Targeting Stable Print Output

So far, most of the posts on this blog since I got my 3D printer have had a theme: Getting stable, consistent output, with the issue mainly caused by the plastic getting caught and not extruding smoothly. After I finished my roll of natural colored ABS plastic, I had ordered black and transparent. Apparently these are two problematic plastic colors, so I ordered some white ABS, and then some red PLA to try out PLA later.

Today the new plastic colors arrived, and I went to work with the white plastic. I was still getting failed prints. Aside from the problem with extrusion, I was also trying to fine tune the build platform’s Z home, and I realized the center of my build plate was getting “messy”, the klapton tape had ripped in a few places, and trying to patch that with more kapton tape was just causing more problems. I decided to pick a small, quick object to print to fine tune my printer. In this case, it was the Mortal Kombat logo, it was a small print that took a few minutes, so I could iterate rapidly on it.

I printed it 11 times. In this picture, I have failures due to the Z home being too low, and too high. I have two failures due to the first layer not sticking well, and peeling during the print. I have four prints that are successes / mostly successes, and I have two prints that failed because the extruder did not flow consistently, most likely due to the gear problems mentioned in the previous post.

It’s late, and I need to get to bed, so I’m done with this for today. What are my next troubleshooting ideas? I think I have a Z home narrowed in, and I am avoiding my messing build platform by printing a small object on a clean part. Next I am going to spend more time adjusting the swing arm.


Joseph Stankowicz is a software engineer who has worked in the video games industry for over eight years. The last two years have had a heavy focus on Unity development, where he helped ship over eleven titles to iOS and Android platforms. He also is really excited about 3D printing, and keeps his Solidoodle 3 printing out stuff as often as possible. You can view his LinkedIn profile here

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