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curling edges

Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:12 pm

I keep running into the problem of having bowed edges, which you can see in the pictures. Any ideas on how to fix this?

-its not a bed level issue
-I have tried experimenting with different outline/shell layers and this did not seem to help
-My layer height is .25
-first layer height is 100%

Any advice will be greatly appreciated

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Re: curling edges

Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:42 pm

sure, plastic shrinks as it cools. some more than others. there are different tricks to different plastics. glues, bed materials, tapes on the bed, rafts and mouse ears made into your model. all are different ways to get the plastic to adhere to the bed. i am printing something in nylon right now and have to use garolite for a bed with that. this is the one big issue that gets us all at some point. as you do more printing you will figure out what works for you. just start reading on the forums about warping and curling. there is plenty to read on the subject.

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Re: curling edges

Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:55 am

Hi crj, what is the material - I am guessing it is ABS. If so what was your Bed temperature? Largish flat items with square corners are probably the most difficult items to print. From my experience, the only methods that are 'almost' guaranteed to work involve : using as low a bed temperature as possible consistent with adhesion - 96C works for me, round the corners if your design allows it, or put mouse ears on the corners - we use 15mm diameter, 0.5mm thick ears which work very well, and if possible reduce the thickness of the part. Please keep us updated on your results. Richard

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Re: curling edges

Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:24 pm

My best suggestion is to add skirt with no separation from your part (also known as brim). If my part is larger like that, I'll go 3-6 perimeters for it.

The next is: how are you cooling your part? If you have ABS, any cooling will lead to cracking and possibly separation like that if you don't have your bed heated enough. If that is PLA as I suspect, you need alot of cooling. I actually went out and bought a 12" fan that sits next to my printer and blows across the top to pull away the heat. Pieces like that have alot of thermal inertia.

So make sure you have the right amount of cooling on top and heat in the bed. Then add extra around the edges to hold it down. Going even to 3 perimeters of skirt has reduced about 75% of my curling.

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Re: curling edges

Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:59 pm

If it's PLA:
Get rid of the kaptone tape and use hairspray. I'be printed similar parts and curling/adhesion is no longer a problem!

Here's a post I put up in maker gear's forum, hope it helps:

I've been having success with hairspray (as others have mentioned in the forum). I haven't had any PLA parts warp (haven't tried ABS yet) and parts are held down really well. To remove parts I've been popping them off using a heavy kitchen knife, sliding the blade between the part and the glass, with a little momentum the part should pop off cleanly.

I've printed the same part in the same spot 4 times now (calibration) and there have been no adhesion problems.

I grabbed Loreal Elnett Satin from Walgreens. I basically looked for anything that was matte/satin and chose whatever said it had the strongest hold. Not the cheapest stuff but it's changed my perception on how easy printing can get with this approach.

  • Remove the glass bed from the printer and ensure that it is clean
    Lay it in a kitchen sink
    Spray an even coat making sure to cover the entire bed
    Wait about 30 sec for the coat to set
    Repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 coats.
    Let the bed dry and re-install it into he M2
    Print away!
    When it's time to lay a fresh coat, take the glass off and clean under water, dry and re-apply.
S3D V1.1.4
Black PLA using default high/medium quality settings
Mac OS 10.8.3

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Re: curling edges

Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:01 pm


When I read your suggestion, I had tried everything possible and wasted a lot of filament doing so.

Yes, I am using PLA. The Hairspray works perfect when 3-4 coats are applied. I had tried this before without success (but I was only using one coat). The key here seems to be 3-4 coats while giving each a chance to dry before applying the next.

I am extremely surprised this has not emerged as the panacea for this problem--given the many other suggestions which are still vying for dominance for this solution.

I have one question regarding this method: do you use heat on the bed? If you do, is it necessary to keep it heated throughout the entire print, or just for the first few layers?

I have had success keeping the platform heated at 70 for the entire print, but it would save a lot of energy if this was not necessary.


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Re: curling edges

Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:16 pm


For PLA, I start with the bed at 70C for the first layer or two, and back it off to 65C for the rest. I have added ending G-code to turn off the bed heat (and retract out the filament, then cut off extruder heat) as soon as the print is done. As the bed cools, you can hear the part coming loose. When the bed is down to room temperature, it is an easy matter to tap the piece loose with the handle of the 3 mm hex driver, if it hasn't already snapped loose from the thermal contraction.

I had been using the White Rain cheapy extra-super-hold, but I found some other (Suave?) that works a bit better. It has a bit of a scent -- in case anyone is sensitive to such things.

So, yes, you want to keep the bed heated for the duration of the print.

Some have reduced the energy usage by building an enclosure around the printer (keeping the electronics outside the enclosure). Also, for some, enclosing the machine is the only way to reduce the heat loss sufficiently to get the bed to come up to (give or take) 110C for printing ABS.


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Re: curling edges

Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:54 am

You have to have something off if you are getting that much curling with PLA. I would guess your extruder temp is to high. Please Post your FFF file for better diagnosis.

With PLA I have not had many problems warping. I mostly have used hairspray(quite a few different methods) at 60c. I have also had really good luck with painters tape and no heat.

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Re: curling edges

Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:15 am

I had the same problem, I was printing PLA parts that would stick perfectly and ABS parts that would only have minor curling. Then I took my printer to work so I could make some parts there and had nothing but problems. ABS didn't even have a chance and PLA kept releasing. Turns out the slightly cooler ambient temperature at work really made a huge difference (this was August, at home my printer was in a workshop where the temp was probably around 80deg, and at work at around 70deg). I solved the problem by pointing a small (1500watt) space heater toward the bed. I typically use hairspray for ABS but not PLA.

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Re: curling edges

Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:33 am

For those of you using printers other than the MakerGear M2: There have been several discussions on the MakerGear Google Group in the past few months about designing and using enclosures, especially for printing ABS. You might want to check those out. Controlling the ambient environment of the printer eliminates some major variables...

Those of you using enclosed printers (factory design or your own) may, of course, ignore this post!

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