Warping is one of the main problems faced by 3D-printer hobbyists everywhere - it’s immensely frustrating, having finished a large, high quality product that took 10 hours to print, only to find the thing has curled up all over itself and now looks nothing like the original model. If you haven’t experienced this already, don’t worry, you will. But to offset it a little, here’s some hints:
- Use PLA. If you’re having that much of a problem with warping, and you don’t want to splash out too much on anything else, consider switching to PLA if you haven’t already. It cools slower, and so reduces warping a fair bit without having to worry about anything else. To buy some PLA visit our page here.
- Buy a heated build platform, if you haven’t already. Make sure you get the right one though, as some can be an enormous drain on power and/or are difficult to get plastics to stick to, so if you’re serious about your printing, I suggest you go top dollar. The more expensive isn’t always the best, but it’s more likely to have a return policy and with this kind of thing I often find you get what you pay for.
- Find other ways to keep your product hot - consider buying a heated fan system or something similar to ramp up the temperature. A budget option is to use tinfoil around the printing surface, but obviously this isn’t recommended by any of the companies that sell the printers. If you do use tinfoil, make sure to keep some gaps in to allow the fumes from the plastics out - otherwise when you unwrap the foil you’re going to get a lungful of something nasty.
Industrial 3D printing setups have, unsurprisingly, minimal problems with warping because their printing systems are in a fully closed, temperature-controlled environment. It won’t be long before these apparatus are affordable and on the market for the public, too. So if it’s not too much of a problem, consider waiting another five years or so.