Home / Extruding Too Little / Much Plastic

Each profile in ideaMaker includes settings that are used to determine how much plastic the 3D printer should extrude. However, because the printer does not provide any feedback about how much plastic actually leaves the nozzle, it’s possible that there may be less or more plastic exiting the nozzle than what the software expects (otherwise known as under-extrusion or over-extrusion). If under-extrusion happens, you may start to notice gaps between adjacent extrusions of each layer. The most reliable way to test whether or not your printer is extruding enough plastic is to print a simple 20mm tall cube with at least 3 perimeters (1.2mm in “Shells” setting) outlines. At the top of the cube, you can check if the 3 perimeters are strongly bonded together or not. If there are gaps between the 3 perimeters, then the printer is under-extruding. If the 3 perimeters are touching and do not have any gaps, then the printer is extruding the right amount of plastic. If you notice excess plastic that ruins the outer dimension of your print, then it is probably due to over-extrusion. If you determine that the printer is under-extruding or over-extruding, there is a possible cause for this, which we have summarized below.

  • Incorrect filament diameter

The first thing you want to verify is that the software knows the filament diameter that you are using. You can find this setting by clicking “Edit” and going to “Filament Setting”. And set a new filament template for your new filament. Check to make sure that this value matches the filament that you purchased. The most common values for the filament diameter are 1.75mm and 2.85mm. Many spools of plastic also include the correct diameter on the packaging. You may even need to measure your filament yourself by using a pair of calipers to make sure that you truly get the correct diameter specified in the software.