If your 3D printer suddenly stops in the middle of a print besides power loss. Here are some reasons and 6 common ways to fix a 3D printer that stops mid print.
6 Reasons A 3D Printer Can Stop During The Printing Process
- Power loss
- Filament issue (broken or ran out)
- Nozzle clogged
- Thermal cutoffs
- Pause command in G Code file
- Poor print bed leveling
6 Ways To Prevent Mid Print Stops
Most of the problems are obvious to identify and troubleshoot as the user gains more experience
Fix Power Loss – Always Ensure Power Stability Before Committing To A Large Print Project
- Always ensure power reliability in the work area before proceeding to print a large part that takes a long time
- Invest in a battery backup (Uninterrupted Power Supply)
A 3D printer doesn’t recover as easily as losing a file on the computer with autosave. If the printer doesn’t have an auto-resume feature post a power loss, the part is going to waste.
We highly recommend using a printer with an auto-resume capability if you’re not already using one. Any time when there is a power interruption, the printer has to reheat the nozzle and
Fix Filament Problems
Broken filament or filament running out will stop the printer. This problem can be easily avoided if the user properly prepares the print before starting.
Filament runs out
- Always check amount of filament required for the print before starting
- Don’t leave the work area unattended if you already know there is a chance the filament will run out and there is no one present to replace the filament spool
- Make sure the printer features a filament sensor to alert the user, or buy an add on
- Buy quality filament, prevent mositure build up in storage before use
- Reduce pull strength on the filament
- Clear any clog to prevent the extruder motor gear grinds against the filament causing resistence
- Refeed the filament past the breakage point asap before having to restart all over again
Fix A Clogged Nozzle
A clogged extruder nozzle can happen when the temperature isn’t hot enough to keep the filament soften enough and feed through the nozzle, and it eventually gets clogged.
Do not try printing again until it’s fixed.
Other times, broken filament or small fragments of leftover residue get stuck in the nozzle and blocks the feed over time.
- Use a needle to clear the blockage while the nozzle is heated
- Maintain the nozzle after ever print
- Always use good quality filament and ensure nozzle temperature is hot enough to work with “that” material
- Replace the nozzle if it’s beyond repair and costing your precious time
- Try atomic pull (cold pull) method
- Heat up the nozzle to top temperature
- Remove filament, then insert nylon filament
- Use nylon filament to push other filament residue out
- Dial down the temperature to 0
- Maintain pressure on the nylon filament as temperature drops down to ~140°C , so residue can stick to the nylon when it comes out
- Reheat the nozzle back up to 200 °C to release the nylon
- Repeat step 3 – 6 until the nozzle is total cleaned
Sometimes the firmware on the 3D printer can miscalculate the temperature to keep the bed and the extrude at the right temperature, then it leads to a print stop.
This can be the most difficult part of the troubleshooting process if you’re not experienced enough to fix circuits or have a solid understanding of fixing a thermistor. But here are some tips to try:
- Replace the thermistor if it’s beyond repair
- Always update the firmware
Overheated extruder motor driver
The extruder motor exerts weight on the printer and it moves a lot to print the part. Over time, it can wear out after thousands of micro continuous movements.
- Maintain the motor by cleaning off dust and lubricate it
- Printers with proper cooling features can help prevent overheating
- Upgrade the printer to a better fan to blow the hot air out of the enclosure
- Ensure the main board has heat sink, otherwise replace them for any long hour print projects
Pause command in G Code file
Fixing the G Code is an attempt to resume a failed 3D print to avoid starting over from zero. This troubleshooting process can be challenging for non-highly technical users.
Watch this video for better understanding
Poor print bed leveling
If the printer requires a manual bed leveling process, the user must be extra careful to get it right before committing to a print project. The Z-axis offset is the key area to make sure everything is right.
- Never place the nozzle TOO close to the bed
- Slightly raise the nozzle can often solve the problem (As long as the bed is leveled across the plane)
- Increase the Z axis offset value into the positive value, or Lower the value into the negative is it’s not sticking to the bed)
- Time to switch to auto bed leveling to make the user’s life easier and saves time