- Over-extrusion, a common issue in FDM 3D printing, can affect the quality and structural integrity of your prints
- Over-extrusion is caused by a range of factors including incorrect filament settings, improper print temperature, and incorrect flow rate
- Prompt identification and rectification of over-extrusion is crucial to prevent the waste of time and materials and to avoid nozzle jams
- Solutions for over-extrusion include calibrating filament diameter, adjusting extrusion multiplier settings, and lowering print temperature
Understanding Over-Exertion in 3D Printing
Over-exertion in 3D printing, commonly referred to as over-extrusion, occurs when an excessive amount of filament is dispensed from the 3D printer’s nozzle onto the build platform. Over-extrusion isn’t bound by a specific type of hardware or material, meaning it can occur with any FDM 3D printer and filament. It is associated with several issues, including oozing layers, blobs, stringing, and overall poor print quality.
Recognizing and addressing over-extrusion swiftly is essential, not just to avoid the wastage of materials and time but also to prevent nozzle clogging—a more complex issue to deal with.
Causes of Over-Extrusion
A number of factors contribute to over-extrusion in 3D printing. Among the most prevalent reasons are improper temperature settings for the type of filament in use. When the filament melts too rapidly, it becomes more challenging for the extruder to control the flow rate, which subsequently leads to over-extrusion.
Incorrect filament diameter can also trigger over-extrusion. If the filament is too thin for the nozzle, it will flow through it too rapidly, and if the slicer settings for the filament diameter are off, it can result in incorrect flow rates and subsequent over-extrusion.
Lastly, incorrect flow rate calibration is a significant cause of over-extrusion. Flow rate refers to the quantity of filament extruded per second, influenced by factors like printing speed, nozzle size, and layer height. You can control the flow rate through your slicer software, usually under the “extrusion multiplier” settings. If set too high, it can lead to over-extrusion and poor print quality.
If you’re encountering over-extrusion, don’t worry, there are several reliable strategies to troubleshoot and resolve the problem.
Calibrate Filament Diameter
Start by calibrating your 3D printer flow rate with an accurate filament diameter. Despite manufacturers specifying filament diameter, there can be discrepancies in the actual measurements. It’s wise to measure the diameter at various points using digital calipers, calculate the average, and input this into your slicer settings. Accurate filament size settings can ensure a more accurate default flow rate.
Adjust Extrusion Multiplier Settings
If over-extrusion persists after adjusting filament diameter, fine-tuning your printer’s extrusion multiplier value might be necessary. This setting controls the filament flow rate. Since over-extrusion is a consequence of a high flow rate, try decreasing the value in small increments. This might take some trial and error, but it’s worth it to achieve better dimensional accuracy and print quality.
Lower the Print Temperature
Finding the ideal print temperature is crucial to avoiding over-extrusion. Different filament types require different temperatures for optimal printing. If you’re dealing with over-extrusion that hasn’t been resolved by flow rate calibration, your printing temperature might be set too high. An overly hot nozzle will melt the filament too quickly, making it difficult for the printer to control the extrusion rate. Start by ensuring the printing temperature matches the filament type, and then lower the temperature incrementally until the over-extrusion issue is resolved. Be careful not to lower it too much, though, as this can lead to under-extrusion.
Over-extrusion in 3D printing might seem like a formidable problem, but with the right approach, it’s manageable. Checking filament settings, print temperature, and flow rate will help you nip over-extrusion in the bud and ensure your prints maintain the highest quality. Remember, factors like printing speed and layer height also impact the quality and accuracy of your prints—lower print speeds and smaller layer heights usually result in higher resolution prints. If you’ve tried these solutions but still face issues like stringing, it could be due to other factors, such as retraction settings or wet filament. Keep experimenting, keep learning, and keep creating!