Warping is the most common aspect of 3D Printing! Warping happens when the layers start to cool down and the plastic begins to contract. The so called glass transition temperature. These contractions causes the plastic to pull in on itself into the shape of a “bowl”. There are several reasons why warping may happen and how to avoid it:
- You want to make sure you are using good quality Blue Painters tape. Do not use spray or glue on your aluminum bed as that will cause the auto-leveling to cease functioning. The auto-leveling requires the aluminum bed to be clean so your hotend can make contact with it and detect it.
- Make sure there is no oil on the build plate from fingerprints or dust. We recommend wiping the blue painter’s tape with alcohol using a paper towel to remove any containments. It’s also good practice to wipe the aluminum bed before laying down the blue painter’s tape to ensure the tape sticks well. NEVER POUR ANY LIQUID ONTO THE ALUMINUM BED! Alcohol is flammable and doing so can start a fire if it drips onto the circuit board inside the printer. Not to mention, your printer is also likely to get permanently damaged if the circuit board gets wet.
- Try to play around with a combination of temperature and speed. If you’re printing too hot, too slow, the plastic is more likely to warp.
- Make sure your bed is auto-leveled. If your nozzle is too far away from the bed on the first layer, it won’t be able to squish the plastic to promote adhesion. See this page (link coming soon)on how to auto-level.
- Make sure you are printing at ambient normal room temperature. If you’re printing in a cold environment (like your basement or garage), then warping is more likely to happen.
- Ensure that the blue painter’s tape is well taped to the bed or it will peel off easily.
- If you’re printing the part all the way up to the edge of the blue tape, it is more likely to pull the tape up off the bed and warp. We recommend you position your part so that the perimeter of the part is as far away as possible from the perimeter of the blue tape. Alternatively, you can cut longer pieces of blue tape.
A built in feature in cura called “brim” is another great way to help keep your print from warping. This feature puts what looks like the brim of a hat on the bottom layer of your print to help fight against the pulling forces of the cooling print. Since this brim is only a single layer thick it is very easy to remove once the print is complete.
Another option is also to enable the raft option in Cura instead of a brim. Brims are useful for tiny prints, whereas rafts are good for large objects in order to detach them from the bed more easily.
You want to make sure that the infill lines on your first layer are touching each other and that there’s no gaps in between.