Ender 3 Extruder Skipping:Probable Causes with Quick Fixes! - 3D Printing & Laser Cutting - MakeMendel (2023)

Let’s face it! Ender 3 extruder skipping is a bummer these days, especially when you load the filament improperly into the extruder barrel. So, what should you do when your Ender 3 Extruder is skipping in an unusual way?

Ender 3 has a skipping problem due to extrusion issues, which may occur if you use it too fast or too slow speed. Because of the extremely low or high temperature, extruder skipping issues may appear as well.

Today I’m describing the most common causes along with the perfect solution to get rid of this problem. Any of them can be efficient to help you reach your goal. So, ready to dive in?

Why is My Ender 3 Extruder Skipping – 9 Causes behind It:

Skipping is an issue in extruders that has been a perennial problem for the Ender 3 worldwide and sometimes occurs uncontrollably. Ender 3 extruder clicking can lead to poor quality prints, broken parts, and in worst cases, warping or even melting your print.

1. Very High or Low Temperature

If the extruder is overheating and the temperature rises, it can cause the extruder to skip in certain circumstances. When you do not use a heated bed, and you are using an all-metal build plate, it may be a common issue.

2. Clogged or Hot Nozzle

Nozzle is the part of the extruder where plastic goes in and comes out. The nozzle’s safe temperature should be 240 degrees Celsius. Most times, an excessively hot nozzle can skip the extruder. A bad nozzle can cause a print to stick and not come home after slicing.​

If the nozzle temperature is good and the extruder skips when you are done printing, it may be blocking the nozzle. It can cause warping. Nozzle blocks with the extruder by leaving a lot of plastic left in the hotend. If you have a warped print bed and extrude plastic, then fix that with a good bed leveling technique.​

3. Invert Y-Axis Stepper Motor

Your Ender 3 extruder motor that is upside down can cause electrical resistance and friction, causing an extruder to skip on an Ender 3. Make sure your stepper pins are straight if they are crooked. Or if you have a misalignment, it may cause your Extruder to skip.

4. Close or Far Bed to the Extruder

The distance from the bed to the extruder head is highly dependent on the model of the printer. Your 3D printer extruder may skip deforming your print if your bedding is too close when extruding.

If your bed has a minimum gap of less than 4mm, this can cause your hotend to dry out too quickly and cause skipping issues. It may also lead to warping.

5. Extruder Thread Not Properly Engaged

Extruder Skipping of Ender 3 occurs because your extruder thread may not engage properly. Ensure that you plug the motor in tightly and fully plugged into the proper socket. Sometimes motors lose contact with the inside of sockets where there is no wiring, causing them to lose power or not work correctly.

It’s possible that your gear has been damaged and thus causing your printer to skip. If your Ender 3 extruder motor not working, the gears may be either stripped or melted due to excessive heat.

6. Skipped Filaments Cause Warping To Occur

When you skip a lot of filaments from a spool, it could cause warping issues or damage the hotend. Forcing material inside with such pressure over a solid block can harm an extruder and cause extruder clicking Ender 3 problems overall.

7. Extruder Arm and Spring Spacer Issues

Some Ender 3 owners have reported that their extruder arms are missing the spacer between the arm and spring. It can cause your spool holder to become distorted, causing an issue with your filament feed. You can make a new spacer out of PTFE tape or build one yourself.

8. Extruder Spring Problems

The extruder needs to have a strong spring to ensure that it can push back. It can happen when the filament has pushed through the nozzle. If you have to skip issues, try taking out your spring and seeing if that fixes skipping issue.

It may lead to some filament jamming as well, but at least you will know if this is related to your skipping issue or not.

9. Stepper Driver Issues

Make sure you have set Spindle Speed correctly and use the correct stepper drivers for your specific USB port. If there’s still plastic in your hotend when you’ve completed the printing, it is most likely an issue with your extruder.

How to Fix the Problems?

Before attempting any fixes, follow these ways carefully. If some ways fail, try another way:

Level Your 3D Printer Bed

Move the extruder to the side of the print bed and use a flat, level surface. Level your bed, such as a sheet of paper, to align it correctly over your print bed. If you have not leveled your printer, you may need to adjust the plate’s height by tightening or loosening screws.

Adjusting Extruder Height

You should adjust the extruder height. The distance between the hotend nozzle and print surface should be less than 0.06 mm to 0.2 mm. If this distance is greater than 0.2 mm, your hotend may dry out, causing your printer to skip and warp upwards.

When your plate is not level with your printer’s build plate, you can adjust it by loosening each of the 4 bolts until the tray touches one corner. Once you solve it, re-tighten each bolt until it touches all four corners. You can now re-install the extruder and continue printing.

Clean the Nozzle

To fix this issue, you first need to ensure that there isn’t any debris stuck inside your nozzle. You should do this about once a week. Disconnect your printer from power and the computer.

Remove the filament and replace it with a new filament setting it up. Clean the nozzle with a wet cloth or alcohol paper towel when it is hot.

Print In a Standard Speed

If you have a DLP or SLA printer, you can use a standard or normal speed of around 20mm/s to 35 mm/s. when you need to speed up, you can allow a maximum speed of 720 mm/s. It can help avoid filament from getting caught while traveling through your extruder and ruining the print.

Make Voltage Highof the Stepper Motor

If you have some issue with the voltage of your stepper motor, you may not have adequate power. It prohibits the coming pressure needed while extruding. If you face it, you have to go to the control panel and find the connection to the extruder motor with the mainboard.

Then you should open the connector and observe that the resistor may look like the head of the screw of Phillips. When you turn it clockwise, it will increase the voltage to the motor.

Furthermore, it will help you with juice to force the filament out. Don’t try it first as the motor is calibrated well, so you can try this method when nothing works.

Check the Temperature

If you are using a heated bed, then the temperature of your bed may be too high. Skipping can occur because the extruder may preheat the plastic, which will cause poor 3d print skipped layers to lay down on the print. When feeling the temperature is too low, try to increase an additional 5 degrees Celsius temperature until getting a better result.

Replace the Extruder

If you have tried all the extruder skipping steps and still have an issue, then it is time to look at your extruder. When you simply want to replace the old extruder with a new one that does not require any modifications.

But if you have made some modifications to your new extruder, like an aftermarket one, you may just need to re-calibrate your configuration. By adjusting the thermistor settings, you can do it.

Insert New Gears

If your extruder does not work, then your gears may need replacing. The easiest way is doing a test print. If you are using an aluminum extruder, you will want to ensure that your filament comes out perfectly straight with no gaps.

Set your printer’s temperature to 200 degrees celsius and add some oil where the gears are supposed to start up against. It is just a basic guide on troubleshooting most issues when your printer won’t work properly. If you do not have an accurate result, you should insert a new gear.

Replace PTFE Tube

To fix this, you can just remove it from its place by pressing down on each side gently with a screwdriver. Then, gently pull it out from the top until you can see the small hole at each end. Use some pliers to remove any clogs or other materials that might be stuck in there. It includes any parts that may have dislodged or fallen off during shipping.

After doing this, simply press down on both ends of the PTFE with a screwdriver until it sits flush against your nozzle again.

Wrapping Up!

The Ender 3 extruder skipping issue is a real problem you are experiencing. But luckily, this article has provided you with enough information to troubleshoot and fix the issue yourself. If you’re still unable to fix it, contact the manufacturer or any technician, and feel free to reach out for help.

Contents

  • 1 Why is My Ender 3 Extruder Skipping – 9 Causes behind It:
    • 1.1 1. Very High or Low Temperature
    • 1.2 2. Clogged or Hot Nozzle
    • 1.3 3. Invert Y-Axis Stepper Motor
    • 1.4 4. Close or Far Bed to the Extruder
    • 1.5 5. Extruder Thread Not Properly Engaged
    • 1.6 6. Skipped Filaments Cause Warping To Occur
    • 1.7 7. Extruder Arm and Spring Spacer Issues
    • 1.8 8. Extruder Spring Problems
    • 1.9 9. Stepper Driver Issues
  • 2 How to Fix the Problems?
    • 2.1 Level Your 3D Printer Bed
    • 2.2 Adjusting Extruder Height
    • 2.3 Clean the Nozzle
    • 2.4 Print In a Standard Speed
    • 2.5 Make Voltage Highof the Stepper Motor
    • 2.6 Check the Temperature
    • 2.7 Replace the Extruder
    • 2.8 Insert New Gears
    • 2.9 Replace PTFE Tube
  • 3 Wrapping Up!

FAQs

Why is ender 3 extruder skipping? ›

Print speed can be a major factor contributing to an Ender 3's clicking extruder. Printing at too high a speed may not give the filament enough time to absorb heat and melt properly. This can lead to improper flow of the filament and perhaps even jamming of the hot end.

What causes extruder to skip? ›

If you set the temperature too low, the filament may not melt properly. Just as a higher speed may result in a clogged nozzle, a low temperature can also clog the nozzle. Once the nozzle is clogged, the filament has nowhere to go. As the extruder is no longer able to push the filament ahead, it starts “slipping”.

How do you fix layers skipping in Ender 3? ›

  1. Start with mechanical maintenance. Tighten all nuts and screws. Check if Rods and Supports are misaligned. Make sure the nozzle is not clogged (This generates low extrusion flow) Lubricate all parts as necessary.
  2. Slicer Settings. Adjust Flow Rate. Adjust resolution (Line thickness)

How do I fix my 3D printer from skipping? ›

Do mechanical maintenance
  1. Tighten all nuts and screws. ...
  2. Check for misaligned rods and brackets. ...
  3. Lubricate all necessary parts. ...
  4. Level the print bed. ...
  5. Check for clogged material in the nozzle. ...
  6. Check for filament stripping. ...
  7. Align layer thickness and Z-axis resolution. ...
  8. Check extrusion and other slicer settings.
20 Oct 2021

How do you fix an inconsistent extrusion? ›

Below are the main solutions that are effective in solving problems of inconsistent extrusion.
  1. Increase Your Printing Temperature. ...
  2. Make Sure the Nozzle is Not Clogged. ...
  3. Make Sure That the Nozzle is at a Good Height. ...
  4. Check the PTFE Tube. ...
  5. Use a Filament of High Quality.

How do I know if my extruder is bad? ›

FAIL! How to tell if your under extruding - 3D Printing 101 - YouTube

How do you adjust the extruder tension in Ender 3? ›

To adjust the extruder tension on an Ender 3, you can 3D print spacers and simply insert them at the end of your tension spring. 3D printable spacers can be downloaded for free from Dropbox. They come in either 1mm or 2mm, so choose whatever suits you better.

Why is my 3D printer skipping layers? ›

There are many reasons why a 3D printer skips layers and hence, jeopardizes the quality of the print. The first reason is the printer being temporarily under extrusion. The second reason is the misaligned or stuck bearings and rods. Another reason is the uneven print bed.

What temperature should I print PLA at? ›

PLA prints at a relatively low temperature, typically printing between 190°C - 220°C. The optimal printing temperature of a PLA filament will vary depending on which printer you are using and more importantly will vary between filament brands.

Why is my Ender 3 making a knocking noise? ›

The most probable reason is that your Z offset is too small, the nozzle is too close to the build plate, when molten filament has too much friction to flow out of the nozzle, the back pressure causes the extruder to skip back making loud thumping/knocking sounds.

How do you clean a clogged 3D printer nozzle? ›

Basics: Cleaning out a clogged nozzle! - YouTube

How do I clean a 3D printer nozzle? ›

Solutions. First, clean the nozzle using a damp cloth or an alcohol wipe while the nozzle is hot. This may cause some steam but will indeed remove any material clinging to the nozzle. If this doesn't work, you can also use a wire brush, small blade, or needle to remove any remaining debris from the nozzle.

How do you do a cold pull? ›

Cold pull
  1. Insert the filament into the print head until you feel some resistance.
  2. Hold the filament with pliers and gently apply pressure to extrude some material. ...
  3. Maintain pressure on the filament with the pliers for the duration of the progress bar.
  4. Release the filament and wait until the print core has cooled down.
21 Jul 2022

How do you calculate e steps in Ender 3? ›

Now calculate the correct E-steps by multiplying the current E-steps by 100, then dividing by the actual distance your filament was extruded. The resulting value will be your new, correct E-step value. Click “Control > Motion”, then scroll down to “E-steps/mm” and change it to your new E-step value.

Why is 3D printer not extruding consistently? ›

This can happen if foreign debris is trapped inside the nozzle, when hot plastic sits inside the extruder too long, or if the thermal cooling for the extruder is not sufficient and the filament begins to soften outside of the desired melt zone.

How do you test a 3D printer extrusion? ›

  1. Load Your Filament. Preheating for PLA (Source: Emmett Grames via All3DP) ...
  2. Connect to Your Computer. The USB tether cable for a 3D printer (Source: Emmett Grames via All3DP) ...
  3. Mark Your Filament & Start Extruding. ...
  4. Measure Again. ...
  5. Calculate the Correct Steps per Millimeter Value. ...
  6. Set a New Steps per Millimeter Value.

Can bad filament cause under extrusion? ›

When the filament has been ground down, there's a good chance that small particles from this 'grinding' have entered the bowden tube. These particles can cause friction in the bowden tube and eventually lead to under-extrusion.

How long does a hardened steel nozzle last? ›

Consider using a steel one. A hardened-steel nozzle will last a year or more, while a brass nozzle will last a few weeks to a few months, depending on the print quantity and filament type. A ruby tipped nozzle will easily last a few years, but it is more expensive than conventional nozzles.

How do you test for under extrusion? ›

At the top of the cube, check to see if the 3 perimeters are strongly bonded together or not. If there are gaps between the 3 perimeters, then you are under-extruding. If the 3 perimeters are touching and do not have any gaps, then you are likely encountering a different issue.

Why is my 3D printer skipping layers? ›

There are many reasons why a 3D printer skips layers and hence, jeopardizes the quality of the print. The first reason is the printer being temporarily under extrusion. The second reason is the misaligned or stuck bearings and rods. Another reason is the uneven print bed.

Why is my Ender 3 making a knocking sound? ›

The most probable reason is that your Z offset is too small, the nozzle is too close to the build plate, when molten filament has too much friction to flow out of the nozzle, the back pressure causes the extruder to skip back making loud thumping/knocking sounds.

How do you adjust the extruder tension in Ender 3? ›

To adjust the extruder tension on an Ender 3, you can 3D print spacers and simply insert them at the end of your tension spring. 3D printable spacers can be downloaded for free from Dropbox. They come in either 1mm or 2mm, so choose whatever suits you better.

Why is my stepper motor vibrating but not turning? ›

First thing to check is your wiring make sure your wires are in the right order and all are connected. The vibrating motor is normally the magnets in the stepper firing in the wrong order. Have you set the vref on the drivers? Have you checked the voltage from the power supply?

What causes layer shifting? ›

Layer-shifts are most often caused by the wrong tension of the belts or pulleys not being secure.

How do you do a cold pull? ›

Cold pull
  1. Insert the filament into the print head until you feel some resistance.
  2. Hold the filament with pliers and gently apply pressure to extrude some material. ...
  3. Maintain pressure on the filament with the pliers for the duration of the progress bar.
  4. Release the filament and wait until the print core has cooled down.
21 Jul 2022

How do you clean a clogged 3D printer nozzle? ›

Basics: Cleaning out a clogged nozzle! - YouTube

How do you know if linear advance is enabled? ›

Certain Marlin-based programs also contain linear advance features, like the Prusa Marlin firmware on the Prusa i3 MK3S. To check for the feature, you can always search “LIN_ADVANCE” in your firmware's “Configuration_adv. h” file.

How do you fix an extruder problem? ›

Troubleshooting under-extrusion checklist
  1. Check nozzle and Bowden tube for clogs.
  2. Clean gears, motor, and cooling fan.
  3. Store filament in a secure, dry place and check the spool for knots and overlap.
  4. Update printer firmware.
  5. Try increasing nozzle temperature.
  6. Try increasing flow rate.
20 Apr 2022

How do you fix extruder tension? ›

Ender 3 Feeder Tension - YouTube

How tight should eccentric nuts be? ›

The eccentric nuts should be tight enough so that you can't rotate or tilt the bed but not so tight that it inhibits motion. The easiest way to do this is by loosening all the nuts and then tightening them again until the bed is firm.

How do stepper motors fail? ›

Short Circuit. One of the major problems with a stepper motor is complete motor failure. This problem is caused by excessive current being sent to the device by the power supply. A short circuit in the wiring from the power supply to the motor cause this problem with the stepper motor.

How do I know if my stepper driver is working? ›

Stepper Driver Test - YouTube

Why is my stepper motor clicking? ›

The clicking sound means that the stepper motor is having to suddenly exert more force than a specific preset threshold and it's jumping back by one or more steps (skipping) to relieve the pressure. It can be a mechanical issue, electrical issue, software issue, jammed/clogged hotend, or a combination of this.

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