walls somehow moved on the bed. Checked, no movement - and now I am out of ideas. Here are my settings for the last print where I have all three problems




For comparison, PLA (black) vs PETG (white) see pictures below. For PLA no layer shifting, just some deformation, for PETG we have both + stepping layers (incline)


I read this post and wondered if there could be an electronics problem also - if so, how could I check? Should I send it to the reseller? 


If someone in the community has encountered a similar problem, any help would be much appreciated!

Thank you and have a nice day!


stepped layers2.jpeg

  • Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Posted · Shifting, bending and stepping layers on shell model

    If random, it looks like a mechanical thing, or unstable electronics.


    With power off, check if the head moves smoothly and easily, without hard points? Too much friction could also be a cause.


    For the belts and pulleys: with a marker pen, write a line from pulley to rod. So you can see if they move.


    On an UM2 with SD-card, I would say: check the card and slot for dirt. But I guess the S5 has an USB-slot, that shouldn't cause issues. If via network, maybe unstable connections and data loss? In the old days, when a driver overheated, it could for a moment switch off and cool down. But I haven't heard about that in the last years. If there are cooling fans for the electronics, check if they are working fine? No smell of hot electronics?


  • 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

    • Our picks

      • Here it is. The new UltiMaker S7
        The UltiMaker S7 is built on the success of the UltiMaker S5 and its design decisions were heavily based on feedback from customers.
        So what’s new?
        The obvious change is the S7’s height. It now includes an integrated Air Manager. This filters the exhaust air of every print and also improves build temperature stability. To further enclose the build chamber the S7 only has one magnetically latched door.
        The build stack has also been completely redesigned. A PEI-coated flexible steel build plate makes a big difference to productivity. Not only do you not need tools to pop a printed part off. But we also don’t recommend using or adhesion structures for UltiMaker materials (except PC, because...it’s PC). Along with that, 4 pins and 25 magnets make it easy to replace the flex plate perfectly – even with one hand.
        The re-engineered print head has an inductive sensor which reduces noise when probing the build plate. This effectively makes it much harder to not achieve a perfect first layer, improving overall print success. We also reversed the front fan direction (fewer plastic hairs, less maintenance), made the print core door magnets stronger, and add a sensor that helps avoid flooding.

        The UltiMaker S7 also includes quality of life improvements:
        Reliable bed tilt compensation (no more thumbscrews) 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi A 1080p camera (mounted higher for a better view) Compatibility with 280+ Marketplace materials Compatibility with S5 project files (no reslicing needed) And a whole lot more  
        Curious to see the S7 in action?
        We’re hosting a free tech demo on February 7.
        It will be live and you can ask any questions to our CTO, Miguel Calvo.
        Register here for the Webinar
          • Like
        • 12 replies
      • UltiMaker Cura 5.3.0-Alpha 🎄 Tree Support Spotlight 🎄
        Are you a fan of tree support, but dislike the removal process and the amount of filament it uses? Then we would like to invite you to try this special release of UltiMaker Cura. Brought to you by our special community contributor @thomasrahm
        We generated a special version of Cura 5.2 called 5.3.0 Alpha + Xmas. The only changes we introduced compared to UltiMaker Cura 5.2.1 are those which are needed for the new supports. So keep in mind, this is not a sneak peek for Cura 5.3 (there are some really cool new features coming up) but a spotlight release highlighting this new version of tree supports.  
          • Like
        • 17 replies
      • New here? Get ahead with a free onboarding course
        Often getting started is the most difficult part of any process. A good start sets you up for success and saves you time and energy that could be spent elsewhere. That is why we have a onboarding course ready for
        Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle, Ultimaker S5, Ultimaker S3 Ultimaker 2+ Connect.   
        They're ready for you on the Ultimaker Academy platform. All you need to do to gain access is to register your product to gain free access. 
        Ready? Register your product here in just 60 seconds.
          • Like
        • 14 replies
    • Create New...