3D printers have been a boon for rapid prototyping, but they’re not without their foibles. Whether it’s a faulty extruder, the piece sliding off the bed, a slipping belt, or any number of other errors, one might walk away from a print that’s begun and come back later to find something he/she had not expected.

Luckily, sometimes these 3D printer fails can come out looking quite interesting. Here are 12 3D printer fails that went right past bad and back to good again. If you’ve had similar experiences, please share them in the comments section.

View All

Michael Colombo

Michael Colombo

In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens’ educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.


  • http://trkemp.wordpress.com trkemp

    This reminds me of when I was learning to program. I enjoyed writing graphics programs and would often end up with beautiful but unintended results that I never could have produced if I had been trying.

    • https://www.facebook.com/michaelcolombo Michael Colombo

      Yeah I just read an article about someone trying to 3D print for the first time, and he said sometimes it reminded him of the old 9 pin dot matrix printer. You’d set it to print, come back a while later and it was just a giant spool of random characters . :)

  • http://twitter.com/bitflusher bitflusher (@bitflusher)

    I had a spectacular failure where my print detached from the bad halfway during the print. The bottom hald was a female statue, the upper half was a molten blob that resembled a male body part. All together a NSFW print!

  • Frank

    So, what do you guys do with these “failures”? Is there a way to create normal filament from it and start over?

    • https://www.facebook.com/michaelcolombo Michael Colombo

      There are a couple of folks who have made their own filament machines, so I suppose you could run it back through again. Other than that, put it on the mantle? :)

    • terre

      I’m afraid that we are just encouraging the making of more crappy stuff that can’t really be recycled at the end of its life. I agree that it is amazing that we are advancing to this point but let’s not forget the art and the craft.

      • JD90

        The material probably can be recycled. But you need a lot of it to make it worth the effort, I’m collecting a bunch of material from other people at my local maker space to see if I can do that. I still need to make a part shredder (granulator) and finish a winder.

        Only a few failures are interesting, a lot of that Flickr group are pretty boring failures.

  • https://www.facebook.com/Vincent777at Briefcase Mitch

    What happened with that evil ducky print? run out of material? why did that happen?

    • Jay

      Looks like the printed it with only perimeters (shell only) without enough/any infill, so the top surface printed “on-air” and didn’t bridge well enough (fell inside).

  • Jay

    My favorite 3D printing mistake so far is my “Lobotomized Yoda Bust” which looks like somebody sliced the top of Yoda’s head off with a light-saber.
    http://www.summet.com/blog/2013/09/03/yoda-busts/

  • Neil MacMillan

    The glass build plate got pushed off my Replicator 2 onto the floor early in an overnight build, the next morning I found a waterfall of extruded filament.

  • hamish

    Finally! Now I know I am not the only one to have major failures…

  • https://www.facebook.com/anne.shirley.52459 Anne Shirley

    Please tell me solution clearly, i have same problem

  • http://monitor.noah21cn.com/index.php?a%5B%5D=%3Ca+href%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Ffreehearthstonebetakey.net%3EFree+HearthStone+Beta+Keys%3C%2Fa%3E Free HearthStone Beta Key

    I read this article fully regarding the difference of newest and earliier technologies,
    it’s amazing article.

  • http://fermata-audio.com/xe/90178 lukaszharun.Com

    What’s up colleagues, its fantastic paragraph on the topic of
    tutoringand fully explained, keep it up all the time.

  • http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x178gcr_papa-pear-saga-hack-updated-november-2013-with-proof_videogames Papa Pear Saga Hack Cheats-Facebook

    Download Now Papa Pear Saga Hack For No Cost free download for
    Limited time only papa pear saga love us.

  • http://adolph7379.jigsy.com/entries/general/uncovering-core-criteria-for-laptop writing f

    I knmow this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog
    and was wondering what all is required to get setup?

    I’m asssuming having a blog like yours would cost a
    pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy so I’m nott 100% positive.
    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers

  • http://lawnservicetampafl.com Tampa lawn service

    If some one wants expert view regarding running a blog after that i suggest him/her to
    pay a quick visit this weblog, Keep up the nice job.

  • http://www.heia.ir/comment.php?comment.news.20 horse rugs for sale

    I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much
    more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to
    create your theme? Superb work!

  • http://magnificentcan525.skyrock.com magnificentcan525.skyrock.com

    Terrific post but I was wwondering if you could write a litte more on
    this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Appreciate it!

  • http://www.conversionvoodoo.com/blog/2013/05/what-your-landing-page-and-a-first-date-have-in-common/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed: bowling alley

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!

  • http://www.blogigo.com/voicelesspants716 http://www.blogigo.com

    We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in
    our community. Your site provided us with valuable
    information to work on. You have done a formidable job and our
    whole community will be grateful to you.

  • http://obedientruffian88.jimdo.com Salina

    Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this site on a regular basis, this web
    site is really nice and the users are really sharing good thoughts.

  • http://efoodrecipe.wordpress.com/ recipes every man should know

    If you want to get a good deal from this piece of writing then
    you have to apply such methods to your won weblog.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sopFhKHx74E solo ads

    Hello there, just became alert to your blog through
    Google, and found that it is really informative. I’m going to watch out
    for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future.
    A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sopFhKHx74E solo ads

    Thanks for finally talking about >12 Beautiful 3D Printer Fails | MAKE <Liked it!

  • http://houlhav.livejournal.com http://houlhav.livejournal.com

    Great blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast!
    What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate
    link to your host? I wis my site loaded
    up as quickly as yourss lol

  • http://wiktorromber321.livejournal.com/profile szambo betonowe

    I pay a visit everyday some sites and blogs to read articles or
    reviews, but this weblog provides feature based
    articles.

  • http://rabbithole.io/groups/considering-realistic-headaches-plans/ http://rabbithole.io

    Noise has long been associated with hearing loss but
    not with negative effects on overall health. Headache pain is not something thuat makes
    life easier. The term ‘daylight saving ends’ is one of the most populqr search terms on the Internet on Wednesday, but some researchers say it could gjve you
    a headache if you are susceptible to cluster
    headaches.

  • http://Learnsoccertricks.net/ http://Learnsoccertricks.net

    Very quickly this web page will be famous amid all blog viewers, due to it’s pleasant posts

  • http://www.lonelyvalue.com/2010/01/spin-off-for-loews.html minecraft full version free download

    What advice would you give up-and-coming indie PC developers who are trying to break into the business.
    We hope that we can someday be a part of a bundle deal
    once SPAZ’s life cycle needs a bit of a boost. Contra,
    released as both Gryzor and Probotector in Europe and Oceania, is an arcade game released in
    1987 by the Konami corporation.

  • http://www.navdomain.com/ Web Hosting

    I’m not sure why but this blog is loading very slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/usedcarsnyc used cars NYC

    It’s in point of fact a great and useful piece of information.

    I’m satisfied that you just shared this useful info with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://showup-tv.soup.io/ Klik

    Grzeczna19 chomikuj

  • http://www.pandanger.com/wp-content/themes/u-design/scripts/prettyPhoto/js/jquery.prettyPhoto.js?ver=3.1.5 blonde on blonde action

    I know this if off topic buut I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering
    what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a prertty penny?
    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% positive.
    Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

  • http://self-shot-sluts.com Self Shot Sluts

    I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure
    of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got
    to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of
    content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  • http://lomamatkalla.omablogi.fi matkatarinoita

    Thanks for finally talking about >12 Beautiful 3D Printer Fails | MAKE <Liked it!

  • http://www.voprosi.ru/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=59976 zapatos Nike Free 5.0 baratos

    Hi! I just wish to offer you a big thumbs up for the
    great information you’ve got here on this post. I’ll be coming back to your site for more soon.

  • http://majsterkowo.pl/forum/nowykonrad24-u3141.html akumulatory samochodowe

    Hurrah, that’s what I was looking for, what a material!
    present here at this website, thanks admin of this web page.

  • http://onlywan.info/2013/12/15/play-updated-cracked-games/ the conjuring dvd

    Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely fantastic.
    I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it.
    You make it entertaining and you still take care of to
    keep it smart. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is actually a tremendous web site.

  • http://ontveg.com/?p=3290 konefka showup

    konefka chomikuj

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38od2GWWp4Y empower network

    I am genuinely glad to read this blog posts which consists
    of tons of helpful data, thanks for providing these
    statistics.

  • http://www.elementmoving.com moving

    I really like it when people come together and share
    ideas. Great site, continue the good work!