Gaps between layers and not all lines printing properly

Hi everyone, I’m new to this forum. I have printed with my Ender 3 for about a year and Irv’s videos on YouTube have helped me a big deal during that time.

I was super happy with my prints until 2 days ago, when I started getting gaps between my layers and also blocks of lines on all layers not being printed which look scratchy on the print (please see images).

I used the following settings which have not changed to when I got perfect results:

Printer: Ender 3
Filament: eSun PLA+
Print temp: 210°C
Bed temp: 70°C
Print speed: 50mm/s
Retraction speed: 45mm/s

I tried adjusting the flow in Cura as i thought it could be an extrusion setting issue, but it made no difference at all. I tried from 85 to 115%. Also, I tried various temperatures, without success. Oh, and I also tried different brands of filaments, same thing happening.

I’d appreciate any recommendations :slight_smile: Many thanks!


If you have not changed your software setup, I expect this is an HW issue. Something is causing the filament to fail to extrude smoothly. Things to look at:

  • Extruder gear is loose and slipping
  • Extruder gear teeth are filled with plastic – this can happen over time
  • Clogged Boden tube
  • Clogged nozzle

It does not look to me like a temperature issue, and it does not look like a wet filament issue.

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I think Irv is on the right track (maybe because much of what I know I learned from Irv :wink: ). Additionally, if problem started with a filament change be alert to the possibility of a dimensional problem with the filament.

Lately on 3d forums I’ve been preaching the value of knowing that your printer is extruding what it is supposed to be extruding so here goes:

Only after you do the hardware check Irv recommended calibrate your extruder e-steps (takes about 5 minutes after you learn how to do it) then calibrate the extrusion multiplier in your slicer (takes 30 or 40 minutes because you need to print a small cube in vase mode possibly a couple times). You will need calipers for this step.

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Many thanks for your answer, Irv. I have in the meantime replaced the nozzle and cut off the end of the Bowden tube. Unfortunately, it didn’t make a difference. I looked at the extruder gear and couldn’t see any obstructions. Would it be worth taking any specific parts of the extruder off or do you have any other advise? Many thanks for your help :slight_smile:

This is my new print after replacing the nozzle with a new one and cutting the end of the tube off:

Hi DAC, many thanks for your answer. I’ve never made changes to the extruder e-steps. Can you recommend a tutorial or something I could look at? Many thanks :slight_smile:

Google “teaching tech printer calibration” or if you trust clicking a URL from a stranger click on this:
and do at least the e-steps and slicer tabs. He walks you through it in nice detail but in short, For the e-steps you mark a known distance on the filament then tell the printer to extrude that distance of filament. If there is a difference between what you wanted and what you got he has an easy to use calculator on the page to calculate the new e-step value. Dependent on your printer/firmware you may need to direct connect to printer to change settings. He walks you through it.

Slicer extruder setting is same concept- you extrude an object with known wall thickness then measure actual wall thickness. If you get something different than expected you change slicer setting.

Good luck. I found doing the calibration interesting, straight forward and very rewarding when suddenly my printed parts started fitting very, very well from my stock Ender 3 V2.

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