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3D Print Warping

  • 5 min read

Beat3D Print Warping: Best Techniques for Seamless Outputs

When it comes to 3D printing, one of the most common and frustrating issues encountered by enthusiasts and professionals alike is "3D print warping". This in-depth article delves into the basics of 3D print warping, including its definition, root causes, and most importantly, proactive solutions to mitigate this nagging problem. Embark with us on this knowledgeable journey to combat warp, enhancing the quality, aesthetics, and functionality of your 3D printed objects.

What Is 3D Print Warping?

3D print warping is an unwanted printing issue prevalent in Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), which causes parts to deform on the print bed. The first signs of warping can usually be found in your 3D print's base curving upwards and the corners detaching from the print bed. This kind of deformation is often the result of plastic materials cooling too quickly and shrinking upon the print bed, fostering a significant difference in volume in the printed object, leading to warping, or as it's also commonly known, curling.
Warping is understood and observed more effectively by looking at the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process as a whole. The process begins with a heated extruder depositing melted filament onto a print bed. As the heat-expanded filament cools down, it hardens and contracts; this contraction, known as thermal expansion, is a general property of most materials when they cool. If not properly controlled, this process can cause warping.

What Causes Warping in 3D Printing?

Warping in 3D printing is a common issue that can significantly affect the quality and accuracy of prints. This section delves into the primary factors contributing to warping, such as temperature differentials, poor bed adhesion, and cooling fan settings. Understanding these causes is crucial for diagnosing and addressing warping in your 3D printing projects.

Temperature Differential

What causes warping in 3D printing? In FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printing, thermoplastic (a material that melts when heated and resolidifies when cooled) is used. During the printing process, the heated extruder deposits this melted filament onto a print bed. Once deposited, the filament begins to cool down and contract, a process known as thermal expansion. Problems occur when this cooling process is not well controlled—the plastic may cool too quickly, or unevenly on the build platform. The rapid or uneven shrinkage can pull on less solidified layers, causing the first few layers to lift off the build platform and resulting in deformation or warping.

Poor Bed Adhesion

The adhesion (how firmly the first layer of your 3D print sticks to the print bed) can significantly influence 3D print warping on bed. Poor bed adhesion will weaken the bond between the 3D-printed part and the printed bed surface. The weakened adhesion offers less resistance against the pulling forces of the cooling and contracting layers, causing curling and subsequent warping.

Cooling Fan Settings

The cooling fan settings can be a crucial factor in 3D print warping if not properly adjusted. The fans' primary role is to cool the print, solidifying the filament once it's been melted and extruded. However, if the cooling is too aggressive, it can cause an abrupt temperature change in the layers of your print, contributing to uneven and rapid cooling and thus, warping.

How to Fix Warping 3D Printing?

Combatting 3d printing warping is essential for achieving high-quality prints. This part of the guide explores effective strategies to mitigate warping. These solutions provide a comprehensive approach to minimize warping and enhance the overall printing experience.

Warp-Resistant Materials

Some materials are less prone to shrinkage and, thus, reduced warping. PLA (Polylactic acid) and PETG (Polyethylene terephthalate) are two examples of such materials. They have lower melting temperatures and do not require extreme heat to print, making them relatively resistant to warping. In addition, PETG has good adhesion, which helps the first layers stick to the build platform and prevents warping as the part cools.

Improve Bed Adhesion

How to fix warping 3d printing? Better bed adhesion can minimize the chances of warping. This can be achieved using dedicated 3D printer adhesives or even common products like glue sticks or hairspray. Tape, such as painter's tape or Kapton tape, can also be utilized. The print surface should always be clean before and after printing to ensure good adhesion consistency.

Control the Print Environment

Controlling the environmental factors around your 3D printer can help alleviate warping. The use of an enclosed print chamber maintains an ambient temperature throughout the print process, preventing the layers from cooling too rapidly. Additionally, adjusting cooling fan speed settings and maintaining a consistent room temperature can also improve temperature consistency.

Adjust Printing Parameters

Several print parameters can be fine-tuned to reduce the chances of warping. For example, using a heated build plate can help improve bed adhesion. Each filament type will have its own recommended bed temperature, and adhering to these recommended settings can drastically reduce warping. Print speed, cooling speed, and other printer-specific settings can be tweaked to provide optimal conditions for minimizing warping.
But wait, there’s more! It is essential as well to have a reliable and high-quality 3D printer to ensure seamless outputs. Check out our selected 3D printers from AnkerMake:


  1. AnkerMake M5 3D Printer
Experience blazing-fast printing with the AnkerMake M5 3D Printer, with a high speed of 500 mm/s. Featuring precise 0.1mm detail, built-in AI camera monitoring, and auto-generated timelapses. The AnkerMake app connects multiple devices, offering 7x7 auto-leveling, easy assembly, and a sturdy aluminum alloy structure. With a print volume of 235x235x250 mm³, bring your designs to life with precision & efficiency.
  1. AnkerMake M5C 3D Printer
Discover seamless multi-device control with the AnkerMake M5C 3D Printer, featuring a customizable one-click button. Boasting 500 mm/s high-speed printing, 35 mm³/s extrusion flow, and 0.1 mm precise printing, creating flawless prints is a breeze. The 7x7 auto-leveling ensures unmatched stability and consistency, making the M5C the ultimate choice for creative professionals and hobbyists alike.



Ultimately, understanding and addressing 3D print warping provides a vital step towards achieving flawless results for your projects. Being adaptable and proactive with prevention and fixing techniques ensures the creation of high-quality 3D prints, subsequently establishing proficiency and satisfaction. Keep refining your skills and knowledge, as conquering warping will only bring you closer to mastering the world of 3D printing.


Here are some commonly asked queries about 3D print warping.

Does PLA warp less than ABS?

Yes, PLA warps less than ABS due to its excellent printability and ease of use. It adheres better to various print bed surfaces and does not require a heated bed or an enclosed print chamber, ensuring more consistent and accurate print results with reduced warping or curling compared to ABS.

Can moist filament cause warping?

Absolutely, moist filament can lead to warping. Filaments such as ABS, PLA, and Nylon are hygroscopic, meaning they can soak up moisture from the air. When a wet filament passes through a hot extruder, the moisture evaporates causing the filament to expand and cool unevenly. This result in warping and other print quality issues.

Why is my 3D print warping in the middle?

Warping in the middle of your 3D print could be due to various reasons such as uneven cooling, an unlevelled printing bed, or incorrect printing settings. Warping typically occurs when different parts of a print cool at different rates, causing some areas to contract faster than others. Using a heated print bed and ensuring your print settings are optimal can help mitigate the issue.