How to make a perfect start of your 3D print?

Do you recognize the following situation? You are starting a 3D print and the printer head starts moving. However, there is no material being printed on to the print bed. How is this possible and how do you fix this?

Clogged nozzle

A clogged nozzle can be the cause of your problem: if there is no material going through the nozzle, there will be nothing on the print bed. A nozzle can get clogged by using different materials. A remainder of the old material (with a higher melting temperature) could be left behind in the nozzle. This material will not become completely fluid if the nozzle doesn’t heat up to the right temperature. This will clog the hole, therefore you should ideally use a different nozzle for each type of material. If you do choose to use the same nozzle, make sure old material is completely removed before using the nozzle for new filament. For more information on how to keep your nozzle running smoothly, read the last FAQ.

Limited distance

Another cause might be that the printer head is set too close to the print bed. In this case, the material is printed, but the layers are smeared. The result: a wide, thin layer of filament that is hardly noticeable. You can basically see through the material, which makes it seem like there is nothing on the print bed. The solution is to change the height of the print bed, which can be done by use of a 80-grams A4 paper. If you are able to pull this between the nozzle and the print bed without damaging the paper, the height is correct. You should feel some resistance when moving the paper though. Due to the varying temperatures in the casing and the removal of the prints, the height of the print bed might change. That’s why this fine tuning should be done once every quarter.

Is the problem not solved yet?

Have you resolved the above problems, but is there still nothing coming out of the printhead? Then it is likely that there is no filament coming through. The clogged nozzle or the short distance of the print bed has caused resistance. Because of this, the wheel that pushes the filament through the nozzle, created a hole in the filament. This way, the wheel loses the grip on the material and it will stay in the top of the nozzle. If you simply feed the filament into the  printer head again, it will run smoothly.