Small towers, legs etc won't print

I have a Creality Ender 5 S1 printer. Initially, the prints were fine ad a month later, the fine details like the spires on the 4 calibration towers or the towers on the Kickstarter assessment model won’t print anymore… the nozzle starts eventually moving mid-air above the print. I have tried different settings and slicer apps with no success. I was wondering if it has to do with the belt tensions of the X and Y axis motors. Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated.

Sounds like you might have a partial nozzle clog. Try unclogging the nozzle or replacing it.

New users are not allowed to add more than one item… so I have attached 1 pic

You’re getting a lot of stringing, what is your retraction set to? I normally use 0.8 for my Ender S1 Plus. It will also vary by different filaments and I use the Overrides in the Filament tab.
How does the first layer look? Appears you z-offset might be a little to close. I normally fine tune my z-offset while printing a 60x60mm square that is 1 layer hight

Temperature also affect stringing too. What temp you printing at and what filament?

Currently my retraction is set to 1.7 mm at 35 mm/s… I use between 0.8 and 2.0 retraction at speeds between 30 and 40 mm/s. The stringing appears mainly on very small structures like these towers. Normally if there are no tiny structures, then the print comes out fine.

My first layer is quite decent with good adhesion. The prints are usually good unless there are small towers/structures. (see attached pic). Then I get the stringing and the failure to print.

I did that first layer print… it came out fine.

I use PLA+ silk filament and usually print between 198 and 210 C with a hotbed temp of 60 C.

I have been thru a lot of Irv Shapiro’s videos and settings/recommendations… still haven’t found a fix for this problem.

I bought this printer a month ago and have been using it approx. 16 hrs/day. Initially, prints were fine but now I see 2 problems that occur frequently…

  1. The issue with small towers/structures
  2. For long prints, after 3-4 hrs of printing, I see failures every 2 out of 3 times especially with the nozzle printing in mid-air. The printed portion looks fine so I have difficulty finding out what is causing the flow problems later on.

I do not have your printer, but perhaps …

  1. Is the nozzle worn? Consider replacing given the heavy use.
  2. Could the hotend fan be dying or slowing down leading to heat creep in longer print?


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I am using a Creality Ender 5 S1 printer.

As a matter of fact, both the nozzle and the hot end fan were replaced 3 days ago.

I’ve attached a file showing some limited success with varying the retraction settings.

My first layer adhesion seems to be quite decent


towers not printing.pdf (1.16 MB)

Isn’t the printer a direct drive? From those pictures, it is acting like a Bowden setup. Maybe the PTFE tube between the hotend and the extruder is not seated properly or (less likely) the nozzle needs to be reseated at temp. Curious.


Yes… it is a direct drive. This printer is only a month old and the PTFE looks good. i agree the retraction settings are high for a direct drive… but it seems to be working fine at the higher setting.

Will tweak a few more settings and see where it takes me.