Dotted Layers

All troubleshooting pages are a work in progress.

Identifying Dotted Layers

Dotted layers are extremely obvious because they are extremely weak and can crack apart with only a little force. They look like lines of filament that aren’t fully formed.

Causes

While technically a symptom of under-extrusion, ruined layers are usually due to a problem that happens all at once, not something that has been going on for the length of your print. Typically, intermittent movements made by your printer, such as retractions or Z-Hops can be the cause. Alternatively, something happening to your filament itself can cause these kind of major issues.

Solutions

Retraction

Reduce your retraction distance

Z-Hop

Lower your Z-Hop distance

Filament

Check for tangles

Retraction

Dotted tracks can be caused by having an un-primed nozzle. If a retraction doesn’t happen as expected filament can ooze out of the nozzle and leave your nozzle un-primed for the next track it needs to print. This can lead to a small area of dotted filament. Too much retraction can compound this issue by sometimes leading to small clogs, which can ruin part of a layer.

Z-Hop

Similar to retraction, Z-Hop can leave down-time for filament to ooze out of your nozzle and cause dotted filament when the next island starts printing. Lower Z-Hop distance to reduce the amount of time needed to complete travel moves.

Filament

Outside of slicing settings, filament tangling can cause intermittent extrusion problems.