Any 3D printing enthusiast will tell you that creating a high quality 3D printed object is part art and part science. Even the most accomplished 3D printing expert has had their share of failed prints because there are many factors to juggle. The design of the object itself may pose challenges. In addition, every machine has its own nuances, filaments differ by type and even by color, and there are dozens of print settings to tweak. On the bright side, this means there is plenty of opportunity to improve your print quality as you learn more about how your 3D printer works.

The team at Simplify3D combined their broad base of experience into the Print Quality Troubleshooting Guide, a user-friendly tool to help users identify 3D printing issues, understand what causes them, and find solutions. Twenty-three common print quality issues are identified and multiple solutions are offered for each problem, providing a one-stop resource for all kinds of 3D printing questions. The company is already working on expanding the guide, ensuring it will continue to be a valuable resource as new techniques and settings are available in the future. Although there are some solutions unique to Simplify3D Software, many fixes can be applied regardless of your software and hardware situation.

Simplify3D has a unique perspective to understanding printing challenges and solutions. “We work with 3D printer companies from all over the world to optimize the output from their machines,” explains Simplify3D CEO Clayton Webster, “so we have a deep understanding of the typical problems people encounter. We’ve worked with an extensive list of printers and filaments, and we know how to coax quality to the highest possible levels. We realized that our knowledge of troubleshooting could be a huge help to the broader community.”

The guide was developed with all levels of 3D printing expertise in mind. Highly detailed images help new users identify and name their problem. After they find the photo that most resembles their print, they can click to see multiple causes and solutions. Or, if users know what the issue is called (i.e. under-extrusion, stringing, layer separation…), they can browse a list of terms to find a solution.

Simplify3D is dedicated to optimizing print quality and providing more control over desktop 3D printers. As Webster puts it, “We’re happy to share the knowledge we have accumulated to help the community maximize the capabilities of their 3D printers.”

Take a look at Simplify3D’s Print Quality Troubleshooting Guide and start exploring new techniques to take your 3D print quality to a whole new level.


That’s an awesome guide, thanks for sharing Natalie! Check it out @Arnoldas @victorp

So much great info, what an amazing guide!


It’s already my bedside book.


Haha good :slight_smile:

- Are there STL files for these issues? IE a test cube with 3 perimeter lines?

- Are there test files I can print to see if I have any of these problems?

- Are there ‘Correct’ pictures showing what is felt to be a ‘cure’ to the problem?

- Are there MAPs? ‘Make this adjustment… See this go here, See this go there.’

IE, once a correction is made, it would be typical to have a different problem if the adjustment is too much.

Too little extrusion to too much extrusion to wavering around okish to REALLY nailed it.

I’m like this. Very good reading.

1 Like

Awesome guide, thanks. I’m a huge Simplify3D fan. The suggestion for providing .stl files to be able to print and compare results is a great one.


These are all great suggestions! New additions to the Guide are already in progress, so we will be sure to consider these as well. Thank you!

1 Like

And for Grinding Filament I found that I had some filament that was slightly smaller than previous samples and had to increase the idler tension to hold it firmly against the hobbed bolt. Otherwise, I ended up stripping the filament.

1 Like

Is there anything on moist abs/pla?

This guide is what I’ve spent the last month learning, torturously print by print.

Excellent. Top notch photos and descriptions.

Yea, this is awesome. :slight_smile:

1 Like

- What about loose X belts? What does that look like?

- What about loose Y belts? What does that look line?

- What about parts that don’t fit together that should?

- What does PLA look like with no additives?

- Does all PLA weigh the same and same length? Is black more/less dense than red?

- Why can’t all models be printed with 0 infill? Shouldn’t the designers make sure

everything will print and seal correctly and the only difference is strength?

I printed a piece that printed a horizontal surface 5mm above a lower horizontal surface.

It NEARLY made it. Is that a bad printer, or bad design? 5% infill fixes it, but that info isn’t

retrievable from a STL file. Is it?

- Why do some stl files have objects that are supposed to be in CMs, but show up in MMs and have

to be scaled larger by 10?

- How does one know which is the best surface to print on the print bed? If the best outside surface

is printed face down, it is nice, smooth and flat, but can have glue patches, tape lines. I see some really weird

stuff you don’t have a picture of… Kind of like blotches of very hard areas and not so hard on a bottom layer (bed melted


- I see places where the print is clipped on the bed as it runs into the x side.

- I see text print that looks horrible then printed on a top surface, but great when rotated and printed.

Oops, not what does loose belts look like, what do the prints look like with loose belts.

Hi gddeen,

I can’t speak for the guide persay but what I can tell you that if the print is moist or your reel is moist then you have a major problem. When filament is made, as I understand it, it is essentially superheated and super condensed so that the filament can minimize air bubbles and moisture saturation. The other problem is that printers are meant to extrude hot dry plastic so while it may look moist it should be hot and dry.

Reel being moist:

If I was in your shoes, I would start with the filament reel. I would remove the outermost layer of plastic and throw it out then let the filament reel bake in the dry afternoon sun or somewhere hot and dry for several hours. After that, I would change where I’m storing the filament somewhere dry, dark and preferably in a bag that you can seal to limit the air can touch it along with several dry pouches.

Print being moist:

If you’re still having difficulty with the problem, I would check the environment in which your printer is printing. If you’re working out of say a Florida workshop near the swamp chances are you’ll need a dehumidifier or two along with a fan in order to keep the room at a reasonably dry level. If the room is not in a reasonably dry and preferably cold environment then I would highly suggest changing it to a place that fits those requirements.

Let me know if you still need help?

Best of Luck,

- Mr. Carbon

1 Like

Thanks very much!

Thanks. I don’t have any wet filament. I just heard it was bad. I’m trying to add suggestions for the troubleshooting guide.

I’ve seen every picture (nearly) on my printer. It is good to see others notice this stuff also.