How to Save a Warping 3D Print (mid Print!)


Introduction: How to Save a Warping 3D Print (mid Print!)

There is nothing worse then being halfway through a 4 hour print and realising the print has started warping off of the build plate. This has happened many times before with ABS so instead of frustratingly hitting the kill button and restarting, I started thinking of solutions. Then I saw a roll of duct tape sitting on my desk - add this to it's very long list of capabilities. As long as you have a decent brim on your print, this little tip should work well. I haven't tried it on a print with no brim as I always print with one. (let me know if you try it in the comments)

Step 1: Print With a Small Brim.

I haven't tried this little tip without a brim so can't comment on it's success without one. I always print with a brim anyway as it lets the nozzle extrude a bit before getting to the actual print and gives me time to adjust the Z height (or calibration) by eye. This is easily done on a RepRap Mendel90. I tend to print with a brim of about 5-15mm depending on the object.

Step 2: Apply Duct Tape to Warping Area.

The sooner you notice an area warping the less of an effect it will have on the print. Simply cut the duct tape to fit (or use multiple pieces) and tape the brim to the build plate. Be very careful not to push to hard as you may pop the other side up! It's OK if there is still a small gap as the warping won't get any worse from now on. Smooth down (don't burn yourself) the tape so that it is nice and stuck. It lasted for the remainder of the print which was about two hours. I'm glad I figured this out as it saved me having to do a reprint of a very long print.

Step 3: Use It As a Normal Adhesion Method???

I see no reason why this cannot also be used to compliment your normal method of adhesion. On larger prints, once the brim is down it should help the print stick to the bed. Once an area has lifted even the slightest bit it will just keep getting worse so the tape should help stop it from lifting in the first place.

Thanks for reading my first instructable! Please leave any feedback or constructive criticism in the comments. If you enjoyed this 'ible or I saved a print from failing then please comment and favourite it. Happy printing! :)



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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I just tested super glue with excellent results. Just let the printer run the first few layers and, when the part is about 1-2mm high, pause the print and apply the glue to the corners you find more likely to warp. My heated build platform was covered with hair spray so, after cooling, the part still released much easier than I had anticipated.

    2 replies

    If it's warped to far to save with duct tape, then this is another reliable method. However, I don't recommend it as most super/CA glues give off toxic fumes that will make your eyes sting if you're too close.

    That's another great idea, thanks for letting everyone know of i'ts success. I'm sure there will be some day I don't have duct tape handy but I always have bottles of super glue around. I've found that Elmers Xtreme glue works brilliantly for sticking prints to the build platform. I've had only one or two prints not stick properly while using it and the duct tape method saved both of them.


    I prefer the ABS juice and glue sticks.
    After the brim is done I add a layer of ABS juice around and over it so the next layer would overlap on the ABS juice.
    Especially bigger parts that I know will warp off the bed at some stage get a bit glue stick in the affected areas before printing.
    You need to wait till the glue is fully dry but on a heated bed that should only take seconds.
    And yes, I used the jucie for ABS AND PLA parts.

    1 reply

    Thanks for pointing that out. I've always been a fan of the glue stick method using Elmer's X-treme glue. Prints just stick, and stay stuck the whole time. However, it's now really difficult to get in Australia for a reasonable price as Officeworks stopped selling it.

    I've tried experimenting but NO other brands will work, UHU, Bostik etc all dry up and simply don't stick. The only way I can get my ABS prints to stick now is with the messy ABS juice method. However, UHU glue sticks work great for nylon as the bed temp is only around 50 degrees (C).