What Does Ideal Wall Quality Look Like in 3D Printing?

Hello everyone,

I would Love to see pictures of your best quality print !

I’ve been specifically focusing :face_with_monocle: on achieving the best possible print quality with my machine. Despite numerous tests, calibrations, and adjustments, I’m noticing that the print quality, especially concerning visible horizontal lines, isn’t living up to my expectations.

I’ve experimented with various settings adjustments, including, calibrating my filament, testing various flow speed, reducing print speed, and altering the order of printing outer and inner walls, among others. Despite these efforts, I still see room for improvement. :face_exhaling:

I primarily work with PLA Matte from Bambulab and have been sticking to the default settings as well as my customized ones that yield the best results in my view. However, I’m beginning to wonder if my standards are too high or if there’s still something I’m missing. :thinking:

I would greatly appreciate your insights on the following :smiley::

  1. Are visible horizontal lines something to be expected to a certain degree, or is it an indicator of a need for further optimization?
  2. For those with experience using the P1P, X1C, or P1S, how do you rate your print quality, especially when using PLA? Are there specific settings or adjustments you’d recommend?
  3. I’m keen to see examples of the best print quality you’ve achieved, especially with PLA. It would be incredibly helpful to understand what’s possible and perhaps adjust my expectations accordingly.

Your feedback and any advice you can offer would be immensely valuable to me. I’m eager to learn from this community and improve my 3D printing skills. Thank you in advance for your time and assistance.

Filament tried : Sunlu PLA, Bambu PLA basic, Bambu PLA matte, Copymaster, eSun matte PLA, Geetech Marble, Overture Marble, esun PLA+.
They all have the same issu with horizontal lines visible.

Looking forward to your responses!

As you can see there are a little improvement by reducing the layer height but I belive that is not the solution

There are some links where people are talking about the same kind of issue without finding a solution :smiley:

https://forum.bambulab.com/t/bad-print-quality-after-latest-update/48505 https://forum.bambulab.com/t/why-does-my-print-look-like-this/49666


  1. The FDM 3D printing process is prone to leaving the horizontal lines. Also, they are more or less noticeable depending on the picture angle, light, etc.

  2. Up to some limit, there are indeed methods to overcome this; despite many being generic (e.g. lowering layer height), the correct method(s) depends on the cause;

  3. Your standards are not high. As an X1 owner, I would say something is not working correctly with your machine. I would expect better results with default profiles, and I can ensure that a simple flow rate and PA calibration result in excellent-quality prints.
    Even so, the best quality print will involve many other calibration steps, but you will address minor details at that stage. Additionally, with the printer and filament calibrated, you can achieve an outstanding wall look with PLA.CF filament

  4. Thank you for the detailed exposition of your issue.
    Regarding point 2, there are many causes for this to happen. You already did some valuable tests, but I advise changing a single parameter each time. Additionally, at least for calibration, keep with the stock profiles to facilitate the cause identification.

At first sight, it looks over extrusion. Is the filament dry, and is the flow rate and pressure advance calibrated? If so, automatic or manual method?
Are the layers identically noticeable on both the x and y axes?
Is the printer with the latest firmware?


I think your prints look poor compared with the results I get on an X1C.

To try diagnose the cause, and improve the quality, here’s a link to a simple approach that I proposed to try help someone else: Sudden PETG issues troubleshooting - #15 by CanDo

Use standard BL PLA and an external spool that doesn’t drag, and print the test block with standard settings. It’s a quick, cheap way to iterate until the block is perfect. Then you can try other filaments, nozzles and settings.

Perhaps this will help.

Hello, and first of all, thank you so much for taking the time to assist me with my issue :smiley:. I appreciate your guidance and will definitely follow your advice to see if there’s any improvement. Indeed, the visibility of the flaws does seem to depend on the lighting conditions. I have a YouTube video where I showcase the issue in more detail.

Here’s the link I sent to bambu support to get a better understanding:
[YouTube video link showing my issue].
Is it just me having too high expectations, or is this normal? Please, let me know. :sob:

I wanted to clarify that I have been conducting various tests by altering a single parameter at a time. However, for the sake of clarity and readability on this forum, I chose not to list every single test I conducted.

Today, I re-performed another flow rate calibration and a K-factor calibration to show you the results. It turns out that the default values are already the most optimal for my setup. I conducted the calibration manually since I own a P1S printer.

I hope this provides a comprehensive overview of the steps I’ve taken based on your suggestions. I look forward to any further advice you might have.

Thank you for your response! I’ve actually already tried using basic PLA from Bambu Lab, specifically the orange color. I noticed that the defect is less pronounced with the basic PLA compared to the matte, but the horizontal lines remain visible (I’ve attached a photo for reference). I appreciate the link you shared, and I’ll be printing those test blocks for my future tests.

Regarding your suggestion about using an external spool, I haven’t considered that before as I’ve exclusively been using the AMS. Do you think that could be contributing to the issue? Your insights are incredibly helpful, and I’m eager to explore every possible solution to improve my print quality.

Walid, your calibration looks correct. Your layer lines do not like extrusion problems to me - i.e. not a setting.

The walls on my test block on an X1C are so smooth that they almost look and feel like an injection moulded part - this is with BL PLA (or a non-BL brand, or BL PETG), standard 0.4mm nozzle, textured PEI plate, 0.2mm standard process settings. Literally, out-the-box settings produce astonishingly good results.


I am sure you can figure this out.

  1. If testing using an external spool prints the same rough sides, then at least you’ve eliminated the AMS as the cause of extra resistance/drag on the filament.

  2. Something must therefore be shifting in the horizontal/XY planes for the different layers not to align consistently.

  3. Check for looseness in the gantry, print head, belts - check all the screws are tight (be careful not to overtighten). Check the WiKi for how to inspect and set the belt tension. Any looseness in belt tension, or perhaps even over-tension, will translate to horizontal “variations” from one layer to another.

An entirely different issue, not related to the layer lines, is perhaps damp filament:
There were a few bumps/“zits” on the parts in your YouTube video. This is most commonly caused by damp filament - the moisture in the filament “explodes” as it is suddenly heated to around 215C and one can visualise what this will do to the thin bead of heated filament. Dry the PLA according to the WiKi instructions just to eliminate that factor. More exotic filaments than PLA are even more prone to humidity/moisture/dampness, so it’s best to test with PLA. But I don’t think that dampness is the major contributor to your layer lines.

I think that the layer lines are due to a mechanical issue.

1 Like

I looked and relooked at your print photos and videos and also read other topics a few times:

  1. The problem is more prominent with some filaments than others; this can be solely optical (photo and colour) or poor filament conditioning and calibration—other photos show good-quality prints.
  2. Yet, I can identify a common aspect: the inconsistency in the printed layers.
  3. I cannot be sure about the cause, mainly because you already assessed the most likely causes of the printer’s mechanical calibration without success or any noticeable change (correct?).
  4. If there is an issue with the control electronics or main components (e.g. the extruder) unless you have spares, the best solution is to contact BL as soon as possible so they can verify the printer logs;
  5. As your brother has an identical printer, which works well, you may try to swap some components to see if it improves;
  6. Some things that you may check/try if you haven’t yet:
  • how stiff is your printer stand? Z-banding can be easily caused by vibration;
  • you mention BL PLA has better results; your layer inconsistency can be caused by cooling and layer time. You may also try to print slowly (use the silent mode) ;

Thank you for your thorough analysis and suggestions regarding the issues I’m facing with my 3D printer. Indeed, the appearance problem persists regardless of the filament type used, and I have already tried calibrating various parameters one at a time, although preliminary tests showed that the default settings were the most effective. I have tested the printer directly on the floor, and the defect was still present. However, I ordered anti-vibration feet last night to test this, and I will keep you updated on the results.

Among your suggestions, the idea of swapping parts between my printer and my brother’s to identify the problem is particularly insightful, and I plan to proceed with this approach. As for the layer inconsistency, I have already tried printing at a very low overall speed of 30mm/s, and the problem remains the same as at 200mm/s.

I appreciate you taking the time to think of solutions and for your smart suggestion regarding the interchange of parts.

Thank you for your detailed response and insights. I took your advice and dried my new filament again for 8 hours at 45 degrees Celsius. I had already done this previously, but I wanted to be absolutely certain that moisture was not the issue.

Also, unfortunately, even after testing the printer without the AMS, the problem persists, which at least helps to rule out these factors as the cause.

One thing I still need to do is thoroughly check every screw, as you suggested. I’ve done this before, but I’m not completely sure if I’ve checked each one as carefully as I should have. I’ll look for a tutorial on this to ensure I’m doing it correctly and will perform this check during my next inspection.

Thank you for taking the time to help me. Your messages have been incredibly valuable, and I appreciate your effort to assist me in troubleshooting this issue.

Having two identical printers gives you a lot of opportunities for testing and calibration.
I have nothing against the floor, but it’s not an optimal solution. Typical vibration isolation methods include adding a mass; I advise using a heavy slab and foam for consistent results.
The concept: https://youtu.be/y08v6PY_7ak
You don’t need to use identical material, e.g. I use a marble slab and a foam mat.


@walidezza Putting the printer on the floor will rule out whether the surface that your printer is on is moving around and contributing, but I doubt it as I have seen countless printers of all brands print fine on tables that wobble.

When an X1C printer is moved to a different locations/surface, the motor noise cancellation should be re-run to optimise noise cancellation as the harmonic damping mass has likely changed. But this is unlikely to solve the layer shifting described.

The issue described is not noise, so anti-vibration feet or putting the printer on a concrete block does not solve your problem directly. Comparing a Prusa Mk2 from a test 3 years ago with an X1 Carbon is like comparing apples and bananas, as the purpose of the block and foam were to solve a noise problem, not layer shifting, and the Prusa Mk 2 did not have the harmonic noise cancellation of the X1C.

If (1) the latest firmware (2) the latest software (3) standard BL PLA (4) standard settings are being used and layer shifting is experienced on a simple test block, then the cause is most likely mechanical slack or resistance in the system somewhere.

  1. Toothed idler pulleys loose on the stepper motor shafts, causing backlash in the belt drive and carriage movement
  2. Smooth idler pulleys loose, causing wobble on the shaft and varying backlash in the belt drive and carriage movement
  3. Seized bearing in idler pulleys, causing excessive resistance in the belt/carriage movement (although there would probably be squeaking or other bearing noise)
  4. Belt slack, causing backlash in the belt drive
  5. Belt over-tension, causing excessive resistance in the carriage movement and therefore a lagging carriage movement
  6. Loose stepper motor(s), causing backlash in the belt drive and carriage movement
  7. Loose screws/bolts somewhere in the entire mechanism, causing backlash in the belt drive and carriage movement - check that the nozzle is firmly screwed to the print head, and it is firmly screwed to the carriage, and the carriage doesn’t have slack on the rods. Systematically work through all fixtures from the nozzle to the stepper motors.
  8. Has any lubricant been applied to the belts or idler pulleys as this may cause a belt slip or a layer shift (mentioned here).

Check the maintenance notes in the Wiki here.

Another test that could be done: Print the small test block from the “How to fine-tune flow rate?” section of the flow rate tuning WiKi article - one block in each corner of the bed and one in the center. Print one block at a time, not all five using “by layer”. Label them and compare if they differ front-to back or left-to-right of the bed. This is a quick test of whether the fault occurs all over the bed or only in certain zones. Perhaps do this on the other printer too, using the same spool of filament, nozzle size, settings, etc and compare results.

Swapping mechanical components between your printer and the other one may be misleading, as dismantling and reassembling the printers may solve any of the issues above by tightening a loose component and leading to the incorrect conclusion that a “faulty” component has been found.

Swapping electronic components (boards, power supply) may (although highly unlikely) expose something obscure. It is more likely that if a board is faulty that there are entirely different fault symptoms than layer shifting, or the printer is simple dead.

The steps above are the same principle of the diagnostic process that would be followed to determine the source of the described symptom if this was a giant Stratasys industrial FDM machine (although the drive mechanisms differ in some respects).

Added: Try the vase print test that @Olias describes here. where layer issues are also being discussed.

1 Like

Folks. While making sure the extruder and hot end screws were tight, I did notice that the head where bottom carbon rod passes through has a very tiny amount of free play that doesn’t exist with the top of the head where the top carbon rod passes through.

Can everyone please check this?

I’m at a loss as to what your problem is but looking at your examples, there definately is a problem. I print boxes with straight walls and if the output was what you have I wouldn’t be selling them.

I just did some in placf and there are zero layer lines to be seen anywhere except the radius at the top and bottom.

All have been printed on an X1C 0.4 hardened nozzel at 0.2 layer height and stock settings.
One thing I will say is that I live in North QLD. Ambient temp is around 30C and 80% humidity. I have my AMS inside a box with a small dehumidifier, the temp in there is around 45-50C at about 40% humidity all the time and I store most of my open filament in there.

1 Like

Is the Aussie emblem lasered on?

Yes mate, fibre laser. It works on darker colours but not on light.

1 Like

The first photo in your post shows exactly the problem we’re all complaining about and probably worse than average.


Hello, I just read about all your problems you have with bambulab. I have a sovol sv06 and I am experiencing the exact same problems, my walls look exactly the same in the same inconsistent way. I have spend months trying things to solve this problem, including everything you all have already tried. I think is that the only way to find out what is going on is to replace all part off the printer piece by piece until the problematic part occurs. I dont have the money for this, so I am looking forward to any people who will do this.

I found out that the problem gets worse on parts with multiple walls or parts with complex geometries

1 Like

No offence intended, but a $199 Sovol SV06 just will never, ever print like a $1,449 Bambu Lab X1 Carbon, or a P1 series or even a $399 A1 Mini.

Ultra-budget, beginner printers like the SV06 have well,… ultra-budget print quality and most print inferior to a 15-year-old MakerBot. The feature list and materials that can be printed for the Sovol SV06 reads like that of an X1C, which is stretching expectations somewhat beyond realistic for the device and the materials with which it can print.

More often than not though, with all 3D printers, the cause of print quality problems is due to the following:

  1. damp filament
  2. build plate adhesions issues (dirty build plate or no glue on the build plate)
  3. build plate temperature (if it can even be heated)
  4. poor part orientation
  5. inappropriate part design
  6. printing too fast
  7. insufficient or too much cooling

When those have all systematically and conclusively been eliminated, and tested using the same print test artefact, then understanding how the slicers and calibration of some extrusion settings work may help improve print quality, particularly with “complex” materials (flexible filaments, high temperature filaments, filaments with carbon or glass fibres - although the success of these on ultra-budget printers is bleak without heated beds and closed chambers).

Swapping parts is an expensive and time-consuming exercise that may prove frustrating, especially with “base quality” components, and not the best place to start. And if the printer is under warranty…

That said, a lot of fun and learning can still be had from ultra-budget 3D printers. I hope you enjoy it enough that you choose to upgrade some day and enjoy an expanded capability.

1 Like

I have the same walls problem on the A1

Thanks for your help, altough I do agree with you that x1c quality can not be expected from a sovol, I still wanted to share my thoughts on this subject, since the problematic part or setting on your bambu’s might als be causing this problem on my sovol. Since I personally dont think the xyz motion system has anything to do with this problem (the inconsistencies do not have any repeating patterns in x,y or z plane) I hope to to find out whats wrong then on my extruder or hotend assembly.

All your suggestions have already been tested, no succes.

I am thinking about replacing my extruder gearbox with an high quality orbiter v2, maybe that makes the difference. I do not suspect my hotend at the moment since changing speed doesn’t make any difference in print quality at all, and with the hotend being problematic, speed changes should make a difference I think.