As the popularity and application of 3D printers are growing at a fast pace, newer issues coupled with the older ones are getting general users dazed and perplexed more often than ever.
But problems never persisted long. Technicians have always been prompt enough to solve problems however difficult, complex or baffling they appear to be.
Today, we’ll be discussing some of the most common issues related to Ender 3 V2 like it does not print at all, the nozzle is jammed or it has got other technical problems.
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Technical Specification of Ender 3 V2
Before proceeding to our main points we think a brief technical orientation would be useful for the beginners.
Here we’ll not go for the complete technical specification though; we’ll only be discussing the ones that are closely related to the troubleshooting we’ll be off to next.
- The Ender 3 V2 printer’s size is 475 x 470 x 670 mm and its print volume is 220 x 220 x 225 mm.
- Its maximum print speed is 180 mm/sg. With its default nozzle of 0.4 mm diameter you can get 0.1 to 0.4 mm layer thickness.
- Maximum nozzle temperature rises up to 250 oC while the maximum Hotbed temperature can be 100 oC.
- The print bed is made of Carborundum coated glass.
- It operates on a 1.75 mm filament. You can use PLA, PETG, TPU and ABS on this printer.
Being Professional with Your Printer
Whether you plan for a business or print your hobby-products you need to know the basics of hardware and software functionalities of your printer.
All the electronic machines are susceptible to dysfunction, malfunction and many more problems that are not registered on the troubleshooting guides. And you cannot run for a technician every time you find a problem with your printer.
This calls for learning the DIYs.
Two Sides of Technical Knowledge
There are basically two sides of a 3d printer’s technical knowledge: software and hardware.
For the software part, other than formatting your SD card or setting values from the menu you can learn some slicing and other designing. It’s easier and more time saving to design yourself than instructing others and clarifying exactly what you need.
Sometimes you are likely to require even more in-depth knowledge like G-code. This is a programming language that is used for computer numeric control (CNC). This language is created to directly operate computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM).
Users of a 3d printer generally don’t need to know this language because the slicer tools do it for them. But there are always some unusual situations that call for taking over the command and instructing your machine directly through G-code.
To gain workable hardware knowledge you need hours of practice and perseverance. But you have no other way. If you read through the problems we’ll be discussing later in this article you’ll realize how important it is for you to be able to solve hardware related problems yourself.
The process is however very simple. Get to know the details of all the parts of your printer and how they function. Some of the articles will help you with this. Now be mentally prepared to try the solutions whenever you’ll need to. There should’n be any problem if you can follow the guidance we’re providing.
10 Common Problems and Solutions
Now we’ll be discussing the most common problems and their possible solutions. These are no theories. All procedures are suggested by some practically experienced professional troubleshooters.
Printer is NOT Printing or Starting
There can be a number of possible reasons and solutions to the starting problem. Let’s go through them.
1. Problem with the Software
Those who have worked with computer softwares and apps know one thing very well: there are some instances when the software hangs (stops working entirely) or lags (works very slowly). And the most workable solution is to restart it.
Most of the time this sets the software right and everything starts functioning just normally. This applies to your 3D printer equally. If it doesn’t start printing try restarting your computer that the printer is connected to. This time you are likely to be happy to see it printing.
2. Appropriate Voltage
At the back of the power supply of Ender 3 V2 you’ll find a switch indicating that you can set it to either 115V or 230V. Get sure what voltage the power grid of your area provides and set it that way. This will make the printer work normally.
There is also a possibility that your area has none of the above voltage of electricity. In that case—
i) if you need more voltage than your power grid provides you would want to use a transformer.
ii) if you need lower voltage than your power grid provides you might choose either a transformer or a converter. The latter one is cheaper but not always compatible for some appliances.
3. Improper Connection Power Supply
Ender 3 has multiple connections to establish for its regular functioning. So you need to check out all the connections, and if required, reconnect them and try out printing afresh.
For those who have started their printing just recently should read through the manual to get sure if the systematic connection is missing somewhere.
One of the most common problems that users experience is with the power supply unit. There is practically no other solution to this problem than to replace the unit with a new and functional one.
However, some of the well practiced technical hands can ‘repair’ this unit. This should cost you less than buying a new one.
4. Faulty SD Card
The SD card contains the sliced model. If this card somehow gets corrupted or unreadable your printer is sure to fail to print.
The easiest way to check if you have a problem with it is to read it, using a card reader, on your PC. If you don’t have a PC you can simply get the card out of your printer and start it.
If you can navigate around the LCD interface you can be logically sure that the problem was with the SD card.
Once your SD card is caught faulty you only need to format it choosing the FAT32 file system, slice the model and copy it to the newly formatted SD card. This time there should not be any problem.
5. Temperature Calibration
Ender 3 V2 requires a stable temperature. It allows only 1-2o of temperature fluctuation. The printer takes about 10 seconds to reach a stable temperature before it starts printing.
This is very important for the printing piece which could go wrong due to the varied temperature. And when it can’t stabilize the temperature it doesn’t start printing either.
The PID values (shortened form of proportional, integral and derivative values) that control how your printer handles the hotend and heated bed temperature, need to be tuned. Once the printer finds the PID values untuned, significant temperature variations may occur and the printer would not start printing.
Printer Not Extruding at the Start of a Print
Sometimes it happens that you start a print and, though it does the skirt and it does the perimeter, no filament is coming out of your nozzle. The result: a totally blank build plate.
There can be two different reasons. Either there is poor calibration or there is some sort of mechanical issue with the extruder system.
6. Checking Your Printer Calibration
First you need to check to see how close the nozzle is to the bed. Is it basically in the bed? If it is, you just increase the ‘Z’ offset slightly.
If you find that the ‘Z’ offset is alright and still no filament is coming out there is good reason to be sure you’ve got some mechanical issues.
7. A simple clog
There may be a number of mechanical issues like filament clogging at the hot end, a jam in the extruder. If it’s a clog you can try to push the filament through when it’s heated up
8. A Jammed nozzle
If it doesn’t come out even after you’re pushing your next job is to see if it’s a clogged nozzle.
To fix this problem, try this series of instructions.
- While disengaging your extruder from the filament by pushing the idler liver back, try and push the filament through the heated hotend by hand. You might get an initial amount of material making it through but you’ll find that it is either impossible to push or the extruder material curls heavily right after leaving the nozzle or extrudes much thinner than usual. This indicates that a small particle stuck in the nozzle bore.
- Get a thin wire or an acupuncture or hypodermic needle that can just get through the nozzle. Preheat the nozzle to your regular printing temperature and get cracking with the needle. Remember your goal is not to extract the blockage at the very first try but to break it up enough so that it slips through the nozzle next time you push it through.
- You might have to go through the cycle a few times before you can free the nozzle.
- Have your hotend cool down.
- Set the hotend to 110-120 oC. Keep pulling on the filament while the hotend is heating until the filament plops out in one piece.
- Now you should be able to see the contaminant on the end of the filament.
- Cut off the contaminated end, fully heat the hotend and repeat the process until the end of your filament comes out clean.
9. Unyielding Extruder
After you’ve cleaned the nozzle, if you find that it’s letting the filament out and still it’s not coming out during printing your next target is to check the extruder.
One very simple thing you need to know is that a set of gears keep the filament going through the extruder. When The teeth of the gear get filled up they cannot bite and grip the filament.
The result? Gears are turning but they cannot mobilize the filament through the nozzle because they are just slipping over the filament or whittling away at the filament.
What you need to do in such a case is, you take out the filament, cut off the part that has little mouse bites and make sure that the teeth of the gears are cleaned enough to grip the filament firmly.
Another Technical Issue
10. Layer Shifting Problem
This happens when your tool head somehow moves or shifts to a position that was not specified by the software command.
The possible reasons can be uneven base, lack of auto-leveling system or something else. Whatever the case is, the result is a staircase like layers.
Let’s get to the solutions:
- Belt Tension and Pulleys: There is a certain predefined belt tension that moves the extruder smoothly and evenly. Due to the belt getting loose the tension may slacken resulting in skipping over gear teeth. On the other hand a tighter belt can prevent free and smooth movement (technically called ‘binding’). Both of the cases can cause layer shifting.
- The Bed: If the bed is not stabilized layer shifting can easily happen. You should check on the nuts on the X carriage if they are firmly holding the bed.
- The Z-Axis: The Z-axis should be moving freely. Sometimes there may be a case where the Z-motor bracket is tightened more than what is needed. This bends the lead screw and another instance of ‘binding’ occurs. By loosening the screws on both sides of the long rod you can prevent this.
- Tangled Spool: Though not a very common case, the filament may get unwrapped and tangled around the spool resulting in layer shift. You can either rewind the unwound filament or use an external roll holder to ensure it does not tangle any more.
This article does NOT discuss ALL the solutions that you are likely to face while operating an Ender 3 V2 printer. These are just the most frequent ones.
We hope to come up with solutions to more problems very soon.
Until then stay with us.