How to Fix 3D Printer Stops Extruding Mid-Print

If you encounter your 3D printer stopping extrusion mid-print and producing blobs and zits on the print surface, it can be frustrating and result in wasted time and materials. There can be various reasons for this issue, including printer misalignment, incorrect print settings, and hardware problems. This article will explain why it stops printing mid-way and provide solutions to solve the problem.

Why Is My 3D Printer Not Extruding Halfway?

3D Printer Stopping Mid-Print

The most common issues leading to the 3D printer stopping extrusion during the printing process are related to the extruder or nozzle. Using low-quality or contaminated filament, along with improper extrusion tension, can result in clogs in the extruder and nozzle. Moreover, printing too quickly or running continuously for extended periods can cause the extruder motor driver to overheat, and these are all reasons behind the extruder's malfunction. The causes of filament not coming out of nozzle mid-print can be summarized into five possible factors. You should take them into account to the problem.

  • Printer filament has run out.
  • 3D printer nozzle is getting clogged.
  • Filament is stuck in the extruder gear.
  • Extruder motor driver is overheated.
  • Print speed is too fast.

How to Fix 3D Printer Stops Extruding Filament Mid-Print

1. Check Your Filament

Filament Run-out Sensor

Check if your filament has run out or if it has become tangled, causing the 3D printer to stop extruding mid-print. You can upgrade your printer by installing a filament run-out sensor, as most cheap printers often lack this feature. This sensor can pause the printer when the filament runs out, allowing you to change material and resume the unfinished print.

Issues with poor-quality or tangled filament can lead to this problem. Low-quality filaments may have large tolerance, inconsistent diameters, and contamination in the material. It is advisable to always use high-quality filament produced by reliable brands, as they offer more stable and great performance. Anycubic, for instance, is a trusted brand known for manufacturing and selling 3D printers globally, and they also provide cost-effective filaments to their users. Their filaments typically have a 1.75mm diameter, with a tolerance controlled within ±0.02mm, and are neatly produced and packaged with durability.

2. Unclog Your Printer Nozzle

Unclog Printer Nozzle

Sometimes, even if you start the print with a clean nozzle, it can still get clogged during printing, leading to the extruder stopping mid-print. Incorrect print settings or dusty filaments can cause nozzle blockages. Unclogging and cleaning the nozzle is not as difficult as it may seem. You can use tweezers to remove the silicone sock that protects the heater block and nozzle. Then, a brush or tweezers can help clean any filament debris around the nozzle. Finally, heat the nozzle to melt any remaining residues inside and gently poke upward through the nozzle tip with a tool. Replace the nozzle with a new one if necessary to ensure print quality.

3. Check Your 3D Printer Extruder

3D printer stops printing halfway

Checking if there are any cracks in the extruder causing the extrusion to stop and affect its proper functioning. If it's damaged, you'll need to replace it with a new one. When your extruder gets dirty, it can also lead to extrusion issues, so it's important to clean and maintain it regularly. Excessive extrusion tension can cause the gear to grip the filament too tightly, leading to the gear grinding against the filament. On the other hand, if the extrusion tension is insufficient, the filament may get stripped. Both of these situations can result in filament debris accumulating around the extruder. Once it becomes filled with debris, the extruder will lose its extrusion capability. Therefore, proper extrusion tension is crucial. You can begin by calibrating the spring tension until the filament no longer breaks and there is no grinding sound.

4. Cool Down Extruder Motor Driver

3D Printer Extruder

The extruder motor not running at all can cause the machine to pause halfway through a print. During long continuous printing sessions, the extruder motor and driver for the X-axis can often become overheated. It's also possible that motor aging may lead to motor failure. Before resuming printing, it's necessary to allow the motor and driver to cool down. Ensure proper ventilation in the room and maintain an indoor temperature between 15°C and 30°C.

5. Slow Down Your 3D Printer

Fast Speed Printing

Reducing the printing speed can help prevent your printer from overheating and causing the printer to pause. It is recommended to use the print speed suggested by the machine manufacturer. If you find the FDM 3D printing process too slow, you may consider picking a high-speed printer.

Anycubic Kobra 2 Pro is a strong performer in speed, capable of reaching speeds of up to 500mm/s, with an average speed of up to 300mm/s. It typically finishes printing a 3D Benchy in as little as fifteen minutes. To ensure stability and achieve high-speed printing, both its hardware and firmware have been upgraded. For instance, on the XY-axis it has replaced the traditional plastic V-slot wheels with sturdy metal wheels, and metal rails are added for smoother motion. For firmware, it supports resonance compensation and flow control, resulting in smoother and more precise surface finishes for printed objects.