PLA errors, ideas?

Hi All,

I’m seeing some layer errors when I print this vase. See pictures please.

As you can see, some of the layers are very smooth and uniform and some of the layers are not. Does anyone with experience know why this would be happening.

I’m using the Lulzbot 3mm PLA filament. In this case, yellow but I’m having the same problem with the translucent blue.
The nozzle temp is set at 190 C and the hotbed is set at 60 C
You can find the .stl of the vase here,
I printed using the Slic3r profile available on the Lulzbot site, “fine_PLA_no-support_pt35nzl_pt14layer”
However, I changed the top and bottom solid layers to 5 solid bottom/4 solid top.

Any input or advice is greatly appreciated.


I’m no expert, but my first thought is that maybe your hobbed bolt is not gripping the filament well enough? It looks like there are little gaps. Try extruding a stream of filament into the air and watch to see if it has any gaps. If so, you might need to adjust the tension of the two bolts on the idler

I checked this before and after the print and everything seemed fine. When I extrude 100 mm of filament, it comes out smooth and uniform.

Try the print again, but using the medium setting. When running the fine setting the lower layer height requires your printer to have the extruder idler tension that much more spot on.

That worked, thanks.


Glad to see it. You should try the translucent PLA filaments next, and use spiral mode. You can get some great results:

I have some of the blue translucent filament but I have been having a few problems with it. I’ll give it a try though.
What do you mean by “spiral mode”?

Spiral mode will print your object with only one perimeter, in one continuous extrusion, with a z axis movement that constantly and slowly rises. Instead of the z move happening once per layer, it moves constantly upwards, albeit slowly.


Cura: Full Settings > Expert Settings > Black Magic > Spiralize the outer contour


What PLA is that? I tried looking for it on the Lulzbot store and couldn’t find anything resembling what you are showing in the picture.



I tried printing the vase with the translucent blue PLA and using the ‘spiralize’ function. There’s quite a seam that shows up down the length of the vase. The seam is where the extruder would change direction during the print. I think the apparent random pattern came out pretty interesting.

Another thing that happened is that the vase isn’t solid. Instead of infilling the wall, it extruded an inner wall and an outer wall. It may be hard to tell from the picture but there is a gap between the inner and outer wall.

In the end, this one leaks and doesn’t hold water so it’s back to the drawing board.

Functions like spiralize work best with models that have a wall thickness of your nozzle extrusion width (or close) or models that are completely solid. You’d turn on spiral and turn your infill down to 0%.