Stop Your 3D Prints from Moving with These Tips

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When it comes to 3D printing, one of the most common problems users face is print movement. This can occur when the print bed or the object being printed shifts during the printing process, resulting in a failed print. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent print movement and ensure a successful print.

First and foremost, it’s important to make sure your printer is properly calibrated. This includes leveling the bed and ensuring the correct nozzle height. A poorly calibrated printer can cause print movement, so taking the time to properly calibrate your machine is crucial. Additionally, using a high-quality filament and ensuring your printer is running at the correct temperature can also help prevent print movement. Finally, using a brim or raft can provide additional adhesion and stability to your print, reducing the likelihood of movement.

Understanding the Problem

Causes of 3D Print Movement

One of the most common problems with 3D printing is print movement. There are several reasons why this can happen. One of the most common causes is incorrect bed leveling. If the bed is not level, the print head will not be able to move smoothly, which can cause the print to shift or move during printing.

Another cause of 3D print movement is incorrect print settings. If the print speed is set too high, the print head may move too quickly, causing the print to shift or move. Additionally, if the temperature is set too high, the plastic may become too soft, causing the print to warp or move.

Effects of 3D Print Movement

The effects of 3D print movement can be significant. If the print moves during printing, it can cause the print to become misaligned or warped. This can result in a print that is unusable or requires significant post-printing work to correct.

In addition to affecting the quality of the print, print movement can also damage the printer itself. If the print head collides with the print bed or other parts of the printer, it can cause damage that may require repairs or replacement parts.

To avoid these issues, it is important to understand the causes of 3D print movement and take steps to prevent it from occurring. By ensuring proper bed leveling and print settings, you can help ensure that your prints come out correctly and your printer stays in good condition.

Solutions for Preventing 3D Print Movement

When 3D printing, it can be frustrating to have your prints move or shift during the printing process. However, there are several solutions you can use to prevent this from happening. Here are some techniques you can try:

Adhesion Techniques

One of the most common reasons for 3D print movement is poor adhesion to the print bed. To improve adhesion, you can try using one of the following techniques:

  • Printing on a heated bed: Heating the print bed can help the first layer of your print stick to the bed more firmly.
  • Using a bed adhesive: Applying an adhesive to the print bed, such as hairspray, glue stick, or specialized 3D printing adhesives, can also help improve adhesion.
  • Using a textured print bed: Textured print beds, such as those made of PEI or BuildTak, can provide a surface that helps prints stick better.

Bed Leveling

Another reason for 3D print movement is an uneven print bed. To ensure your print bed is level, you can try:

  • Manual bed leveling: Using a piece of paper or a feeler gauge to level the bed manually.
  • Automatic bed leveling: Some 3D printers have an automatic bed leveling feature that uses sensors to level the bed for you.

Temperature Control

Temperature can also affect 3D print movement. Here are some tips for controlling temperature:

  • Printing in a temperature-controlled environment: Avoid printing in a room that is too cold or too hot. Ideally, the room temperature should be around 20-25°C.
  • Using a heated enclosure: If your printer doesn’t have a heated chamber, you can try building an enclosure to keep the temperature stable.
  • Using a fan: If your prints are overheating, you can try using a fan to cool them down.

Print Speed Control

Printing too fast can cause 3D print movement. Here are some tips for controlling print speed:

  • Reducing print speed: If you’re experiencing print movement, try reducing the print speed.
  • Using a slower first layer: Printing the first layer slower can help improve adhesion and prevent movement.

Support Structures

Finally, using support structures can also help prevent 3D print movement. Support structures can help hold up overhanging parts of your print and prevent them from sagging or moving during the printing process.

In conclusion, there are several techniques you can use to prevent 3D print movement. By improving adhesion, leveling the bed, controlling temperature and print speed, and using support structures, you can achieve more successful 3D prints.

Troubleshooting Techniques

Identifying the Problem

When your 3D prints start moving or shifting, it can be frustrating and time-consuming. However, before you can solve the issue, you need to identify the problem. Here are some common issues that can cause 3D prints to move:

  • Incorrect bed leveling
  • Poor bed adhesion
  • Inconsistent extrusion
  • Overheating
  • Mechanical issues

Solving the Problem

Once you have identified the problem, you can start working on a solution. Here are some troubleshooting techniques to help you keep your 3D prints from moving:

Bed Leveling

Make sure your bed is level by using a leveling tool or a piece of paper. Adjust the bed screws until the nozzle is the right distance from the bed. This will help ensure that the first layer of your print adheres properly.

Bed Adhesion

If your print is not sticking to the bed, try using a different type of bed surface or applying a thin layer of glue stick or hairspray to the bed. You can also try increasing the bed temperature or slowing down the first layer speed.


Inconsistent extrusion can cause your print to shift or move. Make sure your extruder is clean and free of any clogs. Also, check your filament diameter and adjust your extrusion multiplier if necessary.


If your printer is overheating, it can cause your print to warp or move. Make sure your printer is in a well-ventilated area and check that your cooling fan is working properly.

Mechanical Issues

If none of the above solutions work, it could be a mechanical issue with your printer. Check your belts, pulleys, and motors to make sure everything is properly tightened and aligned. You may also want to consider upgrading your printer’s hardware.

By following these troubleshooting techniques, you can keep your 3D prints from moving and ensure a successful print every time.


In conclusion, keeping a 3D print from moving during the printing process can be a challenging task. However, by following the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you can significantly reduce the chances of your print moving or warping.

Firstly, ensure that your printer is on a stable surface and is levelled correctly. A slight tilt can cause the print to shift during the process. Secondly, use a suitable adhesive to help the print stick to the build plate. A popular adhesive is a glue stick or hairspray.

Moreover, using a brim or raft can provide extra support to the print, making it less likely to move during printing. Additionally, using a heated bed can help the print stick to the build plate better.

Lastly, ensure that the printer’s environment is suitable for printing. Avoid placing the printer in a drafty area or a room with fluctuating temperatures. This can cause the print to warp or move during printing.

By following these tips, you can increase the chances of a successful 3D print and reduce the need for reprints.