Ender-3 stringing and globing at nozzle, not sticking

My son got an ended-3 for Christmas and he has printed several things, already I got him some new filament, superfila and sunlu, he printed several small things but then it started to not stick to bed and then would string every where he has adjusted the bed, upped the temp to 217, cleaned the bed with 91% alcohol, and nothing has changed he then switched to his original filament and it didn’t stick, the blue pic any help would be greatly appreciated thank you






Congratulations on the new printer! 3D printing is a rewarding and–as your son has learned–a sometimes frustrating hobby. Key to a successful print is a good first layer–one with the right amount of “squish” that adheres to the bed. You’ve cleaned the bed and adjusted the hotend temperature, but there are other factors possibly in play such as bed leveling (tramming), bed temperature, z-offset and flow calibration. Have you adjusted or set all of these? If not, I recommend checking out TeachingTech’s website (linked here), particularly the Calibration section. Work your way though the sections from left to right (it’s probably ok to skip the PID tuning section) and adjust your printer accordingly. I would especially focus on “First Layer” tab.

Our host, Irv Shapiro (MakeWithTech) has a number of relevant videos in his channel. Check out this one on leveling an Ender5. He has a number of good videos on bed leveling and z-offest such as this one. Another good YouTube channel on Ender style printers is CHEP.

Hope this helps!


P.S. – Run a straight edge, with a light shining behind it, across the bed and look for uneven areas. I recall some Enders had a problem with a raised center that impacted first layer adhesion.

@Alan, I agree with you. Unfortunately, using a consumer-priced 3d printer is unlike using a microwave oven. You do need to take the time to dig in and calibrate it when you are getting started. Any device under $1,000 is unlikely to have been calibrated at the factory. While in an ideal world, all of the same models of a 3d printer would be the same, that is not the case. In particular, the initial print surface height, the heater block, the thermistor (the component that measures temperature), the belts and wheels, and even the stepper motors may vary slightly from device to device. Add in any components the user assembles where everyone tightens bolts a bit more or less — well, you can understand why calibration will make a difference.

You can probably get away with only checking the bed level and the Z offset (effectively the distance from the nozzle to the bed – this is not really what it means, but that definition will work here) if you print slowly. Just print at 50mm per second with PLA, and you may be ok. But if you are having issues, you must check all the calibrations.

In particular, focus on the wheels adjusted via eccentric nuts, the belt tension, and, once again, the bed leveling. Also, ensure all of the bolts holding the device together are finger-tight and then about 1/4 turn more. You should not be able to wiggle things around.

If you want to calibrate the extruder steps and set the PID parameters, I have a free software site you can use to connect over a USB cable to your printer and then send and receive GCODE. The site also has instructors for calibrating your printer. The software is optimized to work with Chrome.


Any updates? How goes the adventure?