FDM 3D Printing Guide: How to Prevent 3D Print Warping on Print Bed

In the process of FDM 3D printing, many people’s models will warp on the printing platform, which often affects the printing effect of the model. If more serious warping occurs, the bottom of the model will be deformed, and even the print will be directly off the print bed, the printing cannot be completed. So, why does the 3D print warp on bed? How to prevent 3D prints warping or solve this problem when we want to print with FDM printers. Don’t worry, warping is a common problem in FDM printing. It is related to the materials used in FDM printing, the printing platform, temperature settings, etc. In this guide, we’ll look at the cause of warping and give simple but effective solutions.

FDM 3D Printing Troubleshooting: Causes of Warping

First, consider this issue from a theoretical point of view. FDM printing is to melt the material through a heated printing nozzle, extrude the high-temperature molten wire onto the printing platform, and build a 3D model layer by layer. When printing, the temperature of the nozzle is usually higher than 180°C. If use ABS filament as material, the printing temperature is generally above 210 °C. In the process of temperature change, the material will be affected by thermal expansion and contraction. During the cooling process, the thermoplastic filament used for FDM printing will change from molten liquid to solid again, and will move inward on the bottom outer contour of the printed product. At the same time, under the influence of temperature, the shrinkage process of the filament will generate internal stress, which often cause the edge of the printed matter to warp.

When we printing with FDM printer, material shrinkage and inter layer stress can cause warping, which is the root cause of 3D print warping problem. It seems like we can’t control them, right? In fact, we found some more practical resons during the printing process. Knowing these problems, we can easily find a solution to the warping problem of 3D prints.

  • Printing Leveling: FDM printers that require manual leveling are more likely to cause inaccurate leveling. When the print bed is not level, the nozzle cannot ensure that the filament is evenly deposited on the printing bed when it moves. It is also difficult to stick the material tightly on the printing bed, and the side with a smaller slope is easy to warp. We also have the leveling tutorial to help you level the print bed for FDM printing.
  • Z-axis Distance: When you forget to adjust the Z-axis before printing, or the Z-axis is not adjust to an appropriate distance, the nozzle may be too far away from the printing platform, and the edge cannot be tightly attached to the print bed during printing, resulting in warping.
  • Temperature Setting: PLA and be printed at room temperature. In theory, the print bed does not need to be heated, and FDM printing can also be done. But in order to improve the success rate of printing, we generally set the temperature of the printing platform to 60-70 °C to reduce the influence of thermal expansion and contraction.

  • Printing Materials: Unlike PLA filament, ABS has higher temperature requirements. To print ABS filament, the required nozzle temperature is 210-250 °C, while the temperature of the print bed is 100-200 °C. The problem usually occurs on the print bed, and warping can also occur if the temperature is too low.

    For more information about filament refer to this guide:Everything about 3D Printing Filament

How to Prevent 3D Print Warping: 5 Effective Methods

When we import the slice file into the printer and try to print the model several times, the print appears warped on the platform, what should we do? How to solve the warping problem of FDM printing? There are 5 commonly used methods as follows.

Method 1: Use PVP Glue

Apply PVP glue on the print bed, using the adhesive can directly increase the adhesion of the print bed. This is a very simple and effective way to solve the warping problem. Anti-warping glue, anti-warping film, textured paper, these are some accessories that can prevent problem of warping.

Method 2: Slow Down Printing Speed

The printing effect is influenced by the printing speed. Properly slowing down the printing speed is to increase the stability of the print head movement and the deposition quality after filament extrusion, which can help solve the 3D print warping to a certain extent. This is the experience of many 3D printing enthusiasts.

Method 3: Adjust Layer Height For the First Layer

When you print same model several times and are plagued by warping, you can try to adjust your slice file. Most slicer software programs can adjust settings individually for the first layer. Choosing a thicker layer, it will increase the adhesion between the print and the print bed, thus reducing the risk of warping.

Method 4: Turn Off the Fan For the First Layer

The fan of FDM printer is used to accelerate the cooling of the print, which can play an effective role in the process of FDM printing. But when printing the first layer of the model, if the fun is working, it will speed up the cooling of the material during deposition, and the problem of thermal expansion and contraction we mentioned will be more obvious. The shrinkage will cause the printing edge to warp easily. Usually, we will set to turn off the fan when printing the first layer, and run it in the subsequent printing process. This also can be set when we slice the model.

Method 5: Use a brim or raft

Brim and Raft are the adhesion type of the build plate, can be helpful to improve both priming your extrusion and adhesion to the print bed. Brim adds a single layer flat area around the base of your model to prevent warping. Raft adds a thick grid with a roof below the model.

In closing

Warping is a very annoying issue during FDM printing. Basically, it is affected by thermal expansion and cold contraction. There are many reasons for warping, knowing them can avoid a lot of troubles. During FDM printing, the printer and filament we use will also affect the quality of printing. We better choose a more stable and efficient FDM printer, such as Anycubic Kobra, Vyper. This printer is equipped with a 32-bit motherboard and a high-performance Cortex -M3 architecture main control chip, which can provide faster computing speed and excellent quality.

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