Combating Warping

Techniques to help with material warping when 3D printing

What is Warping?

Warping is the lifting of edges or corners of a part from the printer. This occurs due to uneven rate of material shrinkage as the hot thermoplastic cools down from a liquid to a solid.

Preventing Warping

Warping often occurs in larger prints that take up a significant portion of the print bed in at least one dimension. Some strategies to avoid warping include:

Splitting up the Part (Best Practice)

Large parts can be split up to avoid warping. Check out the split model page for more information on how you can split prints up.

Including Sacrificial Helper Discs

The use of sacrificial helper discs in Makerbot Print may help to reduce the likelihood of warping on your parts.

These discs can be added by clicking File > Insert Example File > Helper Disks,

These discs should be placed at the corners of your part. You can also place them at areas suspect for warping if needed.

By placing discs at the corners of your part, it is unlikely that the part itself will be affected if warping occurs. Only the helper discs will lift off the build plate. The print time increase is usually negligible.

Increasing Raft Size

Increasing the raft size (or raft margin) in Makerbot Print can help to reduce the likelihood that your part is affected by warping. While the edges of the raft may lift, the part may be unaffected by warping. Bear in mind this will increase print time.

Raft Margin (default 4mm) can be altered in the Custom Settings Menu.

Head to : Settings > Custom Settings > Base Layer > Raft Margin

Filleting Corners

Since warping is caused by uneven rate of material shrinkage, filleting and rounding off corners can aid in reducing the effect of warping. Sharp corners tend to have a high concentration of warping forces.

Markforged published a detailed article on this topic that you can check out if you want to learn more. If you want to learn how to fillet and round corners, check out this page.

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