The problems of my Mendel printer and most other 3d printers

Posted by Andy on May 23, 2016 Tags: development design 3d printer

Mendel is my first printer back to 2013; I love it. But quickly, I found lots of inconveniences when using my printer, and those problems are very common.

As a maker, I like to tear things down and fix somethings. But the 3d printer is my tool to build something; I don't want that has lots of problems every day. I need more time to make my designs and do creative thinkings. I will try to list the problems that3d printers always have.

Jammed Nozzle   

Jamming is one of the most common problems in my Mendel printer and maybe is too in your printer. This issue is difficult to solve because of the temperature is too high to handle. So lots of the hotends suppliers are working on this problem. We've designed several versions to minify this challenge. 

Here is one of our design, it's not perfect, and about nozzle and hotend designs, we will talk more about this topics later.

Low Speed​

My Mendel printer is based on Cartesian coordinate systems. The platform and heatbed are located on the Y axis, and the extruder is located on the X axis. Those heavy things add too much payload to the motor. So the printer can't move very fast or will cause missing steps, shifting layers. 
To solve this issue, we will use Delta coordinate system. So there are not too much weight on the moving parts. About why Delta printer and the most difference between those two type of printers, we will talk about later.

Layer shifting

Layer shifting is a complicated problem, may be caused by many situations, like too heavy on the moving parts, speed is too high, acceleration is not proper, the print head is crashed to something, etc. So to alleviate this problem, we must improve the whole system's stability. I will review all the aspects of Sophia.


Warping is a big issue for ABS filament, for PLA it's better. Adding heatbed will reduce this problem. But not necessary for PLA printing. I don't like ABS. Maybe you want to print in ABS. So we will make heatbed be an option. And we have great glue that will prevent the print parts from warping.

The first layer don't stick

The first layer is the most crucial fundamental to a successful print. Frist layer's distance between the print head and the platform is the key factor. My first printer Mendel and most of other printers are using hand leveling approach to making the print head are at the right height. We are going to add an auto-level system to Sophia.

Stringing or Oozing

When the material is melted, the nozzle will leak some of the material even without extruding. So when the printer is printing, stringing and oozing will happen. Normally, this is not a big problem, except adding the surface not clean. We will not take this issue for granted.