There is no denying that 3D printing is an incredibly convenient way to manufacture almost anything you like, especially considering that the entire production takes in the comfort of your home and with the press of a single button in most cases.
On the other hand, one slight drawback that comes with 3D printing is the amount of time that goes into it, as it’s necessary to watch the 3D printer as it operates for the purposes of safety even though you don’t have to take an active role during the printing process.
In today’s article, our topic will be pausing and resuming the printing process on the Ender 3, which is a feature that adds a lot of flexibility to the printing process and can even be considered to be a necessity considering how long it can take for a 3D printer to finish printing in some cases.
So, can you pause and resume a print on your Ender 3?
It’s entirely possible to pause and resume a print on your Ender 3, and the most straightforward way is using the LCD panel, which should have menu entries called Pause Print for pausing the print and Resume Print for resuming the print when it’s in a paused state.
Next up, we will dive deeper into the process of pausing and resuming your prints on the Ender 3, find out how to perform the pause and resume actions with G-code, go through the issue of the resume function not working at times, and finally, discuss how to continue a print after a power loss or failure.
Can You Pause and Resume a Print On the Ender 3 (Pro/V2)?
The option to pause and resume a print whenever necessary is a pretty crucial feature for a 3D printer to have, as 3D printing is not a short process by any means and can even take an entire day, depending on what you’re printing.
You can quickly pause a print on your Ender 3 by using the LCD controller, as the option to do so is either directly located on the screen (button labeled pause on the V2) or becomes visible after clicking the knob (menu entry labeled Pause Print).
Likewise, resuming the print on your Ender 3 is no different than pausing it, with the LCD controller once again featuring the appropriate commands in the same positions that you have found the pause command.
In cases where the resume option is not visible or not working as intended, ensure that your Ender 3 detects the SD card, and if it doesn’t, execute the Init. SD Card command.
Aside from using the LCD controller, you can also pause and resume the printing process on your Ender 3 through a 3D printing interface, such as OctoPrint and Pronterface, which will be handier if you are already using such software to manage your prints.
How to Pause and Resume a Print on the Ender 3 (Pro/V2) with G-Code?
Executing the pause and resume actions through G-code is extremely handy if you’re operating your Ender 3 through a 3D printing interface such as OctoPrint or Pronterface, as it eliminates the need for you to be in physical contact with your 3D printer.
Assuming that you are using Marlin firmware or firmware based on Marlin, such as the stock Ender 3 firmware, you can pause the print with the M0 (Unconditional Stop) G-code command, which will put your Ender 3 in a pause state until you resume the print.
Alternatively, if you are printing from an SD card, you can also use the M25 (Pause SD Print) G-code command, which will also pause the print until you manually issue the command for the print to be resumed.
To resume a print that you have paused with the M0 G-code command, you will need to issue the M108 (Break and Continue) command to your Ender 3, which will cause the 3D printer to break out of the pause state and continue executing the commands in the queue.
On the other hand, if you have used the M25 G-code command to pause an SD card print, you will need to use the M24 (Start or Resume SD Print) G-code command instead to resume the print instead.
How to Resume a Print After Power Loss or Failure on the Ender 3 (Pro/V2)?
Unfortunately, resuming your print after a power loss or a botched layer is not always the most straightforward process since it might require a decent amount of calculation and manual work to get it right in cases where the built-in power loss recovery feature does not work as intended.
To resume a print after a power loss or any failure that caused your Ender 3 to turn off during the printing process, all you need to do is to power your Ender 3 back on, which should trigger the automatic power-loss recovery feature and ask you whether you would like to resume the print.
Please note that the Power-loss Recovery feature of Marlin needs to be active (you can activate it with the G-code M413 S1 and check whether it’s active with M413), and your Ender 3 needs to be printing from an SD card or a flash drive for the above method to function.
On the other hand, if the power loss recovery does not work as intended, you will have to take matters into your own hands and go through a more manual method to salvage your print.
While it may not produce the best results due to the inaccuracies involved, here is a step-by-step guide you can use to recover your prints from a power loss scenario manually:
- Find the number of the last unfinished layer by measuring the height of your model and dividing it by the layer height.
- Remove the half-finished model from the build plate.
- Preview the G-code file on the slicer software, set the layer number to the one you have found in step 1, and compare what you see on the screen with the half-finished model to ensure that your calculation is correct.
- Remove the G-code lines that belong to the layers that are already printed on the half-finished model, and print the remaining part separately.
- Sand and glue the surfaces where the two half-finished parts will join and combine the two.
Ender 3 (Pro/V2) Resume Print not Working – What to Do?
There are many reports in the community about the Ender 3 resume function not working at times, with the printer moving back to where it left off but not continuing the printing process, especially after a power loss occurs.
The first thing we recommend trying when your Ender 3 does not correctly resume the print is to execute the Init. SD Card option in the menu, which should prompt the firmware to ask you whether it should resume the print or not by using the saved data in storage and, hopefully, continue the printing process from where it left off.
On the other hand, if the resume command still does not work or causes your Ender 3 to display erratic behavior, such as the printhead moving on the model as if it was printing but without extruding any filament or moving upward, it’s most likely a case of data loss or firmware malfunction that is not possible to fix.
Even though pausing and resuming may not be a feature that you will regularly use, as the necessity highly depends on how large and complex the print is and how much free time you have, there is no denying that every 3D printer should give you the option to do so.
To quickly recap, while it’s indeed possible to employ many different methods to pause and resume prints on your Ender 3, the most effortless way to do so is to utilize the LCD panel, which presents options for both pausing and resuming the print whenever necessary.
While the process of pausing and resuming a print is pretty reliable in most cases, it’s best to refrain from pausing a print as much as possible since the downtime will cause the model to cool down and potentially create issues related to adhesion and dimensional accuracy.
Mike started his 3D printing journey with the Anet A8 when it first came out back in 2017, and has been obsessed with 3D printers ever since. Nowadays, he primarily uses his Ender 3 to print functional parts that make his life more convenient whenever possible.