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How To Fix a 3D Printer Bed That Won’t Heat Up

It is frustrating when your 3D printer bed is not heating up when you want to use your printer. But, it is not hard to fix this issue, and we detailed the steps you need to take to fix it. 

Here’s how to fix in 3D printer bed that won’t heat up:

  1. Make sure the bed is not heating.
  2. Check the printer’s wires.
  3. Check the thermal runaway protection.
  4. Try other troubleshooting fixes.

These steps will help you fix your 3D printer bed that won’t heat up. And I have some additional resources to help you troubleshoot your 3D printer bed and any other issues you may have with your 3D printer. 

1. Make Sure the Bed Is Not Heating

First, make sure your 3D printer bed is actually not heating. Sometimes it may just be heating slowly or not heating to as high of a temperature as you were expecting. 

Your 3D printer should have a light or screen to signify when it is heating up, and its set temperature. Just because your screen says your printer bed is not heating or does not feel like it is heated does not mean it is not. Check the print bed yourself to see if it is heated after a few minutes. 

Most print beds are kept between 122 °F (50 °C) and 212 °F (100 °C). If you usually have your print bed heated to the higher end of that range, but it ends up being lowered for any reason, you may not realize that your print bed is heated since it is lower than normal. 

Some 3D printers do not have heated printed beds, so if your 3D printer is new, make sure the printer bed is supposed to heat. These are not very versatile 3D printers, so, if possible, you should get one with a heated printer bed. 

And, sometimes, the bed may just be heating slower than you are used to. Heating slowly does not mean anything is wrong with your 3D printer. But, if it continues to heat slowly, you should follow the steps in this article to get your printer bed heating at normal speeds. 

2. Check the Printer’s Wires

When your 3D printer bed is not heating, ensure all the wires are connected to the printer. An unplugged wire is a common reason that printer beds do not heat up, but all you need to do is plug it back in. 

But, what if your wire frayed and you need to fix it?

There are two options to fix your frayed cables. 

  • First, you can connect them back together with some electric tape. This method is the easiest, but you have to apply the tape in a tight, secure way; otherwise, it will not last long, and you will have to continue to fix it.
  • Or, you can use a wire splicing box printed from a 3D printer to put the wires back together. This safe option will keep your wires from falling apart again, but it only works if you have a 3D printer that can print a box for this method. Other than the 3D printer, all you need is glue, cable ties, a heat shrink tube, and a soldering iron.

You can see a quick tutorial on how to fix cables in a 3D printer using a wire splicing box in this video on Youtube from FunElectronicsToday:

Finally, sometimes a wire or two is in the wrong place, which is common with a 3D printer that you build on your own. 

When you build your 3D printer, you need to make sure you follow your instructions, so everything is in the right place. Otherwise, you will have difficulty getting the printer to work pro[erly, including having a printer bed that heats up.

This video on Youtube by Technivorous 3D Printing shows you how to check and fix your 3d printer’s wires:

3. Check the Thermal Runaway Protection

Next, ensure that the thermal runaway protection has not been triggered. Thermal runaway protection is a safety system that ensures your 3D printer does not continue heating higher than the temperature it is set to or erratically heats up.

When the thermal runaway protection system is triggered, it will shut down the 3D printer’s heating system, which means the printer bed will not heat up. If this happens, you need to restart your 3D printer if you want it to heat up again.

Now, you should never disable your thermal runaway protection, as this puts your 3D printer at risk of catching fire. But, if the protection system is triggered, it will shut down your 3D printer until it cools off, which could be why it is not heating.

4. Try Other Troubleshooting Fixes

Finally, if the three steps above do not help you fix your printer, you need to try other troubleshooting steps. 3D printers are complex electrical devices that can break in many different ways, and if they’re malfunctioning, you may or may not be able to diagnose the problem quickly without the help of a professional.

Thankfully, there are more comprehensive guides that can help you sort through potential problems with your printer.

For example, the book 3D Printer Troubleshooting Handbook by Johannes Wild (available on Amazon.com) will help you solve your 3D printer heating issues, in addition to over forty more common problems that you may come across. Each issue is explained in detail and has a step-by-step solution guide to help you fix anything in the least frustrating way possible.

Books like this are key for 3D printing hobbyists who want to be self-sufficient and keep their printers running without the help of paid professionals.

Final Thoughts

You may be annoyed when your 3D printer bed does not heat up, but there are easy fixes. Make sure your printer bed’s heat setting is on and is not just heating up very slowly. Then, check the wires to ensure they are not frayed or unplugged. Or finally, a high heat might enable your printer’s thermal runaway protection, which just means it needs to be restarted.