If PLA, ABS, or PETG prints cool unevenly, they can lose their grip on the build plate and curl, creating a warped bottom layer. Here are 10 easy ways to fix 3D print warping.
Whenever some part of your printing object starts to curl upwards, you’ve got a warped 3D print on your hands. This problem occurs because the temperature differences between layers of extruded plastic is too big. This in turn creates tension within the model, and when it gets to be too much, lower layers start to drag or lift, creating a warp.
Filaments used in FDM 3D printing are usually thermoplastics, a material that in certain temperature ranges changes its properties. In 3D printing, we heat the filament to somewhere beyond it’s melting point so that, in its liquid form, it can be extruded onto a build plate.
While heating, besides becoming liquid, thermoplastics also expand. And when it cools down, returning to a solid, it shrinks again. This transformation creates some movement in extruded plastics, the root of 3D print warping: colder layers pulling on still hotter ones. And if this occurs when the hotter layers are below the colder ones, the 3D printed object will be forced to let go of the grip on the build surface, and curl.
To make matters worse, the problem can literally pop up after a good portion of the print job is already finished, ruining an otherwise perfect print!
If we could keep the whole 3D printed model at the exact same temperature at all times, not even a tiny corner of the model would try to warp. But this is pretty much impossible. What we can do is trying to keep the 3D printed model’s temperature as even as possible. And we can also do our best to convince the model to hold on to the build surface, like its life depended on it!
There are a number of easy ways to fix 3D print warping. All of them involve evening out the temperature in the object being printed and increasing the object’s grip on the build surface.
License: The text of "3D Print Warping – 10 Easy Fixes for PLA, PETG & ABS" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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