Print Quality Troubleshooting Guide

This guide is a great place to start if you are trying to improve the quality of your 3D printed parts. We have compiled an extensive list of the most common 3D printing issues along with the software settings that you can use to solve them. Best of all, the guide uses a large collection of real-world images to make each issue easy to identify when examining your own 3D printed parts. So let’s get started!

Thumbnail Overview

Use the thumbnails below to identify the picture that most closely represents the quality issue that you are seeing in your own 3D printed parts. You can click on the thumbnail to jump that that portion of the guide for immediate recommendations on how to resolve the issue. If you are not able to locate your issues from the thumbnails, feel free to scroll down and read through each section of the guide in more detail. There are plenty of useful tips to learn that can help improve your 3D printed results!

Not Extruding at Start of Print

Printer does not extrude plastic at the beginning of the print

Not Sticking to the Bed

The first layer does not stick to the bed and the print quickly fails


Printer does not extrude enough plastic, gaps between perimeters and infill


Printer extrudes too much plastic, prints looks very messy

Gaps in Top Layers

Holes or gaps in the top layers of the print

Stringing or Oozing

Lots of strings and hairs left behind when moving between different sections of the print


Small features become overheated and deformed

Layer Shifting

Layers are misaligned and shift relative to one another

Layer Separation and Splitting

Layers are separating and splitting apart while printing

Grinding Filament

Plastic is being ground away until the filament no longer moves, otherwise known as “stripped” filament

Clogged Extruder

Extruder is clogged or jammed and will no longer extrude plastic from the nozzle tip

Stops Extruding Mid Print

Printer stops extruding plastic randomly in the middle of a print

Weak Infill

Very thin, stringy infill that creates a weak interior and does not bond together well

Blobs and Zits

Small blobs on the surface of print, otherwise known as zits

Gaps Between Infill and Outline

Gaps between the outline of the part and the outer solid infill layers

Curling or Rough Corners

Corners of the print tend to curl and deform after they are printed

Scars on Top Surface

The nozzle drags across the top of the print and creates a scar on the surface

Gaps in Floor Corners

Gaps in the corners of the print, where the top layer does not join to the outline of the next layer

Lines on the Side of Print

Side walls are not smooth, lines are visible on the side of the print

Vibrations and Ringing

Vibrations that cause oscillations on the surface of the print, otherwise known as “ringing”

Gaps in Thin Walls

Gaps between thin walls of the print where the perimeters do not touch

Small Features Not Printed

Very small features are not printed or are missing from the software preview

Inconsistent Extrusion

Extrusion amount tends to vary and is not consistent enough to produce an accurate shape


Warping of large parts, particularly with high temperature materials such as ABS

Poor Surface Above Supports

Poor surface quality on the underside of the part where it touches the support structures

Dimensional Accuracy

Dimensional issues where the measured dimensions do not match the original design intent

Poor Bridging

Sagging, drooping, or gaps between the extruded segments of your bridging regions