What is warping?
Due to the temperature differences between layers of extruded plastic being too big, part of your printing object starts to curl upwards. This is known as warping.
This adverse process creates tension within the model. When the tension is too much, lower layers start to drag or lift, which we call creation of warp.
What are the reasons for warping?
Filaments utilized in FDM 3D printing services are usually thermoplastics. Thermoplastic is a material that in certain temperature ranges, changes its properties. We heat the filament in the extruder beyond its melting point in order to get it in a liquid form. This is then extruded onto a build plate.
While heating the filament, apart from turning liquid, thermoplastics also expands. It shrinks when it cools down. This transformation creates some movement in extruded plastics. The colder layers pull on still hotter ones.
If this happens when the warmer layers are below the colder ones, the 3D printed objects are going to be forced to abandon the grip on the build surface, and curl.
What steps are to be followed to curb Warping?
The first method includes regulation of temperature.
- Heated Bed
Helps spread the temperature evenly. Additionally, it offers adhesion. The recommended bed temperature guideline will be given by the manufacturer.
- Enclosed Printing Chamber
Helps maintain even temperature throughout the print job. You can build one if you don’t have an inbuilt enclosed printer chamber.
- Control Room Temperature
Main objective is to prevent any cold air or breeze suddenly stroking the print. You can engage controlled room temperature by shutting windows and doors.
- Adjusting Cooling
All you need to do is cool the filament for better bridging, less stringing. Also, you need to allow the melted plastic to return to a solid fast enough to build an accurate geometry.
Try lowering the speed of the cooling fans or rather shut them off for the first few layers being printed. This will help to even out temperature and keep your print flat on the bed.
The second recommended method is to use adhesives.
- PVA Glue Stick
The use of glue sticks will help filaments to stick to the bed. Being advantageous, the downside of this can be; some sturdy glue sticks create too strong of a bed adhesion on certain build plates, making it difficult to remove 3D prints without damaging the build surface.
- Hair Spray
Recommended for establishing firm grip of the print on the bed. Like with the Glue Stick, you need to take care here as well so that the object doesn’t stick on the bed too firmly. If it does, the print will be destroyed while pulling it above the bed.
Adjusting slicer settings can help avoid warping as well.
- Print Slower
You can overcome warping and curling issues by changing your print speed. Accordingly, remember to lower the nozzle temperature.
- Add a raft
Adding a raft makes the base of your 3D printed model larger. Thus creates a better grip to the build surface. After 3D printing, the raft should be easy to be dismantled off the model.
- Adding mouse ears
Small discs a couple of layers high enhance bed adhesion on corners. Place the discs carefully on the build plate in your slicer so that they barely touch each corner of the model. It will then be a walk in the park to remove them from your model when your print job is done.