A 3D printer blob of death is a dreaded occurrence for any 3D printer owner. It shows that something has gone wrong with your printing and can often lead to a ruined print. However, what exactly is a 3D printer blob of death?
The 3D printer blob of death is a glob of filament that forms on the print bed, print, or nozzle during a 3D printing job. The blob often causes problems with the printing process, hurting output quality.
This article will explain the 3D printer blob of death, what causes it, and the consequences of having one. Read on to learn more about this phenomenon and how to prevent it.
Things To Know About the 3D Printer Blob of Death
Generally, it’s crucial to be aware of any physical abnormalities or changes in your 3D prints as they come off the printer. In addition to common signs of problems, like oozing or stringing, you may also encounter the dreaded 3D printer blob of death.
Because of that, it’s crucial to have some insights into this phenomenon, its causes, and prevention measures. Let’s look at these in detail:
1. What Is a 3D Printer Blob of Death?
A 3D printer blob of death is a lump or glob of filament that forms during a 3D print job. It often results when molten filament leaks from the nozzle and solidifies on the model. It can be small or large, and it may cause the entire print to fail or damage the 3D printer.
Typical signs of a blob of death in 3D printing include:
- A glob of filament on the print
- Broken pieces of your 3D printed object are attached to the nozzle
- Filament leaking from the nozzle
- Molten filament in the extruder
- Inability to extrude filament
2. What Causes a 3D Printer Blob of Death?
The primary causes of 3D printer blobs of death are insufficient bed adhesion or incorrect temperature settings. If your filament does not adhere to the bed, parts may come off and get stuck to the nozzle. If the temperature is set too high, it can also cause the filament to spread and form blobs.
There are a few other causes of 3D printer blobs of death, including:
- Jamming the filament in the extruder: Jammed filament can cause it to get stuck and overheat, leading to a blob of death.
- Using incorrect filament: If you’re not using the correct type of filament for your 3D printer, it can cause blobs to form. Therefore, you should always use quality filament compatible with your 3D printer.
- Not cooling the print: If the 3D printed object isn’t cooled properly, it can lead to blobs forming on the print.
- Dirty or clogged nozzle: A dirty or clogged nozzle can also cause blobs to form due to a lack of filament flow.
- Damaged hot end: A damaged hot end or residue inside the hot end blocking the filament flow can also lead to filament leakage and blobs of death.
- Incorrectly adjusted belts or pulleys: Incorrectly adjusted belts or pulleys can lead to a wobble in the filament, which can cause blobs.
3. The Consequences of a 3D Printer Blob of Death
Have you ever considered what could happen if your 3D printer had a blob of death? As the name suggests, it’s not a good thing.
Here are a few consequences of a 3D printer blob of death:
It Ruins Your Prints
A 3D printer blob of death can often ruin an entire print. If the lump is large, it can cover the whole object and make it impossible to finish.
Even if the blob isn’t giant, it can often cause distortion or imperfections in your models. These errors can be incredibly frustrating if you’ve spent hours or even days printing a model only to have it ruined by a blob of death.
It Can Damage Your Hot End and Thermistor Wire
A 3D printer blob of death can also damage your 3D printer. If the lump is large, it can clog the nozzle or jam the filament in the extruder, causing it to overheat and damage the hot end. Besides, you may accidentally damage the thermistor wire if you don’t take precautions when removing the blob.
It Can Cause Inability To Extrude Filament
If you have a 3D printer blob of death, you will likely experience problems extruding filament. Notably, the filament may not flow smoothly, making printing difficult. In most cases, you may have to take your printer apart to clear the nozzle, which can be a pain, especially if you are in the middle of a print job.
Because of that, you are likely to spend more time and money on repairs. So, blobs are inconvenient, especially when working on a tight deadline.
It Can Cause Filament Leakage
Extruder malfunction is one of the most common consequences of a 3D printer blob of death. When the extruder clogs with filament, it can stop working correctly. This blockage can often lead to filament leakage and even more blobs.
Note: If you have these problems, it’s best to take your 3D printer to a professional for repairs.
It Can Cause a Fire Hazard
Most 3D printing filaments are combustible. When a blob of death forms, it can often heat up and catch fire. So, the blob of death is not only dangerous, but it can also damage your 3D printer.
Therefore, if you spot blobs, it’s essential to keep all potential ignition sources, such as cigarettes and open flames, away from the printer.
4. How To Clean Up a 3D Printer Blob of Death
Now that you know the consequences of having a 3D printer blob of death, you’re probably wondering how to clean it up. If so, here are the steps you need to take:
- Set the temperature to the minimum filament extrusion temperature. Using a lower temp will help prevent the filament from melting the layers you have already printed, preventing a blob-forming clog in the nozzle.
- Turn off the printer and unplug it from the power source.
- Clean any residual filament from the nozzle, build plate, and other printer parts with hot soapy water or isopropyl alcohol.
- Wipe down the print bed and nozzle with a paper towel or cloth. Alternatively, you can use dental floss to cut the blob.
- Replace the filament spool and reload the printer with a new filament spool.
Caution: Be very careful when removing the blob, as you don’t want to damage the hot end or thermistor wire.
5. Tips on Preventing Blobs in Your 3D Prints
To prevent blobs from forming in your 3D prints, you can try the following tips:
- Watch your printer. Most blobs of death occur in the first few layers of a print when the filament has not yet firmly adhered to the print bed. So, be sure to watch your printer, at least for the first few layers of every print, to catch the blob of death early and avoid damaging your printer.
- Use a quality filament. Poor-quality filaments are more likely to form blobs. When buying filament, always do your research to find the best brands.
- Check the filament diameter. Make sure that the filament diameter is compatible with your 3D printer. If it’s not, you’re likely to experience more blobs.
- Calibrate your printer. It’s essential to calibrate your printer before each print. Doing so will help ensure that the filament flows smoothly.
- Adjust the printing temperature. Blobs are more likely to form if the temperature is too high or low. Try adjusting it to the recommended range for your filament type.
- Use a cooling fan. A cooling fan can help cool the filament as it extrudes, reducing the chances of blobs forming. For example, if you have an Ender 3 printer, these Ender 3 Original 4010 Fans from Amazon.com will come in handy. They are affordable and work great.
Additionally, you should watch the following video for tips on getting cleaner prints:
As you can see, having a 3D printer blob of death can cause various problems. It’s essential to be aware of these issues and take the necessary precautions to avoid them.
By following the tips in this article, you can help to prevent blobs from forming in your prints. If you are not sure how to do this, consult with the experts at your local 3D printing store.
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I started 3D printing since 2013 and have learned a lot since then. Because of this I want to share my knowledge of what I have learned in the past years with the community. Currently I own 2 Bambulab X1 Carbon, Prusa SL1S and a Prusa MK3S+. Hope you learn something from my blog after my years of experience in 3D printing.