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Extruder noises

Last updated 5 months ago
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Filament grinding, which is accompanied by a “clicking” or "squeaking " sound coming from the extruder, usually happens when the extruder gears are unable to push the filament further towards the nozzle. Over time, the gears grind away the filament, until they can’t grab it anymore.

If you have questions or issues regarding vibration noises from the printer, please see Vibration when printing (MK3S+/MK2.5S).

The clicking sound means that the stepper motor is having to suddenly exert more force than a specific preset threshold and it's jumping back by one or more steps (skipping) to relieve the pressure. It can be a mechanical issue, electrical issue, software issue, jammed/clogged hotend, or a combination of this.

First, you need to remove the filament from the extruder. If the filament has been ground through and can not be unloaded from the LCD menu, follow this guide to manually remove it.

Possible causes


Slice the model again using the latest version of PrusaSlicer and its filament presets. Also, see if the 3D model is not corrupted or incomplete.

Try to increase the hotend temperature (Filament settings -> Filament -> Temperature °C) by 5 - 15 °C. It is important to make sure the temperature is corrected for the filament being printed. You can check our Extensive Material table to confirm your settings.

First Layer calibration

Having the first layer calibration set too close can eventually cause a clogged hotend. Make sure you have it set just right, as instructed in First Layer Calibration (i3) and First Layer Calibration (MINI/MINI+).

Idler tension

Make sure that your extruder idler is properly tightened. If the extruder idler screws are overtightened, the gears will not push the filament properly. Try to loosen (or tighten) the extruder idler screw(s) (with the spring). Their tension must be accurate (neither too tight nor too loose). Please see Idler screw tension for how it should be on your printer.

Drive gears alignment

Double-check the alignment of both extruder gears. Both of them must be aligned with the opening above and with the PTFE tube below so that they can properly feed the filament into the hotend. Make sure the gear on the extruder motor shaft is tightened by its grub screw against the flat part of the motor axis.

Please see Checking/re-aligning the Bondtech gear (MK3S/MK2.5S) for more information regarding the MK2.5/S and MK3/S/+ or this article for the Original Prusa MINI/MINI+.

Dirty extruder gears

  • Make sure that your extruder gears are clear of any leftover plastic. You can clear the plastic with a sharp corner of pliers or with a durable pin. 
  • Make sure the gears are turning freely
  • Check if the motor gear is aligned and tightened with the grub screw against the flat part of the motor axis

Please see Checking/re-aligning the Bondtech gear (MK3S/MK2.5S) for more information regarding the MK2.5/S and MK3/S/+ or this article for the Original Prusa MINI/MINI+.

Jammed PTFE tube

While checking the extruder gears, take a look at the PTFE tube as well and make sure there is no debris in it that would prevent the filament from being loaded properly. To inspect the PTFE tube, open the extruder idler door. For more information, please see Removing filament from extruder manually.

Hotend assembly

Verify, whether the nozzle is properly assembled into the heater block: 

  • See if the heater block and the nozzle are not crooked.
  • Is there a space of 0.5 mm (0.02 inch) between the nozzle head and the heater block as it should be?

Check Under-extrusion where we go through all the usual causes of extrusion-related problems.

Clogged hotend

Please follow this article to clean your hotend, as the hotend might be clogged. If you don't manage to clean the clog, you would have to take out the hotend from the extruder, disassemble it completely, clean it thoroughly and apply some extra thermal paste on the heatbreak before assembling the hotend back together.

If you need to change one of the components of your hotend, refer to this guide (for MK3S/MK2.5S/MMU2S. For MK3/MK2.5, there is a separate guide).
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