Ender 3 Problems

So I just upgraded from my Monoprice Mini Delta, to an Ender 3. But I can’t for the life of me figure out how to make the first layer stick.

I’m using standard PLA, a Creality textured glass bed (so there shouldn’t be a need for adhesive), and I’ve leveled the bed several times over. Every time I try to print, the first layer comes out the same. At first, it looks to be working, but as the layers move in towards the center of the object, the extrusion lines get splotchy, until the entire print comes off the bed. I don’t see how this could be a leveling issue, as I’ve tried printing very small and very large parts with the same result.

I also don’t see how it could be a z-depth issue, because I’ve adjusted the depth up until the extruder head nearly drags on the print surface with the same problems at each 0.1mm interval.

I’m used to plug and play printers. But poor robotics students cannot be choosers :unamused:


What are you running for your nozzle and bed temps?

Also I still use an adhesive regardless. A glue stick works well but I personally prefer hairspray. Suave if you want to get specific.

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This is only 1 problem. I came here expecting 3. Sad panda.

So I can’t speak to this specific issue on an ender 3. I do think the lack of glue isn’t helping. In my experience, even when using a textured PEI or similar sheets, you’re still going to want a layer (at least) of glue. Clean it off regularly.


What slicer are you using? What are your settings for print bed adhesion? I have used an Ender 3 with the same setup for a few months without experiencing issues of that kind.

200 C Nozzle, 50C Bed.

I’ll give this a shot.

I’m using Creality. I just used the default profile that comes with Creality when you select “Creality Ender 3”


In my experience, the built in slicer is just not as well put together as something like Cura, which I use on my Ender. I also have the bed at 60 C, but that’s more of a personal choice. I’ve never used any sort of glue or spray, just the plain glass bed that you’re using. My other suggestion would be to make sure the big binder clips holding it down are spaced properly and actually doing their job.

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I run the extruder at 230c and bed at 65c. Those settings are without the glass bed so your results may vary. Either way, you should use some sort of an adhesive. Your print speed could also be a factor as well. My speed is 100

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You can get the nozzle too close. It will peal the first layer off the bed.

I use the Cura slicer and slicer profiles from Cura Profiles - CHEPclub

Good luck!


I’ve personally found a lot of success with prusaslicer on my CR-10, though there should be Ender 3 profiles too. I’ve found the best PLA temp combo to be 210 and 60, though that’s with a few system upgrades and in a somewhat humid environment (Florida). If possible, try changing your filament. I’ve had issues with the filament included with my printer, and the filament brand definitely has an affect on print quality (I use predominately Hatchbox, btw)

Few Things

  • The bed leveling springs should be screwed down pretty tight (not tightened all the way, but within 2 to 4 revolutions of the leveling knobs from it) because this makes the bed stay more rigidly in position. You might need to move your z limit switch up a little bit in order to make the bed be on the right plane relative to the nozzle when the springs are tighter.
  • Related, if you didn’t upgrade to the generally tighter yellow springs, I highly recommend doing so. Search for Ender yellow springs & you’ll find them.
  • Level the bed when it is fully heated up to temperature if not already doing so.
  • The heated aluminum bed underneath the glass may have a high center. Try leveling that bed without the glass on top. If the center is high, use tape or foil to shim up the corners/outside so the glass will rest on it with stability.

Could this lead to a hot spot in the center?

My thought was more about slight pivoting/instability of the glass, but it does seem like inconsistent contact could cause inconsistent heating. Corner clips should keep the beds fairly well mated… just thinking of things to try / rule out.

To the OP, I clean a glass bed with alcohol on microfiber cloth. This on a well leveled bed works for me for PLA (no glue or anything needed).

One more: see if the gantry is tightly connected to the vertical frame on the right side. If you can move it up and down a lot with the left side not moving, look up how to tighten the eccentric nuts there. I like to wedge something square between the bed and the gantry before tightening things down like that.

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I’ve been having really good luck with my Ender 3 pro. I am no expert, I just plugged it in and leveled and it worked without many adjustments needed. I’m not one of those enthusiasts that level within .001” or print upgrades or anything, I’m just a noob who got bored and bought one a few weeks ago. If I can figure it out, I am sure you can too

I suggest leveling the bed. What works best for me is when the first layer is slightly “squished”. The filament on the table should be decently flat, not semi circular. My bed isn’t even super level, but it’s enough to have anything in the center stick well

To adjust, I just printed a big circle and adjusted the bed on the fly until I got a nice even, squished first layer. If you get the first layer or two to stick, the rest shouldn’t have a problem

I used Cura for my software. 200C extruder and 60C bed. 70C bed works too

Edit: also note, I’m using the stock magnetic flexible build plate. No issues there. I know some people use glue sticks and glass beds or painters tape. I haven’t had an issue with the stock bed

Just make sure the magnetic plate thing isn’t rubbing on the side of the power supply or upright

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Did your printer come with an SD card w/ sample prints/g-code? If so, have you run any of those/did they have the same issues?

I’m more than happy to oblige.

Using some Suave worked a treat. The first layer now holds great, but I’m still seeing some strange behavior as the brim builds towards the middle. It almost looks like it’s over-extruding, and the layers begin to run into each other. This causes not only a splotchy brim, but also a slightly fatter first few layers.

You would think the suggested default settings would be better for such a popular printer…

Yeah, the SD card they gave me got corrupted within the first day, so I don’t have the sample gcode anymore. Probably my fault, still annoying though :roll_eyes:

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If you would like the sample g-code, it should be available on the creality support website

I assume so, and I may try that if I get the time.

Interesting. We also have an ender 3, and the SD card was corrupted several times within the first few days.

I’m sure this doesn’t help at all, but our prints out-of-the-box were top notch after leveling the bed. When we switched to a different filiment we had to adjust the nozzle temp because we were getting spiderwebs everywhere.

Is that supposed to be just a cube?

Ours lays down MUCH thinner layers than that. Of course, my son changed the settings to get a better surface finish.


Curious. I’ve been playing with the z-depth parameter some more (now that the first layer actually sticks.) It seems to be that the elephant’s foot (squishing of the first few layers) is actually being caused by the extruder being too low. I’ll do some more tests after work, but I’m definitely going to look into getting some sort of auto-bed-leveling system in the future. I’m not the kind of guy who enjoys tinkering with printers all that much.

Regardless of how you are leveling the bed, a good test is to see if you can adjust it so that a piece of paper will just barely get pinched between the nozzle and bed at different points around the build platform. Not only is this a good default distance for most printers, but it also helps you find warps in the bed.