Avoiding Warping

Some users may experience objects becoming distorted in shape as it is being printed. This can manifest itself in different ways: lifting off of the bed, shell layer shrinkage, and "waving." All of these issues are derived from one primary cause, the filament is cooling too quickly as the object is being printed.

Pro Tip 1: ABS filaments tend to warp much more then PLA. If you are a user who seems to be plagued by the most stubborn of warping issues, even after following these tips, you may want to use PLA instead.

Pro Tip 2: Remember when dealing with heat or introducing modifications to your printer, always babysit your machine for the first few print jobs. It would be a mistake to leave your printer unattended without verifying that your modifications are working safely and effectively. Furthermore, you should be there to turn off the printer in case something goes awry.


When objects lift off of the bed you will notice a portion of the print sticking well and others with a gap between the build surface and the object. This problem is most closely related to problems with prints not sticking at all. Both problems can be resolved by following the same set of procedures. For this, you will want to review the following supportive documentation: Getting Prints To Stick To The Build Platform.

There are, however, additional measures you can take to specifically prevent lifting. Lifting occurs most often at sharp corners and at large surface areas. If possible, incorporate chamfers, fillets, and rounds in your designs to lessen the strain on corners which in turn reduces the chance of lifting. Another method is to attach small, one-layer-thick circles around corners. This increases the surface area of the corners, allowing them to adhere to the bed better and resist lifting. To apply this technique to your entire print, you can simply add a "brim" to your model in your slicer settings under skirt and brim.

Removing excess material within your model will reduce the amount of pull on the outer surface, reducing deformities. Reducing the infill also provides similar results.

Shell layer shrinkage

When shell layer shrinkage occurs when the infill cools as the shell layers are being printed. This is because as the infill cools, it contracts thereby slightly pulling in the outer layers of your object. You will notice the object looks like it is caving in on itself slightly.

To remedy this you will want to introduce an enclosure to trap heat inside the print cabin (insulate). For 2nd Generation Solidoodle owners, you can purchase an enclosure here: Solidoodle Upgrade Pack. We do not offer a prefabricated enclosure for the 3rd Generation Solidoodle. A common and effective way to fabricate your own enclosure is to have quality sheets of acrylic cut to the dimensions of the printer frame. Then, you will want to adhere magnets to each corner of the acrylic sheet so that you can simply "magnet-on" the enclosure. When doing this, be sure to double check that the magnets are facing the correct side before the adhesive cures.

If you do not want to buy or build an enclosure for your Solidoodle, you can also add a makeshift enclosure to your print when you slice it. In your slicer settings under skirt and brim, you can add a skirt only a couple of millimeters away from your print that extends up several layers. This creates a one-layer-thick wall around your print that can help retain hot air by your print.

Reducing the infill can also reduce the chance of deformities. Because there is less plastic on the inside of your object, there is less force pulling on the outer shell.


Waving is related to shell layer shrinkage and can be corrected the same way, by introducing an enclosure. You will notice waving when portions of a print warp similarly to a piece of wood. This most commonly happens to objects that are long and slender such as a printed butter knife or clothes pins. Refer to the above section for instructions on how to add an enclosure or place a space heater near your printer to keep as much ambient heat near your print as possible.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License