Common Problems With 3D Printing Materials

Learning to use a 3D printer is no easy task. 3D printing requires you to use complex technology that involves several moving parts. Figuring out how to handle various 3D printing materials will be one of your first challenges as a beginner.

Fortunately, the 3D printing community is full of helpful experts who can anticipate your struggles. Here are some common problems with 3D printing materials you may come across and how to fix them.

Improper Storage

Filaments are sensitive and need proper storage. Without proper storage, they are vulnerable to environmental influences that damage their integrity. Air bubbles, cracks, and total breakdown can happen when your materials absorb water or sustain damage.

You should store your 3D printing materials in a dry environment with low humidity. Keep everything off the ground and away from falling hazards to avoid damage. Most people use open racks so that they can see their supply while keeping it safe.

Filament Contamination

Another common problem with 3D printer materials is contamination. This usually occurs during the manufacturing process; however, improper care and storage may also pollute your filament. Dirt and debris will clog your nozzles and jam your entire extruding system.

Make sure to purchase materials from a reliable source. Inspect your orders thoroughly and return anything that looks impure. If you pair these methods with good storage techniques, you shouldn’t worry about filament contamination.

Incorrect Winding

Filament such as PLA looks like thread on a spool. Manufacturers wind materials around a sturdy reel that feeds into your 3D printer. Tight winding will warp your materials and cause them to shrink as they cool.

You can combat this problem by tightening feed system tension. You might also find that some spools are too small for your printer. Be diligent about your material dimensions, as your 3D printer can only accommodate certain specifications.

Clogged Nozzles

It’s no secret that 3D printers get hot! Extruders need to generate enough heat to melt materials into malleable forms. However, this often leads to clogged nozzles and printing disruptions.

The good news is that troubleshooting 3D printing problems like this are simple. A regular cleaning routine is the easiest way to deal with filament clogs. Wait for your hot end to cool before wiping down the nozzle; this will prevent materials from blocking the extruder.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you encounter these issues. 3D printing is a learning experience just like anything else. With these tips, you’ll be a master printer in no time!

By Dianne Pajo

Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.