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Patchy Prints

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Hi Guys.


Need some assistance with a problem we've been having. Our prints are coming out very patchy, see images attached.


First layer

ultimaker2 patchy prints first layer


Top & Bottom Surfaces

ultimaker2 patchy prints top and bottom surfaces


I've cleaned the nozzle and re-calibrated the build plate but the prints continue to print patchy even with different spools.


The feeder does seem to be skipping but there is no obstruction stopping the spool from moving and I can't find any blockage in the line.


Anyone advice?




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Hi Ian, it is always best to give us your major settings otherwise we have to make assumptions and it probably takes longer. As Skinny says for your top layer problem you need greater bottom/top thickness. I will assume you are using .300 layer height and 20% infill. You may get away with a bottom/top thickness of 0.9mm but maybe not. If your layer height is 0.200 or les you probably want at least 1.2mm as your bottom/top thickness setting.

Bottom layer - I would reduce your bed to nozzle distance by 0.04mm. Is it better or worse?. If worse go the other way, so increase the distance by 0.08mm; so instead of being -0.04mm you are now +0.04mm. If still worse give up and take up remote controlled drone flying. Assuming one of them is better but you feel it could still be improved, then go in/out another 0.04mm and see. If that is worse then come back 0.02mm. etc etc

I am assuming you are running the first layer at 20 mmm/s, layer height of .300, extruder temp of say 210. If the answer to that is no then you might be under-extruding - but need to see your settings.


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Hi Skinny and yellowshark, thanks for the responses.

The setting are below:


Layer Height (mm): 0.1

Shell Thickness (mm): 0.8

Retraction Enabled


Bottom/Tip Thickness (mm): 0.6

Fill Density (%): 15

Speed and Temperature

Print speed (mm/s): 50

Temperature: 220C - We've had to run it at the higher end of the PLA range to try and counteract the patchiness, but it does seem to be getting progressively worse.


Yellowshark how do I reduce the bed to nozzle distance to 0.04mm? currently using the paper method for calibrating the bed.


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Hi Ian, thanks for that. OK you have everything stacked against you :) I suggest you set top/bottom layer to at least 1.2 - you may find that is not enough for a pristine top surface, suck it and see. It would be good to see your first layer settings, layer height, print speed, extruder temp and bed temp, are you printing on the bed or on glass?

Those may throw up something rather than playing around with the bed/nozzle distance.

Anyway I need to know; do you print on the bed or on a glass plate. If you use a glass plate, when you level the bed do you do that with glass plate in place or removed?


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