Solving Those 3d Printing Warps

Perhaps the most annoying problem facing personal 3D printer operators is warped prints. This problem is caused by thermal shrinkage. Extruded plastic needs to be hot, but as it cools, it shrinks. Particularly evident in ABS plastic, it is less apparent in some other plastics, such as PLA. As objects cool, they can begin to peel off the print bed, distorting the shape and possibly causing the failure of the entire print.

The solution, proposed by YouMagine user tomasrey88, involves creating an entire enclosure in which to surround the 3D printer. This would hold in the heat, significantly reducing opportunities for warping. Once the print is complete, the entire object cools at the same rate and warping does not occur.

On YouMagine plans for a version of the enclosure for Ultimaker 2’s can be downloaded, although the concept should be easily adaptable for many other personal 3D printers by changing the size of the panels. 3D printed components include the linkages to connect the panels together.

Heat is provided by the Ultimaker’s own heated print surface, which simply accumulates inside the enclosure. A thermometer inside the enclosure permits you to manually adjust the airflow to obtain the correct interior temperature for 3D printing. It’s not automated, but it will certainly do the job.