Under Extrusion, Waves or Ripples in 3D Print – Ender 3 Fix

See how I stencil!


Based on all the interest, I separated my extrusion troubleshooting guide and added pictures..


I have been happy as a clam with my 2 new Creality Ender 3’s.  They are still on sale at Gearbest for 179.00 till August 30th if you want to snag one up.

So I am chugging along printing out 4 packs of Whisky Stash Fuzes and I got some weird ripples and waves on one of my Ender 3’s.  It was interesting because I have been printing bigger parts everyday since I got them.

So here was what was happening on my “good” Ender 3


Up close – print looks great!


And here was what was happening on my “problem” Ender 3, from a few different angles.


Brand new printers, both the same age, what’s going on.  The “problem”  was on it’s first roll of filament.

I could tell it was under-extrusion but was unsure the cause.  The Wavy Ripples are thinner and I could probably push a finger through them.  You could see through them on some parts.

After a little looking I notices the zip tie by the top of hotend (holding the wiring harness and PTFE tubing together) was really tight.  As my prints were using more of the build plate it seemed plausible that the PTFE was restricted and binding on the filament.


So I did what any reasonable Maker would do.. I cut it!


Printed another test..


Got a win and went back to printing…



In my experience, underextrusion is related to a clogged nozzles or something obstructing the filament flow between the extruder motor and the nozzle.  PTFE can wear, or get clogged with stringy filament, or the hotend can get gummed up.
This was a brand new out of the box printer with barely a roll of filament through it.  I’ll be clipping zip ties from here forward.

There is a ton of other useful stuff on Makersteve.com and more coming every week.

Be sure to check out my Ultimate Build Guide for Creality Ender 3

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2 thoughts on “Under Extrusion, Waves or Ripples in 3D Print – Ender 3 Fix

  1. Thank you so much. For some reason this is the only post out of the 20+ that I have looked at that show images with the EXACT same issue as me. After reading yours I started to remove my filament to start troubleshooting and I realized I was using an abrasive material in a brass nozzle…. I got the machine from a friend who said it had a steel nozzle… The nozzle was supposed to be .5mm but was clearly at least double. SO now I am going to order a new hardened steel nozzle haha.

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