Layer shifting is when the layers of your 3D print don’t properly align, leaving behind a staggered, “staircase” look. This often happens only in a few locations but usually renders the entire print useless. And the frustrating part is that the rest of the model might turn out perfect.
When minor, layer shifts will lead to “glitched”, offset layers, as with the Benchy above. When major, it can lead to your printer extruding in mid-air, leaving behind a bird’s nest of plastic.
To prevent this, let’s take a look at three quick tips to fix your layer shifting!
Most likely, layer shifting is just a sign that your 3D printer needs a little maintenance. Over time, your printer’s pulleys and belts can loosen, resulting in slippage that manifests itself in shifted layers.
To fix this, check the following items:
For most cases, this should be enough to solve your layer shifting issues. If not, we have a couple more tips.
Another common cause of layer shifts is the 3D printer’s print head colliding with the model being printed. Most printers can’t detect collisions, so they’ll continue printing despite the print head having been blocked. If you notice that your printer suffers from this, try these fixes:
With that, we’ve covered the most common causes of layer shifting. If your problems persist, however, we have one more tip for you.
In the unlikely case that Tips #1 and #2 don’t work, it may be that your 3D printer’s electronics are overheating. Specifically, overheating stepper drivers, which control the motors, may cause hiccups in the printer’s movements.
To fix this, make sure that all the ventilation grills for your printer’s motherboard are unobstructed. If necessary, place a desktop fan by the printer’s electronics to provide sufficient cooling.
Now, you should be free from layer shifting!
Hopefully, we’ve helped you diagnose and fix your 3D printing layer shifts. While certainly frustrating to encounter, we hope that they no longer pose a significant hindrance to your 3D printing workflow.
Feature image source: zheng3.com
License: The text of "Layer Shifting (3D Printing) – 3 Tips & Tricks to Solve It" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Subscribe to updates from All3DP
You are subscribed to updates from All3DP
You can’t subscribe to updates from All3DP. Learn more…