Introduction: 100% Warp-Free MakerBot 3D Printing

Picture of 100% Warp-Free MakerBot 3D Printing

I love MakerBot and I love Bre, and I think he and his team have done an amazing service to the world.

Recently, I purchased five MakerBots (actually Thing-O-Matics, factory-assembled and tested), which was one for each our current TechShop locations (Menlo Park CA, Raleigh Durham NC, San Francisco CA, San Jose CA, and Detroit MI).  I also picked up a Replicator for myself.  Research, you know.  ;)

After becoming very frustrated with ABS plastic objects warping when the bottom corners would pull loose from the build platform, I started searching for a new solution.  No matter what I tried, including using raft versus no raft, increasing the temperature of the HBP (heated build platform), cleaning the Kapton tape with acetone, putting shields around the openings in the MakerBot's housing to keep the heat in, increasing and decreasing the nozzle temperature, nothing would prevent the object or even the raft from popping loose and lifting up on the corners.  This happened with all six of the MakerBot variants that I had access to, including Replicator.

Previous solutions that have been created by others and adopted as supposed solutions included the HBP (heated build platform) which comes standard on all late-model Thing-O-Matics and Replicators, Kapton tape on the build platform, using a glass sheet, creating a vacuum table, using painters tape and other tapes, and countless other ideas.  But none of these seem to work.

So I thought of my own solution.

My solution has proven to be cheap, fast, simple, and 100% dependable.

Would you like to know what it is?  Then read on to the next step!

(I'll try to take better pictures the next time I print a nice large object.  Hopefully you can see enough from these photos to be able to follow these steps.)

Step 1: Put ABS Scraps and Acetone in a Jar

Picture of Put ABS Scraps and Acetone in a Jar

The first step is to make a thin slurry of acetone and ABS plastic scraps (raft and support, and rejected objects you've printed).  We all generate lots of scraps on our MakerBots.  You can probably make a similar slurry with PLA and acetone, but I haven't tried it yet.  Plus, PLA doesn't seem to have as bad of a problem with lifting and curing and warping as ABS does.  I personally find PLA to be too brittle for my projects, since I usually make structural objects.  Let the ABS scraps and acetone sit in the covered jar for several hours, and the ABS pieces should completely dissolve.  You want to have a very thin watery solution.

Step 2: Paint a Thin Layer of ABS Slurry on the Build Platform

Picture of Paint a Thin Layer of ABS Slurry on the Build Platform

I use a Q-Tip to apply a very sketchy application of the ABS slurry to the build platform right on top of the Kapton tape just where the model is going to be built.  It does not need to be a solid coat.  In fact, if you apply a solid coat, it will actually be very difficult to remove your object from the build platform!

Step 3: Print Your Object

Picture of Print Your Object

Print your object with NO RAFT, directly onto the ABS slurry-slathered build platform.

Now when you print your object, you will find that it DOES NOT WARP as it grows in thickness.  SIMPLY AMAZING!

The ABS slurry creates a thin layer of ABS, sort of like the raft that ReplicatorG creates, which causes the ABS to adhere completely to the build platform.  Even very long and very tall objects will build with no warping or curling at all!

Step 4: Remove Your Object (This Can Be Tricky)

Picture of Remove Your Object (This Can Be Tricky)

The ABS slurry causes the object to stick to the build platform like a barnacle, so you will almost certainly need to pry it off.  With large objects, you may need to peel off the Kapton tape.  Be careful not to break your object!

Step 5: There You Have It...100% Warp-Free and Curl-Free Free 3D Printing!

Picture of There You Have It...100% Warp-Free and Curl-Free Free 3D Printing!

It is hard to tell from this image, but I tried to show a view looking straight along the bottom edge of this long, thick object.  Believe me, it is 100% straight with no curling, bowing or warping!  Without this method, this object would have warped at least 1/4 of an inch on or more corners.

I hope you find this Instructable useful!  Let me know if it works for you.


GerhardN2 (author)2017-01-17

Hi all just ad acrylic 3mm thick and your bed size like 200mm 200mm depends on your bed. Sand it with fine sandaper and clean it off with acetone. Make sure chamber of your printer is 40C degrees up. Then print you will love me for this clever idea. I print on acrylic for more than a year now.

Iamthebd (author)2016-12-08

You could just take big paper clips, and with a little bending (to allow them to barely cling to the HBP) apply them right after the raft is complete. Yes this does mean you gotta apply them while the bot is printing. Keep the paperclips of course when print is finished. Much less messy. I find it's best to fill the plate with as many models as possible to reduce waste and it's just plain efficient. Good luck!

bbastijancic (author)2016-10-31

Tried this method and it's working. Simple and efficient solution for avoiding warping. Thanks!

ChristopherD2 (author)2015-08-04

Dude, acetone slurry is the original (toxic) bed treatment being used since the beginning of 3d printing and not your "own solution" . Instead, of using that garbage, enclose your build chamber and use a 2 parts water 1 part white glue (Elmer's glue-all 3860-11001US, UPC 2600003860) solution on glass. I run a farm 18 hours a day like this, BIG prints on 300mm build plates and the parts pop off a 60 degrees Celsius with no force, no warping, no prying and no health issues. I apply the glue mix at room temperature plate and it lasts for weeks.


I tried the glue mixture as you suggested and it didn't work at all. I had been using glue stick with moderate success. My build chamber is semi-enclosed as well.

However, as soon as I switched to the ABS slurry, the parts were sticking like magic.

I'd love to get these results without having to resort to acetone slurry, but it seems to be the only thing that works. I don't disagree with your caution, however, to me this seems no more dangerous than actually running ABS through your 3D printer. The acetone vapors are going to evaporate rather quickly, leaving a thin coating of ABS on your build plate, which is what you would have anyway, without the slurry.

I'd suggest lots of ventilation and a respirator if the fumes bother people, but I don't think you'll be releasing acetone in the concentrations that could cause injury using the method described in this instructable. Probably a good idea to keep pregnant women away though.

A couple of resources on acetone:

Nightshade (author)ChristopherD22015-12-20

Thanks for the info.

totally, there are tons of people doing this, some variations suggest just pouring acetone on your print bed, then rubbing printed abs piece on it.

this does work though,

Thanks for making the instructable


Spirittribe made it! (author)2016-05-23

Works very good although the problem with my particular print was that my tapes' seams were in the wrong place and that's where the lifting occurred. The slurry minimized the lifting but the tapes' seam was right on the edge of my model so lifting occurred either way. Wouldn't have noticed how severe the problem was with the seam being at that particular problem spot (the other parts of the model away from seams had no lifting). Thanks!

MichaelF156 (author)2016-01-16

The slurry I have tried, just one problem with using slurry with some build plates. I have a cubifypro with composite build plate, the bottom layer is glass and the top layer is a form of plastic. When using the slurry it will dissolve the top layer. Not good, I had just a minor area that I had to resurface to make the plate completely smooth again. still have the slurry, if I had a glass build plate it would work because the slurry did hold my parts with no warping.

finfan7 (author)2015-07-10

I'm confused. I put a pile of ABS pieces into a jar with acetone for two days and all that's happened is that the ABS has become the consistency of silly putty without even so much as tinting the acetone.

Nightshade (author)finfan72015-12-20

That might be PLA not ABS. pla will get rubbery but not dissolve in acetone. Which is a good way of having flexible print without the extra cost of buying flexable filament.

TechShopJim (author)finfan72015-07-10

Hi FinFan7...

I've heard a couple of people mention they had the same or similar issue.

It has to be one of two things:

1.) Maybe the acetone you are using is not pure acetone or has other things in it. Sometimes acetones used for removing fingernail polish contains water, and there are mixtures that are "non-acetone" but I don't know what is in those. You could use another solvent called MEK but you need to wear gloves and work in a well ventilated can be nasty stuff and soaks into your skin, and you can smell it in your blood later.

2.) Maybe the filament you are trying to dissolve is not pure ABS or is a mixture of ABS and other plastics, or is not ABS at all. PLA behaves sort of like what you are describing when you put it into acetone. There are charts and methods on the web for identifying plastics through a series of tests, and you could try that to see if your plastic is ABS. You can also try burning some of the filament in question. If it smells sweet like syrup, then it is PLA. If it smells strongly like what you would expect burning plastic to smell like, then it is probably ABS.

Good luck!

StuartJ7 (author)2015-09-30

I have a flashforge creator pro. It has a heated plastic bed. Could I still use this method on my bed?

TroyA13 (author)StuartJ72015-11-18

If you are referring to the Blue Plastic sheet that comes with the current printers - then no ... basically it is a form of buildtac personally i love the stuff.

i only print with ABS - bed sits at a cool 110 deg and head is anywhere from 210 to 235 depending on what filament i'm printing with.

I get no warping or lifting. i do generally print with a raft as the parts i print need to be accurate. but once it cools the parts just pop off. zero effort!!

as it gets old and worn ... as we normally print in the middle of the bed, simply move the part in the slicer to the side and it will build on a fresher piece of the bed.

I think if you using abs juice you might find it will stick to the bed too well. although i haven't tried it. I'll i know is last time i used acetone to clean the plastic sheet the part became permanently bonded to the bed and cost me a sheet of the bed material.

TechShopJim (author)StuartJ72015-10-01

Hi StuartJ7...

I'm nervous about having you try this directly on your plastic bed because acetone will attack many plastics.

What you could do is apply a full-width Kapton sheet to your bed and then apply the ABS acetone slurry to the Kapton surface. Just be careful not to get any slurry on your actual plastic bed.

We are busy developing a patent-pending ceramic composite permanent bed for most ABS 3D printers, and I will be sure that we include that model in our line.

These beds are currently called PBP (Perfect Build Platform), and they are amazing because your ABS model sticks like crazy to the bed while th bed is hot and the model is building, then when the print is done and the bed cools, the model pops right off. You still need to use ABS slurry, but it is great because you don't have to try to pry the finished model off the bed. The surface is a hard durable surface that doesn't scratch or chip.

If you are interested in being a tester, please let me know the dimensions of your printer's bed.


jhchawk (author)TechShopJim2015-10-28


I'm a graduate student at UT Austin in mechanical engineering. Last year we established the Longhorn Maker Studio, free to use for all UT students, we run 14 Flashforge Creator Pros here (essentially a Makerbot Dual clone).

We would love to test your new platform. We have technicians and trained students who maintain and calibrate the machines, and the platform would see a variety of use by undergraduates and graduates alike.

I haven't actually posted on this account since middle school, shoot me a message here or at if you'd like to talk.


StuartJ7 (author)TechShopJim2015-10-04

Im very interested in being a tester! I work as a undergrad researcher for the physics department at Utah Valley University and I am 3-D printing everyday. My bed dimensions are 22.5 by 14.5 cm.

BrighamV (author)2015-11-12

I think it would be much easier to buy a sheet of abs at .030" and glue it to a surface and just print in this.

ricklemon342 (author)2015-11-07

I built a Kossel 2020 delta from Folger Technologies and started out using (or trying to use) abs, but had the warping problem as well. I am currently using pla, but would like to use abs as it is more durable for the apps that I like to make. I will certainly give this a try. Thank you for the heads up.

OndrejR1 (author)2015-10-15

Hi, I have the printer in a garage and now that is really cold here in London, all my overnight prints warp like crazy. Do you guys know any cover for a replicator or something that would keep the heat inside?

mechaturtles (author)OndrejR12015-10-17

Try this, or laser cut some acrylic panels as done here.

tony.gaston.9 (author)2015-06-12

Have you tried 3D EeZ.. that stuff works Richard honer ran over 144 test with it and said that he loved it.. it is worth lkooking into

HarshaV6 (author)2015-04-30

Bro this is awesome!! Now I love my printer thanks to this magical glue

iamdarkyoshi (author)2015-01-12

I bought ABS by mistake, and found that it can be printed onto an LCD screen's backlight layer clamped to a COLD bed, and thinner LCD backlight sheets can be bent, and the print pops off. Brilliant!

The specific layer I used is called the "Light Guide Plate"

obertie (author)iamdarkyoshi2015-03-24

BAD ADVICE MAN. It's too thin to stay straight, and as it's concave it either touches the extruder or is too far away. it melts at 120 so if it is less than 1mm from teh extruder it will probably melt. Also it's 3mm on one side where the cold cathode is and 0.5mm on the other side, so the plate is trapezoid shape. What you have is a melted LGP on the first run, that blocks the extruder because it's not straight, or doesnt touch it and misses the ABS. The ABS sticks to it awesome though in it's melted grooves :-D Waste of information because i had an FR4 plate back then and i just kept the LCD. the FR4 at least has a melting point of 250 so it should be possible to have an extruder near it. BAD ADVICE MAN!

bill.isaacs.14 (author)2014-10-29

Will this work with a heated glass bed using no capton tape?

Hi Bill...

Yes, but I would not recommend it. The reason is that the ABS slurry will not adhere to the bare glass bed very well, so it will probably pop loose during cooling or during the build itself. You can certainly give it a shot, but my experience has been poor with bare glass.

Kapton provides an excellent interface between the bare glass (or aluminum as in a Replicator 1 or 2X). The Kapton's adhesive makes the Kapton stick to the glass or the aluminum, and the top surface of the Kapton is very receptive to ABS slurry and helps your parts stick to the Kapton.

The problem with Kapton is that when you print a model with really strong warping tendencies, the intense contraction power of the plastic can actually pull the Kapton tape off of the bed! Also, sometimes the ABS slurry just doesn;t want to stick to the Kapton very well. it is very hit-and-miss, but it has traditionally been the best solution we have.

I'm sure you hate replacing Kapton as much as I do.

Fortunately, I am putting the final touches on a new build plate that we call PBP (Perfect Build Plate) that eliminates Kapton completely, and can be installed on any FDM 3D printer without any adhesives, clips, hardware or fasteners, magnets, or any modifications whatsoever. What's really cool is that you can run several PBPs, so when a part is done, you lift out the hot PBP with your part on it and let it cool while you put in another and start printing. when the first PBP is cool, you can literally tap on your part and it will pop right off.

We hope to begin selling these PBPs very soon in sizes for all FDM printers...stay tuned!


hchandhok (author)TechShopJim2015-03-04

Hi Jim, any updates on this new build plate? Cheers!!!

frogspasm (author)TechShopJim2015-02-15

Yes, please! I think there would be a lot of interest. Keep us posted.

LievenV (author)2015-02-04


I see a bit of confusion in the comments wether it is ABS or PLA that dissolves in acetone.

I can tell you, ABS dissolves completely, PLA just becomes brittle and falls apart, but does not form a slurry (PLA does not have the warping issues ABS has)

Any home improvement store should have a bottle of acetone (nail polish remover does not work that good, lower acetone concentration, if you can find one with acetone these days, since all of them advertise proudly that they are acetone-free)

MattR3 (author)2015-01-10

Amazingly helpful article! I no longer have issues with warping, and haven't even needed to use rafts using this technique. Parts with a lot of surface area touching the plinth are a bit tricky to remove when the machine is still hot, but this is partially solved by letting the plinth cool down.

An R key_ (author)2015-01-07

Thanks, your idea led me directly to my method for success. I drop a block of ABS in to 5mm of acetone in a dish. I wait 5 minutes and rub the bottom of the block all over my bed. This leaves me with a thin toothpaste'ish layer on my heated bed. I leave the bed off during application too. My first print didn't lift at all!

jds1969 (author)2015-01-07

Thanks for sharing this information. Worked great the first try. I've been disappointed with my printer for quite a while and this has definitely renewed my love for it again.

mtattoohead (author)2014-12-27

Chhecking in on the status of the PBP. I have a Replicator 2X and am looking for a solution to warping...

benm3 (author)2014-11-15

I have been using Aquanet extra super hold unscented hairspray directly on glass for about 95% of my projects and it works great. I still have my original supply of Kapton tape because I just don't use it.

I am doing a thin walled tall project now that is having some warping issues and will give the ABS/Acetone slurry a try.

Has anyone tried dilute ABS glue? I was thinking of using the glue made for ABS sewer pipe and just thinning it down a smidgen.

Great Post TechshopJim.


james.cook.14473426 (author)2014-11-09

Hi Jim your PBP sounds awesome and i certainly look forward to purchasing a couple from you :-) .

Gavin.Perry (author)2014-10-29

I had come up with this same idea but made my slurry thicker and it stuck so hard I damaged the Kapton removing my part. I'll try thinning my slurry. Glad to see reinforcement that this is a good method, it definitely works better than anything else I tried, and gives a very smooth bottom surface unlike the painters tape.

TechShopJim (author)Gavin.Perry2014-10-29

Hi Gavin...

That happened to me too all the time. It seems like you have to make the slurry pretty thick in most cases in order to get the parts to really stay put during the build, but it will either not stick or it will peel the Kapton off the bed, or damage the bed or part when you pry the parts off. Plus, I hate putting acetone and slurry inside the machine because it drips all over, gets on the door and floor, and even on the control panel sometimes!

But I don't have that problem any more!

After months and months of active research and development, I have developed an awesome and super-simple system that I am using exclusively for all my ABS prints on a Replicator 2X with 100% success.

It consists of a rigid ultra-flat build heat-resistant surface. I simply place the rigid build surface on the printer's original bed without any clips or hardware, and print.

I can print any model and I know it will never lift, warp, or come loose while it prints.

When the part is finished printing, I can lift the build surface right up and out of the printer, then place a new build surface on the bed and start printing again immediately. When the build surface with the parts on it cools, the parts can be popped right off by hand, but the parts never pop off by themselves during printing.

This system makes it a real joy to print again!

You still use ABS slurry on the surface, but you can make it as thin or thick as you want and it is still easy to remove the parts after the build surface cools. I use a fairly thick coat color-matched to the part I am printing, but thick doesn;t matter because I can still pop the finished parts right off.

The build surfaces are available in several colors, including black, gray, and white. We could do other colors like red, yellow, blue, green, metallics, etc., but I actually like white the best because it makes it easier to see your model building.

You can even pre-heat the build surface in the oven and put it in the printer at the last second to do ABS prints in a 3D printer that doesn't have a heated bed. I do this sometimes.

I'll do an Instructable and Thingiverse post on this new system soon. If there is enough interest from people, we will sell the build surfaces in certain sizes. They should be fairly cheap, and since they are permanent, the system is very economical.

There's a system called BuildTak (, but the reviews are pretty bed. I haven't tried it, but from what I have read, it seems to not last very long, and parts start to pop off after a few prints. I think it might be made of off-the-shelf textured Lexan sheets with adhesive backs like they use for making display labels for electronic equipment.

I have not tried my build surface with PLA yet.


Gavin.Perry (author)TechShopJim2014-10-29

Let me know when you have it ready. I'm interested in trying it out.

RichardB5 (author)2014-10-27

I have had a Solidoodle 4 for about a week and I was having a lot of trouble keeping my models adhered to the platform. I followed your advice and made this ABS slurry material and it worked perfect. Thank you very much for the advice!

jdawe2 (author)2014-10-19

Hi folks -

I've been baffled with this because it never seemed to work for me like everywhere i have read. My filament will flat out NOT dissolve in acetone. And, after a full day of soaking, It just turns to jelly-like sticky blobs in the bottom of the acetone cup while the acetone remains clear. When you try to stir it up with a small stick, it just smears onto the sides but not dissolved. I even bought another can of acetone thinking it was not 'pure'. Well - here's what i found:

My brand of filament SHAXON, was purchased from Fry's electronics here in Woodland Hills, CA. It's labled as BLACK - ABS - 1.75mm made by Shaxon Industries - made in China (like everything else).
What I think is happening is the the filament is actually PVC based (like the plumbing pipe) or similar which can be attacked or etched with acetone but not
completely dissolved. I tried using PVC plumbing pipe PRIMER - it worked great. However it's totally purple in color, horribly smelly and full of noxious fumes.
But it dissolved quickly and worked great as a "juice" mixture. I tried someone's suggestion from, and used one of my son's Lego blocks in a small cup of acetone for a test and prove this theory because Legos are pure ABS. The small biick dissolved immediately in just plain acetone in minutes. So, in conclusion, nowhere does it state on my filament package anything else but "ABS" but buyer beware -
it may be a actually PVC (i think)

cheers! - much respect - jdmech

Joohansson (author)2014-10-13

What temperature of the bed are you using? I have a problem with my Duplicator 4X because 100C on the bed makes the bed construction to bend as much as 0.2mm compared to 40C. The gap is larger closest to the door so I can´t just put in a Z offset. That forces me to re-calibrate the bed when switching between PLA and ABS.

Joohansson (author)Joohansson2014-10-13

By the way, I´m currently using this plate and it works great for both ABS and PLA (as long as ABS bed temp is high):

TechShopJim (author)Joohansson2014-10-14

Hi Joohansson...

I've read a lot of reviews of the BuildTak sheets, and they don't seem to be very durable or long-lasting from what people are saying.

From the sound of it, and I haven't played with it myself, I'm guessing that it is polycarbonate sheet like they use for labeling of electronic devices. This material is very inexpensive, can be printed under the back surface of the polycarbonate before the adhesive layer is bonded, and has that same texture. Here's a link to a company that makes these labels:

However, I have had the exact same results with sandblasted polycarbonate sheets...the ABS will stick really well at first, almost too well, but then after a few prints it will stop sticking.

I'll keep everyone up-to-date on our new no-clip, no-adhesive, coated glass print bed system. I'm thrilled with it so far, but it has been an enormous amount of work to get it to where it is today!

There have been some really cool side-discoveries with the coating compound. The most exciting discovery is that the coating makes the best laser-able resist for PCBs that I have ever seen, and also makes an amazing solder mask. TechShop Labs is also considering marketing this material for DIY home PCB making that will allow people to make really professional PCBs with a laser cutter.

More soon! ;)


TechShopJim (author)Joohansson2014-10-14

Hi Joohansson...

I print in ABS and always set the bed to 110 degrees C.

We are developing an interesting bed system here at TechShop Labs that we may offer commercially. It consists of a 6mm glass plate that sticks to the bed without any adhesives or clips using a thin layer of proprietary material that we developed in-house. The glass plate is coated with a very durable heat and chemical-resistant coating that we also developed ourselves that works better than Kapton tape and is far more durable. Plus, the coating can be any color that is desired...I'm using white right now and it allows you to see the part being printed really easily. You just spray the ABS slurry juice on the surface and every time without warping or releasing! When the print is done, you simply lift the glass plate off the bed and put another glass plate down and you can keep printing. It is REALLY great! I'm printing something on it right now.


ThierryD1 (author)2014-09-23

Thank you so much for helping me out here! It works like a charm, and I am finally into business printing all of the objects I would like..

The sky is the limit now :-)



CalebM1 (author)2014-08-14

I wonder if this would work as minor repair to parts as well, or fill in for gaps. do some sanding then brush on a lil acitone abs

TechShopJim (author)CalebM12014-08-14

Hi CalebM1...

Maybe so. I know you can glue different ABS models together with the slurry. It is called a "solvent bond" or "solvent weld".


BossieH (author)2014-08-07

Hi you all,

Is there a specific Hairspray that can be bought on e-bay that's been tested? and when in the process do you spray the stuff on.

Frustrated beginner with Wharped mind!!!

reubenrowntree (author)2014-08-05

What's that you're printing? Looks cool.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm the Founder and Chairman of TechShop.
More by TechShopJim:Fix a Mac Mini Loose Power Connector Cable!Foolproof ESP8266-12E Programming and UseHow To Identify Red and Yellow Wires on a K Thermocouple...with a Magnet!
Add instructable to: