7 Ways How to Fix Under Extrusion – Ender 3 & More
If you own an Ender 3, you may have encountered the issue of under extrusion, where the printer is not able to push out enough filament to create a clean print. This problem can be frustrating, especially if you are new to 3D printing.
That’s why I wrote this article, to teach you some of the most effective ways to solve under extrusion in your Ender 3 printer.
What is Under Extrusion?
Under extrusion is a 3D printing problem that occurs when the printer is not able to extrude enough filament to create a smooth, solid print.
This can result in gaps and inconsistencies in the final print, which can be frustrating if you are trying to create a high-quality model.
Under extrusion can be caused by a number of factors, including clogged nozzles, low extruder temperature, or incorrect extruder calibration.
How to Fix Ender 3 Under Extrusion
Here’s how to fix Ender 3 under extrusion:
- Check your filament
- Clean the nozzle
- Adjust your extruder steps per millimeter
- Increase your extruder temperature
- Check your bed leveling
- Reduce infill speed
- Upgrade your extruder
1. Check Your Filament
Before you start adjusting settings on your printer, the first step you should take is to check your filament.
Make sure that it is not tangled or kinked, as this can cause the filament to get stuck in the printer.
You should also ensure that the filament is loaded properly and that the spool is not tangled or twisted. If you notice any problems with your filament, you should replace it with a new spool.
One user was able to fix his under extrusion after noticing tangles in his filament spool and changing brands. Another user stated that this can be pretty common with cheaper brands.
Check out the video below for detailed instruction on how to untangle filament.
2. Clean the Nozzle
Another step to fix Ender 3 under extrusion is cleaning the nozzle. It’s a common cause of under extrusion is a clogged nozzle.
Over time, the filament can build up inside the nozzle, which can cause the extruder to push out less filament than it should. To fix this problem, you will need to clean the nozzle.
To do this, heat up your printer to the temperature of your filament (200°C) for PLA, then use a needle or other fine object to carefully clear out any debris from the nozzle.
Users stated that clogged nozzles are the main cause for under extrusion and you’ll need to clean your nozzle thoroughly.
They also recommend checking if the length of the Bowden tube, which is the plastic tube that feeds filament from the extruder to the hot end, is right as that can also cause extrusion problems.
Check out the video below for detailed instruction on how to clean an Ender 3 nozzle.
You can also use the cold pull technique to clean your nozzle. This consists of extruding some filament, then letting the nozzle cool down to around 90C and then manually pulling out the filament from the nozzle.
Check out the video below to see how this is done.
3. Adjust Your Extruder Steps Per Millimeter
If you have checked your filament and cleaned the nozzle but are still experiencing under extrusion, you may need to adjust your extruder steps per millimeter.
This setting determines how much filament your printer will push through the nozzle, and if it is set too low, your printer may not be able to extrude enough filament to create a solid print.
Users recommend this fix as it also helps to reach higher quality prints.
To adjust this setting, you must access your printer’s firmware and adjust the extruder steps per millimeter.
This can be a more complicated fix so check out the video below for a detailed instruction on how to adjust your extruder steps per millimeter.
4. Increase Your Nozzle Temperature
The next step you should take to fix under extrusion is increasing your nozzle temperature. If your printer is not extruding enough filament, it may be because the nozzle temperature is too low.
PLA filament, for example, requires a temperature of around 200 – 220°C. If your printer is not set to the correct temperature, it may not be able to melt the filament properly, which can result in under extrusion.
To fix this problem, you will need to increase the nozzle temperature until the filament is melting properly.
One user recommends increasing your temperature as a way to solve under extrusion.
Another user suggests increasing your temperature and reducing your flow rate when suffering from under extrusion. He recommends inversely adjusting flow and nozzle temperature to reach better results.
Unexplained Under Extrusion. Extruder Gear Pushes Right Amount of Filament, but Print is Always Spongy? from 3Dprinting
Check out the video below for more information about diagnosing and fixing under extrusion.
5. Check Your Bed Leveling
Another fix is checking your bed level. If your printer’s bed is not leveled correctly and is too close to the bed, it can cause under extrusion by making it difficult for the nozzle to extrude material out to create a solid first layer.
To fix this problem, you should check your bed leveling and make any necessary adjustments.
I wrote an article titled How to Level Your 3D Printer Bed that can help you with that subject.
You can use a piece of paper to check the distance between the nozzle and the bed at various points, then adjust the bed until the distance is consistent.
One user recommends using the piece of paper method to level your bed as the tight springs will allow you to run for a few months without having to do any re-leveling of the bed.
Check out the video below to see detailed instructions on how to level your bed using the piece of paper method.
6. Reduce Infill Speed
Another method you can try in order to fix under extrusion is to reduce infill speed.
When the infill speed is too high, the filament may not have enough time to melt properly, which can cause it to clog the nozzle or not adhere properly to the previous layers.
By reducing the infill speed, give the filament more time to melt and flow smoothly, resulting in a more consistent and solid print. You can find the infill speed setting in the slicing software you’re using.
One user who was experiencing under extrusion mostly on the infill portion of his prints got recommended this fix by other users as a way to solve his issue and it worked out well.
7. Upgrade Your Extruder
If none of the above methods work, you may need to consider upgrading your extruder.
The extruder is responsible for pulling and pushing the filament through the printer, and a better extruder can provide better filament control, which can help prevent under extrusion.
There are many different extruder upgrades available for the Ender 3, so be sure to do your research to find the best option for your printer.
When upgrading your extruder you should consider factors such as ease of installation, filament compatibility, and durability.
A lot of users suggest the Bondtech BMG Extruder as one of the best options when it comes to extruder upgrades for the Ender 3.
- The Bondtech BMG extruder combines high performance and resolution with low weight.
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Check out some popular extruder upgrades for the Ender 3 below. You can find any of them over at Amazon with great reviews.
Check out the video below for more great details about fixing under extrusion in a 3D printer.