3DP Service Tech Tips: Warping & Curling
Here at 3D Platform (3DP) we take pride in our open-market solutions. Our Service Technician Tips series focuses on best practices for processing procedures from our very own technicians, making sure you get the perfect print every time. Today, Nathan Hofmeyer, 3DP Service Technician, focuses on Warping and Curling.
Parts warping and curling off the build platform is a common frustration with FFF printing. It can cause failed prints, waste precious material and time, and in rare cases, even damage the machine.
Here are a couple tips to help prevent part warping and ensure successful high-quality prints.
Tip #1: Machine Preparation
Build Plate Leveling & Calibration
Don’t be afraid to break out a dial indicator and check the build plate. The glass should be level within .12 mm (.005”). After leveling, print a test chip to confirm first layer height and consistency.
Build Plate Cleaning & Preparation
These steps should be performed before any print, but especially if warping has been an issue:
- Remove any plastic residue from build plate using a razor scraper
- Clean plate with water, beer, or isopropyl alcohol to remove any glue residue and finger oils. NEVER use a glass cleaner like Windex as it will prevent prints from adhering.
- Apply adhesion agent of your choice such as beer, hair spray, or glue stick. Learn more about how to get 3D prints to stick to the bed here.
Tip #2: Print Process Settings
Build Plate Temperature
A consistent steady temperature is essential for part adhesion and retention. Check that the printer’s environment is free from low temperatures, sudden drafts, or excessive air flow. Proper bed temperatures will also help ensure part adhesion. Here are some temperatures for common materials:
Use rectilinear or Grid infill pattern. This will reduce warping compared with Honeycomb pattern, as the pattern of the support will not cause as much tension while cooling. Reducing infill percentage will help as well.
Use a Brim
Enable a brim in Simplify3D (Additions Tab). This will add surface area and ensure proper part adhesion. A brim is particularly useful when printing a part without much surface contact.
For other helpful hints, check out our blog.