How to Fix 3D Printer Not Extruding at Start

You have your 3D printer set up and ready to print, then you start the extrusion process, but nothing is extruding. This is a problem that some people experience, which is frustrating, but there are some fixes that you can try to fix this issue.

The best way to fix a 3D printer not extruding at the start is to test your 3D printer calibration and make sure it is working accurately. Once you’ve done this, you should check over your extrusion system and look for mechanical issues such as a weak motor or damaged PTFE tubing.

There are some more details you will want to know when it comes to this issue, so keep reading to get some key information about your 3D printer refusing to extrude at the start of a print.

Possible Causes of Extrusion Failure

Extruders Are Not Primed At the Start

The first cause of the extruders not working could be the leaking plastic when they are at high temperature and sitting idle.

This happens when you preheat the nozzle, and some of the plastic leaks out, and when you start the process of printing, there is a delay because of the void created between the plastic that oozed out and the remaining one.

The Nozzle is Too Close to the Printing Bed

Another cause of the extruder not working is that you might have placed the nozzle too close to the working bed so it is not getting enough room to let the plastic come out.

You might have placed it too close to the printing bed so that it is touching the surface and not printing anything.

Clogged Extruder

The clogged extruder is another reason which does not allow the nozzle to print as the debris is stuck in the extruder from the last print, or maybe there are dust particles attached to it.

This happens when you do not clean the nozzle and extruder regularly to prevent a build up of material that can clog your extrusion pathway.

Stripped Filament

The gears of the extruder grab onto the filament firmly, which usually results in wearing out the filament shape. This loosens the grip of the extruder over the filament, and also, there comes the unwanted plastic material between the extruder and the filament.

You can see the extruder would not be getting any firm grip over the filament to move it. This hinders the working of the extruder, and you will not see the nozzle either coming out for printing.

Temperature Issue of the Nozzle

The difference in materials heating capacity can cause this issue, which disturbs the nozzle and hinders it from extruding. Either the nozzle is hotter or colder than the desired temperature, which is not letting the nozzle extrude.

The Issue of Extrusion Motor

If the temperature of the motor is too high, it might not even start because of the last printing process. If it goes beyond its thermal threshold, you cannot start the motor unless the temperature gets low. It could also be a mechanical fault in the motor such as the electrical currents.

Solutions to Fix the Issue of the Extruder

Priming the Extruder

To solve the issue of a non-primed extruder, you can make sure that you prime the extruder right before starting the printing.

This way you are making sure the nozzle is full of plastic, and you can do this by using an object called a skirt, through which you can draw a circle around the part and in this process, it will prime the extruder with plastic for you, and you are good to go for the printing process.

Fixing the Nozzle Dimensions

You can solve the issue of the nozzle being too close to the bed and causing the issue in the non-functioning of the extruder. For this, you can use G-Code offsets, which lie in the process settings.

By accessing the settings, you can adjust the Z-axis positions without doing anything to the hardware, and the problem is solved.

Solving Stripped Filament Problem

The hardest problem is the stripped filament, and to solve this, you have to open the whole extruder area and take it out.

You need to perform a whole set of cleaning the extruder process to make sure nothing is left and then attach a new filament and assemble the extruder back to its normal position for its use.

Adjustment of Nozzle Temperature

You can perform the process of optimizing the temperature of the nozzle before starting it to extrude. You can do this by performing an overhang test to optimize your settings.

As different materials have different temperatures, you would have to perform the overhang test every single time, but remember, and this test is only recommended, not an essential one.

If you can set up the temperature manually without checking and the printer extrudes, then there is nothing to worry about.

Cleaning the Extruder to Fix the Clogged Issue

To solve the problem of extruded caused due to its clogging, you need to disassemble the whole extruder and open it completely.

You can use different materials such as acupuncture needle, or even you can use the string of a guitar to unclog the whole area of the extruder to get it running again.

Solving the Motor Problem

You can solve the motor issue by making sure that the extruder is getting easy access to filament without any resistance, and you must give breaks to your printer to cool it down.

You can even use a cooling fan over it to keep the temperature low.


I have so far mentioned all the possible causes which could come in your way when you are working with a 3D printer, especially with respect to the extruder.

I can assure you, by using the solutions I provided to you, all of your extrusion problems will be solved, and you would be able to start the printing process without any delay.

All the solutions that I have mentioned in it so far are simple to do and do to take excessive time, and you can perform effortlessly.

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