Fixing 5 Common Issues of AnkerMake M5 3D Printer


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3D printing, a marvel of modern technology, offers immense creative potential but is not without its challenges. Common issues such as the initial layer not sticking, layer shifting, spaghettification, and extruder filament feeding problems can significantly impact the quality and success of a print.

Addressing these issues is crucial for anyone in the 3D printing community, from hobbyists to professionals. Not only do these problems affect the aesthetic and structural integrity of the printed objects, but they also speak to the efficiency and reliability of the printing process itself.

Understanding and resolving these issues is essential for producing high-quality prints and ensuring a satisfying and productive 3D printing experience.

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Fixing the Initial Layer Not Sticky Issue

Understanding the Problem:

  • The initial layer of a 3D print is crucial for the overall stability and quality of the object.
  • When this layer fails to adhere properly to the build plate, it can lead to warping, shifting, or complete print failure.
  • Common causes include incorrect bed temperature, uneven build plate, or improper nozzle height.

Step-by-Step Guide to Troubleshooting:

  1. Check Bed Leveling and Cleanliness:
    • Ensure the build plate is level and clean. Any residue or debris can prevent proper adhesion.
    • Use a leveling tool or follow your printer’s leveling procedure to adjust the bed.
  2. Adjust Bed Temperature:
    • Increase the bed temperature within the filament’s recommended range to improve adhesion.
    • For materials like ABS, a heated bed is essential, while PLA might require a lower temperature.
  3. Examine Nozzle Height:
    • The nozzle should be close enough to the bed to press the filament slightly but not too close to scrape the bed.
    • Adjust the nozzle height according to your printer’s specifications.
  4. Modify First Layer Settings:
    • Increase the first layer width and decrease the speed in your slicing software. A wider, slower first layer often adheres better.
    • Ensure the first layer height is set correctly, typically around 0.2 to 0.3 mm.

Tips for Better First Layer Adhesion:

  • Use Adhesives: Apply glue stick, hairspray, or a dedicated 3D print adhesive to the build plate to enhance grip.
  • Use Rafts or Brims: Adding a raft or brim in your print settings can increase the surface area of the first layer, improving adhesion.
  • Material-Specific Settings: Different materials have unique requirements. For instance, PETG often requires a different bed temperature and surface treatment compared to PLA.
  • Regular Maintenance: Regularly clean and maintain your printer, especially the build plate and nozzle, to ensure consistent print quality.

By following these steps and tips, you can significantly improve the adhesion of the initial layer, leading to more successful and reliable 3D prints.

Resolving the Layer Shifting Issue in 3D Printing

Layer shifting in 3D printing is a common problem that can ruin the aesthetics and structural integrity of a print. Understanding its causes and implementing practical solutions is key to achieving consistent and high-quality results.

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Causes of Layer Shifting in 3D Printing:

  1. Mechanical Issues: Loose belts, misaligned rods, or worn-out bearings can lead to layer misalignment.
  2. Incorrect Print Speeds: Too high print speeds can cause the printer to lose its position, leading to shifting.
  3. Overheating Motors: Overworked stepper motors can overheat and lose steps, resulting in layer shifts.
  4. Firmware or Software Glitches: Bugs in the printer’s firmware or slicing software can cause erratic movements.
  5. Power Fluctuations: Inconsistent power supply can interrupt the printing process, causing shifts.

Practical Solutions to Prevent and Fix Layer Shifting:

  1. Tighten and Align Mechanical Parts: Regularly check and tighten belts, and ensure rods and bearings are properly aligned.
  2. Optimize Print Speed: Adjust the print speed settings to a moderate level that your printer can handle efficiently.
  3. Cool Stepper Motors: Ensure adequate cooling for the stepper motors, possibly with additional cooling systems.
  4. Update Firmware and Software: Keep your printer’s firmware and slicing software up to date to avoid glitches.
  5. Stabilize Power Supply: Use a consistent power source, and consider a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) for long prints.

Maintaining Your 3D Printer for Consistent Performance:

  • Regular Maintenance: Regularly clean and lubricate moving parts to ensure smooth operation.
  • Calibration Checks: Periodically calibrate your printer, including bed leveling and extruder calibration.
  • Component Inspections: Routinely inspect components for wear and tear and replace them as needed.
  • Environmental Control: Maintain a stable printing environment, free from drafts or temperature fluctuations.

By addressing these causes and following these maintenance tips, you can significantly reduce the occurrence of layer shifting, leading to more reliable and accurate 3D prints.

Resolving the Layer Shifting Issue in 3D Printing

Layer shifting, a common issue in 3D printing, can compromise the quality and accuracy of prints. Understanding its causes and implementing effective solutions are essential for maintaining consistent printing performance.

Causes of Layer Shifting in 3D Printing:

  1. Mechanical Instability: Loose belts, misaligned rods, or worn bearings can cause the print head or bed to move unpredictably.
  2. Inappropriate Print Speeds: Excessively high speeds can lead to missed steps in the motors, resulting in shifts.
  3. Stepper Motor Issues: Overheating or insufficient current to stepper motors can lead to loss of position.
  4. Software and Firmware Problems: Outdated or buggy firmware and slicing software can cause erratic printer behavior.
  5. Power Supply Interruptions: Fluctuations or interruptions in power can disrupt the printing process, leading to layer misalignment.

Practical Solutions to Prevent and Fix Layer Shifting:

  1. Tighten and Align Components: Regularly check and adjust the tension of belts, and ensure that rods and bearings are properly aligned.
  2. Adjust Print Speeds: Set print speeds to a balanced level that your printer can handle without losing accuracy.
  3. Monitor and Cool Motors: Ensure stepper motors are not overheating and consider adding additional cooling if necessary.
  4. Update Software and Firmware: Regularly update your printer’s firmware and slicing software to the latest versions.
  5. Ensure Stable Power Supply: Use a consistent and uninterrupted power source, especially for longer prints.
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Maintaining Your 3D Printer for Consistent Performance:

  • Routine Maintenance: Clean and lubricate moving parts regularly to ensure smooth operation.
  • Regular Calibration: Perform periodic calibrations, including bed leveling and extruder accuracy checks.
  • Component Inspection: Inspect and replace worn-out components as needed to maintain printer integrity.
  • Control Printing Environment: Keep the printing environment stable, avoiding drafts and temperature changes that could affect print quality.

By understanding these causes and adhering to these maintenance and prevention strategies, you can effectively resolve layer shifting issues, leading to more reliable and precise 3D printing results.

Addressing the Spaghettification Issue in 3D Printing

Spaghettification in 3D printing is a term used to describe a print failure where the filament fails to adhere properly, resulting in a tangled mess of filament strands resembling spaghetti. This issue can occur due to various factors and can significantly disrupt the printing process.

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What is Spaghettification in 3D Printing?

  • Definition: Spaghettification refers to a scenario where the printer continues to extrude filament, but due to a lack of adhesion, the material does not form the intended layers and instead creates a tangled web.
  • Causes: It can be caused by poor bed adhesion, incorrect printing temperatures, or the print object detaching from the bed mid-print.

Strategies to Avoid Filament Tangling:

  1. Ensure Proper Bed Adhesion:
    • Use a heated bed if available and set it to the appropriate temperature for the filament used.
    • Apply adhesives like glue stick, hairspray, or specialized 3D printing adhesives to the bed.
  2. Level the Print Bed:
    • Regularly check and adjust the bed leveling to ensure the nozzle is at the right distance across the entire bed.
  3. Optimize First Layer Settings:
    • Increase the first layer height and width in your slicer settings for better adhesion.
    • Reduce the speed of the first layer to allow the filament to adhere properly.
  4. Monitor Filament Quality:
    • Use high-quality filament to avoid inconsistencies in diameter and composition.
    • Store filament properly to prevent moisture absorption, which can affect printing quality.

Adjusting Printer Settings for Optimal Results:

  1. Temperature Settings:
    • Adjust the nozzle and bed temperatures according to the filament specifications.
    • Monitor and tweak these settings based on the performance and the print’s appearance.
  2. Print Speed Adjustments:
    • Lower the overall print speed if you notice issues with adhesion or layer formation.
    • Experiment with different speeds for different parts of the print, if your slicer allows.
  3. Layer Height and Wall Thickness:
    • Adjust the layer height and wall thickness for better structural integrity.
    • Thicker layers and walls can help in maintaining the shape and reducing the chances of spaghettification.
  4. Use Rafts or Brims:
    • Adding a raft or brim can increase the surface area of the initial layers, improving adhesion and stability.

By understanding what spaghettification is and implementing these strategies and adjustments, you can significantly reduce the risk of this frustrating issue and improve the overall quality of your 3D prints.

Overcoming the Extruder Filament Feeding Issue in 3D Printing

Filament feeding issues in 3D printers can lead to poor print quality and failed prints. Understanding the common causes and knowing how to troubleshoot and prevent these problems is crucial for smooth 3D printing operations.

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Common Reasons for Filament Feeding Problems:

  1. Filament Tangles: Tangles in the filament spool can restrict the flow of filament to the extruder.
  2. Clogged Extruder: Debris or burnt filament inside the extruder nozzle can block the filament path.
  3. Incorrect Filament Diameter: Using filament that doesn’t match the printer’s specifications can cause feeding issues.
  4. Worn Out Gear: The extruder gear can wear out over time, losing its grip on the filament.
  5. Improper Tension: Incorrect tension on the extruder’s idler arm can lead to insufficient grip on the filament.
  6. Temperature Issues: Too low extrusion temperatures can make the filament too hard to push through the nozzle.

Step-by-Step Troubleshooting Guide:

  1. Inspect the Filament Path:
    • Check for and remove any tangles or obstructions in the filament spool.
    • Ensure the filament path is clear and unobstructed.
  2. Clean the Extruder Nozzle:
    • Perform a “cold pull” to remove any debris from the nozzle.
    • If necessary, remove the nozzle and clean it separately.
  3. Check Filament Diameter:
    • Verify that the filament diameter matches your printer’s specifications.
    • Measure the filament in several places to ensure consistency.
  4. Examine the Extruder Gear:
    • Look for signs of wear or damage on the gear.
    • Replace the gear if it’s worn out.
  5. Adjust Tension:
    • Adjust the tension on the idler arm to ensure proper grip on the filament.
    • Be careful not to over-tighten, as this can also cause issues.
  6. Test Temperature Settings:
    • Experiment with slightly higher extrusion temperatures to ease filament flow.
    • Ensure the temperature is within the safe range for the filament type.

Preventative Measures and Maintenance Tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Regularly clean the extruder and nozzle to prevent clogs.
  • Proper Storage of Filament: Store filament in a dry, dust-free environment to prevent degradation.
  • Routine Checks: Periodically check and adjust the tension and alignment of the extruder components.
  • Firmware Updates: Keep your printer’s firmware updated for optimal performance.
  • Quality Filament: Use high-quality filament to reduce the chances of irregularities and clogs.

By following these steps and maintaining your printer, you can effectively overcome filament feeding issues, ensuring more reliable and high-quality 3D printing results.


Addressing common 3D printing issues like initial layer adhesion, layer shifting, spaghettification, and filament feeding problems requires a blend of specific troubleshooting steps and proactive maintenance. Ensuring proper bed adhesion, aligning printer components, optimizing print settings, and maintaining a clean and well-functioning printer are key.

Regular maintenance and timely troubleshooting not only enhance print quality but also extend the lifespan of your printer.

For further guidance, consult your printer’s manual and seek out online communities and resources dedicated to 3D printing, where you can find additional tips and support from experienced users.

Shamim Ahmed
Shamim Ahmed
I’ve been an innovator in this space for years and am really excited to share my knowledge with you. I’m an entrepreneur and love helping others achieve their goals by teaching them how to build a business around the newest innovations in technology.

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