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How to troubleshoot 3D print layer separation | Easy Way

Spencer Hill
Spencer Hill 17:58 01-13

As a 3D printer user, you know that layer separation is one of the biggest challenges to setting up and maintaining your prints.

You’ve probably encountered it multiple times and have wasted loads of time fiddling with settings and precariously attempting re-prints in order to get rid of layer lift or separation.

That’s why today we’re here to provide you with easy steps you can use as troubleshooting techniques for avoiding further issues with 3D print layer separation altogether!

What is 3D printing layer separation and what are the symptoms?

3D printing layer separation refers to when the layers of a 3D printed object do not adhere properly to one another. This can happen during the printing process, resulting in a weak and poorly finished object.

Symptoms of layer separation include weak or brittle sections of the object, visible gaps or inconsistencies in the surface of the object, and the object breaking or falling apart easily. In more severe cases, the object may not even finish printing as the layers will separate during the process.

3d print layer separation

Causes of 3D printing layer separation

3D printing layer separation can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Insufficient adhesion between layers: This can occur if the build plate is dirty or not level, or if the wrong type of bed surface is being used.
  • Incorrect print temperature: The temperature of the hot end and bed should be set correctly for the material being used. If the temperature is too low, the filament may not adhere properly to the previous layer, resulting in layer separation.
  • Incorrect bed leveling: The bed should be level and the distance between the nozzle and the bed should be consistent. If the bed is not level or the distance is not consistent, the filament may not be laid down correctly, resulting in layer separation. So, it's recommended to use an auto leveling 3D printer
  • Incorrect flow rate: The flow rate of the filament should be set correctly to ensure that the layers are being laid down correctly. If the flow rate is too high, the filament may be extruded too quickly, causing the layers to separate.
  • Over-extrusion: If the printer is extruding too much filament, it can cause the layers to separate.
  • Incorrect slicing settings: The slicing settings should be adjusted to ensure that the layers are being printed at the correct height and thickness. If the slicing settings are incorrect, the layers may be too thin or too thick, causing them to separate.
  • Filament Quality: Using low-quality filament can also cause layer separation, as it may not have the proper properties for adhesion. It's important to keep in mind that it can be a combination of these factors that cause layer separation and that it's important to check all the possible causes to solve the problem.

Additionally, it is important to notice that the symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the separation, for example in some cases the separation can be seen only in certain areas of the print, while in other cases the separation can be seen across the entire print.

In any case, it is important to troubleshoot the issue and make the necessary adjustments to prevent it from happening again.

How to troubleshoot 3D printing layer separation

Now that you understand the various causes of layer separation, it's time to troubleshoot the problem. Here are some steps that you can take to troubleshoot layer separation:

1. Bed Adhesion

Another factor that can contribute to layer separation is bed adhesion. If you find that your prints are sticking too well to the bed—which can cause parts of them to rip off if they’re removed—this can lead to weaker parts due to excess stress on the part during removal.

To fix this issue, adjust your bed leveling and/or try a different build surface material like painter’s tape or Kapton tape which provides better adhesion than a glass plate alone. Additionally, reduce your print speed slightly so there isn’t as much pressure when removing your print from the bed.

2. Temperature Settings

One way to prevent layer separation is by ensuring your temperature settings are correct. If they’re too high, the filament won’t bond together properly, leading to weak spots and potentially causing your print to break apart later on down the line.

Most filaments will come with specific temperature settings printed on their packaging; make sure you follow these closely so that you don’t run into any problems during the printing process.

3. Speed Settings

Another factor that can contribute to layer separation is speed settings that are too fast for your printer model. This generally applies more when working with larger objects since smaller objects tend not to have any issues with higher speeds.

That being said, it’s still a good idea to double-check your speed settings before starting a print just in case. Generally speaking, slower speeds will result in better-quality prints overall, so it pays off in more ways than one!

4. Check Your Extruder Nozzle

Finally, it’s important to check your 3D printer extruder nozzle for any blockages or debris that may be causing poor filament flow and resulting in incomplete layers within a 3D print job. Check both sides of your nozzle for any obstructions and clean them with an appropriate cleaning solution if necessary.

You may also need to replace worn nozzles if they become clogged more frequently than usual—an increasingly common problem due to the high temperatures used in today’s printers which can wear down metal nozzles over time.

The 3D print first layer plays a major role in the overall quality and accuracy of the finished product. So make sure your 3D print first layer is perfect!


Layer separation is one of the most common issues encountered when 3D printing, but it doesn’t have to be something you have to deal with every time you use your printer!

By making sure your temperature and speed settings are correct, as well as checking for any other potential problems before starting a print, you should be able to avoid most instances of layer separation without having any major issues down the line. With a little bit of care and attention, you should be able enjoy all of the amazing things 3D printing has to offer!

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