Introduction: Fixing Warped Prints
This Instructable will take you through the steps of fixing an already warped print. This is not an instructable on preventing your printer from printing a print that warps, merely a guide on what to do after you have a warped print on your hands.
No one likes to throw a print away, especially one that takes 5, 10, or even 15 hours to make. The problem is the bigger the print the more it warps. Many prints have multiple pieces that stick together to form one MEGAPRINT!!! But what happens when one or more of these prints warp, you have to start the print all over. This Instructable will save your plastic, your print time, and your sanity.
Step 1: Warped Print
Attached are many images of warped prints I personally have made. Some big, some small, some really warped, some slightly warped. The inevitable warped print has plagued me many times and I have finally found a way to lessen its devastation. Walk through these quick and easy steps to learn a practical way anyone with a stove can unwarp a 3d printed part.
Step 2: Setup
This step will take you through setup for unwarping your 3d printed masterpieces.
- Stove top (in kitchen probably)
-Cooking pot, or pan
-3d printed parts
-x2 hard objects with handle (I used 2 wooden spoons)
Once you have these tools, set the stove heat to low (or 4-5 if you have a 1-10 number scale) and put the cooking pot or pan over burner. Fill pot or pan with a small amount of water, maybe 1/8"-1/4" (until the entire warp is underwater). Let water warm up to a decent temperature, not boiling, but not so cool you would hold your hand in it (appr. 100-150 F).
Step 3: The Flattening!!!
Now that the water is warmed up and setup is complete, take your 3d printed part and put it in. It will take a few moments for the plastic to heat up but when it does it will become quite pliable. The water should only be on the bottom few lines (all warped lines) of the print so use your fingers (or hard object tool) to push down lightly on the part. Push evenly on both warped ends of the piece until you can tell it is lying flat on the bottom of the pan (or pot).
NOTE: This process can take some practice as the plastic is soft enough to manipulate in a destructive manor.
Step 4: Removal
Once the part is heated so it is pliable quickly remove it from the pot (do not worry if the part isn't flat while you are removing it). I use tongs on small objects and my fingers on larger ones. Quickly put the part on a flat surface and apply pressure to spots that were previously warped. Hold pressure until the part starts to solidify then remove and wait until it is completely cooled.
NOTE: It may also be helpful to hold pressure until it is fully cooled, but once again be careful because if it is not done correctly your print may become indented/ruined.
Step 5: The Big Finish
Some things to note about this method is that it will not fix everything on every print. Sometimes, due to warping, less plastic is applied to warped spots and obviously this will not fix that issue. Also it is very difficult to get an edge that warps to match up exactly with another edge, even after this method. It will however greatly increase the amount of surface touching on both objects, and could (if done very well) cause edges to line up "Perfectly".
The piece printed and used in this instructable can be found here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:697635 and is a great print if you are into any and everything RUBIK's. Also an easy print for 3d print beginners! It will show how well your printer is printing due to parts that fit together very tightly and must move after assembly.
Now that your part is unwarped you can enjoy your printed part and apply it to whatever assembly it is needed in. Watch as your pile of "scrap" quits growing, and the efficiency in printing goes up. Use this Instructable to save a botched print and use your printer to print "new" things, not "repeated" things.
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