All of my prints fail (lift/warping issues)  

New Member

Nearly every time I print, my piece begins doesn't adhere well enough to the surface and one of two outcomes occurs: Either the first couple stringy layers catch on my nozzle and drag the piece around, or I get about 20-30% into the print and a corner begins to lift and catch the nozzle and drag around. 

The backstory: I assembled an MK3S last October. I haven't tried doing anything too complex since then, mostly printing flat, patterned materials (most recently a leatherworking stencil). Out of probably 60 attempted prints, I've only had one successfully complete, and only a handful have gotten past 50% completion. So far everything I've done has been with default settings, using the smooth print surface, Prusament PLA, and designs I've found on Thingiverse and sliced with the Prusa slicer. 

I've had some slightly better success trying things like a higher print bed temperature (around 80C vs the default 60), a higher nozzle temperature (I sometimes try it at 225C),  or slowing the print speed to 80%. Doing this can get me over 50% completion on my prints, but it usually still fails before the end. 

This probably isn't a rare problem, but I haven't seen much guidance on this topic. Is it a matter of my nozzle not being clean enough? Is my PINDA sensor too close to the surface? Can anyone offer advice? 

Posted : 02/08/2020 5:33 am
New Member

Hi there,

Do you clean your surface before every print with isopropyl alcohol? I always do that with the IPA sheet and it sticks perfectly every time.

You also have to calibrate properly the nozzle distance from the bed. Do the calibration test in the menu and fine tune it until it sticks well.

Use a zip tie to check the proper distance of the pinda probe to the bed.

Hope it helps


Posted : 02/08/2020 11:36 am
New Member


Thank you for your suggestion. I haven't been cleaning with IPA but now I am. This morning I ran a Z axis calibration, cleaned both the nozzle and surface, and things appeared to be better but once again at about 35% through my print, I had the same lifting issue as before. After adjusting the bed temp several more times and failing again, I ran a first layer calibration, adjusted the z-axis by -.100, and ran the print again. It's currently at 40% and there's some definite warping already but it hasn't failed yet. I can't imagine it will finish successfully though, considering the warped corner is much higher than the nozzle. 

I'm attaching pictures of several of the failed prints as well as some that show how the first layer sits and how the edges warp later on.

Posted : 03/08/2020 12:13 am
Veteran Member Moderator


I think you need to try a different approach... 

Starting with the build plate, 

I wash mine in the kitchen sink, with Dish Soap, and hot water, rinse with hot water and dry immediately with paper towels

I don't use any other build plate preparation... 

I use 7x7 Mesh Bed levelling (Available via the LCD Menu, this tests 49 points on the build plate instead of 9... 

and I use "Life Adjust 'Z' My Way" first layer calibration process

there are test patch Gcodes in the zip file at the bottom of the first post

For PLA, I use the generic PLA profile, with the heatbed temperature raised to 70C and the retraction lowered to 0.4mm  Extruder temperature remains standard at 215/210C

Good luck, 

I try to make safe suggestions,You should understand the context and ensure you are happy that they are safe before attempting to apply my suggestions, what you do, is YOUR responsibility. Location Halifax UK...
Posted : 03/08/2020 1:22 am
Prominent Member

Before majorly futzing around with anything, I would do a very complete sanity check on a few things.

1. Is your build plate really truly clean?  See above.

2. Is your Pinda probe properly installed?  See the 'zip tie' test above.

3. Have you done one of those 3x3 'My Way' or similar Z calibration tests and does it consistently pass?  Not just almost, but all good solid squares?

Yes, it's possible for things to be on the nozzle and interfere with the print.  I call them 'boogers' or 'dingleberries' and there are some other more explicit terms for them.  I'm in the habit of brushing off the nozzle before most prints, removing any residual 'worm' and any boogers which have accumulated.

I would not consider futzing with any temperatures or settings or gcode or anything until you've verified all of the above.  This thing is designed to give good prints using defaults, and unless something is off somewhere, defaults should at least give you acceptable prints for most non-complex objects,

Posted : 03/08/2020 1:39 am
New Member


Thank you, Joan. 

I just washed the build plate. My working surface was clean but the reverse side wasn't, and in hindsight that was probably bad for the heating bed. In either case, that didn't seem to help much. I tried printing the 200um Prusa default print and it couldn't even get through the first layer.

I switched the mesh bed leveler to 7x7. Is the calibration supposed to provide any feedback? Out of the 49 points, probably 70% click instantly and the other 30% adjusts the Z axis up and down automatically before moving on. Is that a sign of a problem or is that normal? 

Lastly, I printed some test sheets using the Live Z My Way method (I didn't even realize the Z axis could be adjusted during a print). I started at 0, which I thought was normal, but reading through that Live Z thread it seems like 500 is a good baseline to start from. Below is my various test sheets, from left to right: 0, 200/100, 550/450, 700/600. Live Z tests


So has this been my problem the whole time? All of my prints so far have been between 0-150um, which you can see gives me a very messy layer and probably causes all of that lifting.

Posted : 03/08/2020 5:27 am
Honorable Member

Most important for 3d printing is:

1. clean bed, wash with dish soap.

2. first layer should be 100%

Both of these settings are very important, to get a model sticking.

How to do a first layer calibration,

This is how I work:

A new sheet will stick less then a used one.

PLA sticks more difficult on a powder coated sheet. Is still possible settings need to be more preciese.

This how I work on a pei sheet(there are always exceptions):
Most important to 3d printing is:

1. 3d print will never be like start and i have the print, there will always be problems!!!!!!

2. A clean sheet, use dish soap, then you can print on it. A few prints you can use alcohol, then again dish soap,
big flat models and models with small footprint on sheet- use glue stick(and not every glue stick is the same,
use one that makes a thin layer), and big flat models and small footprint, use a big brim attach to model so footprint is bigger.

Petg sticks to much on the pei sheet, use window cleaner, this leaves a layer on the bed, so it does not stick to much.

3. To get it stick very good, a 100% first layer is very important, see youtube for movie on this.
Every new print watch the first layer, and look if it is 100%, this will also prevent a big ball of filament on your nozzle wen model let loose during printing.

Extra: (normally not needed).

First layer, print hotter.
First layer slower.
Bed more heat.

Most problems are first layer to get this 100%, and bed not clean.

Bad filament is possible, or filament with water inside.

Move extruder to the top and extrude filament, it should go straight down(if not, nozzle possible blocked),
it should be thick enough(if not, nozzle possible blocked, or partial blocked), (do a cold pull),
if Bubbling during extrusion then it has to much water inside.
Check after the first layer is ready, then you see if it sticking enough, and not releasing and sticking to the nozzle.
If you see white spots like a bubble on the bed, then filament is releasing from bed.
Also no gabs between lines should be visible.

Use 7x7 calibration for first layer, see settings in the printer.
Search for " 3D printer first layer problem Calibration process" on youtube, movie on first layer calibration, with a good zoom in.

Posted : 03/08/2020 9:19 am
Famed Member

Lastly, if all else fails, try a squit of hair spray on the bed before printing.  

Posted : 03/08/2020 9:54 am
Prominent Member

You might also look at that Bed Weld adhesive.  It appears to work quite well.

Posted : 03/08/2020 12:32 pm
Noble Member


Even -700 is not far enough down looking at your picture, there should be no gaps between the lines when you peel it off the bed.  It varies from printer to printer but mine at around -1200 (-1.2mm) so you still have lots of room to go.

Posted : 03/08/2020 1:09 pm
Famed Member


I suggest three bed adhesives in the United States:

All three are available on Amazon.  I buy my hair spray on line because I get funny looks when I, a bald guy, buy hair spray in Walmart.  


Posted : 03/08/2020 3:20 pm
New Member

Looking at your pictures you should adjust your z offset closer to the bed. Your best try was -700, so try -750, -800 etc and fine tune it from there.

You almost there 🙂

 If you didn't calibrate your Z offset before, it was impossible to get a print to stick properly. That is your major issue for sure and maybe your only issue

Posted : 03/08/2020 3:29 pm
Active Member


As some said, your z-axis is still too high. You should see no gaps between lines. When you pull them of the bed they should stick together.

The z-axis height is different for each printer. Once you get this fixed you should be rid of the warping.
I had the same issue until I made sure my z-axis was low enough 😉


ps: if it is too low, the nozzle will start scraping off the filament, you'll notice it immediately when you have that issue 🙂

Posted : 03/08/2020 4:20 pm
New Member

Quick update: tuning the Z-axis using the live adjust method above was the problem all along. I've been printing in the .950-1.150 range and the prints complete with no issue. I could probably tune more to get a better surface, but at least it's working now! 


So my next question is: did I miss this step in the original assembly instructions or otherwise how was I supposed to know to do this? I've wasted months trying to figure out what was wrong. 

Posted : 07/08/2020 8:14 am
Veteran Member Moderator

did you see this
Step 9... 

It's not the best first layer calibration routine...  but it gets people printing, on many ocasions


regards Joan

I try to make safe suggestions,You should understand the context and ensure you are happy that they are safe before attempting to apply my suggestions, what you do, is YOUR responsibility. Location Halifax UK...
Posted : 07/08/2020 11:05 am
Honorable Member


I still see gabs in the first layer.

Make a new first layer, try different settings , higher and lower, then you will see the difference.

Watch the movie I pointed to, he zooms in very good.

Make a good picture for us to see if it is good.

For 3d printing is very important:

1. clean bed,

2. First layer 100%.

Both settings are for sticking to bed, so models does not release from bed, and you do not get the big ball of filament to the nozzle.


Posted : 07/08/2020 2:46 pm

Please Login or Register