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Magigoo chemist Jean Paul Formosa, shares his insight and knowlege with regards to 3D print warping. Follow this 4 part blog series to learn about warping and its causes, and how to best reduce it.

In this 4 part series of blog posts we will be exploring :

Thermoplastic materials of different material compositions achieve optimum adhesion with different adhesion products. PLA, ABS and PET-G adhere firmly to the Original Magigoo® adhesive when the build-plate is hot and are easy to remove once the build-plate cools down. In addition to the original Magigoo® adhesive which is suited for printing conventional FDM materials, the Magigoo® Pro range consists of four additional adhesives designed specifically for use with different engineering grade materials.

The range includes Magigoo® PC for polycarbonate filaments, Magigoo® PA for Nylon and reinforced Nylon filaments, Magigoo® PP for polypropylene and other poly-olefinic materials and Magigoo® PPGF which is specifically tailored for glass fibre reinforced polypropylene filaments. Magigoo® products (seen in Figure 1) are designed and tested to be used on heated build-plates with glass surfaces, yet Magigoo products also work on other build surfaces such as aluminium, PEI and Kapton tape.

Figure 1: The whole Magigoo first layer 3D printing adhesives offering for ABS, PETG, HIPS, Nylon, PC, PP, Glass and Carbon infused PP, PC and Nylon filaments and others.

At Magigoo our aim is to help make your bed adhesion issues a thing of the past by suggesting the optimal settings for reliable bed adhesion each time. Unfortunately, every FDM printer and its environment is different so different materials will require different printer settings for optimal adhesion.

Therefore, we have been testing many materials with different Magigoo® adhesives on the Ultimaker S5, so you don’t have to. All the best settings will be shared as a downloadable file at the end of the series. Profiles for these tested materials can also be shared with those interested (kindly send an email to requesting these). Kindly scroll down to see this list.

What causes warping?

The FDM printing process requires that a polymer is molten and extruded onto a build-plate or a previous layer of extruded material, layer by layer. Each layer will thus be cooling at different rates leading to a temperature differential when the object is being printed. This manufacturing method will thus result in a part which is cooling non-uniformly, this leads to several issues including warping and print-failure due to insufficient adhesion.

Warping is when the print starts to lift up from the corners and deforming in a lateral direction (Figure 2). In extreme cases warping will cause the print to completely detach from the printer but even in mild cases it can be detrimental due to loss of dimensional accuracy which can lead to the part being unusable depending on the application. The severity of warp will depend on a number of factors with some materials being more prone to warp than others. It goes without saying that for a successful print this detrimental effect needs to be avoided as much as possible.

Figure 2: Nylon 3D print printed on Magigoo PA (Nylon) on the right shows no sign of warping. The left side printed on another adhesive shows warping due to insufficient bed adhesion.

Differential thermal contraction

The cause of warping can be attributed to the differential thermal contraction of each successive printed layer:

Figure 3: First Layer of 3D Print deposited on printing platform.

1. When the first layer is extruded onto the build-plate, it starts immediately cooling down to the build plate temperature, this will lead to the first layer to contract slightly (Figure 3).

Figure 4: Second layer of a 3d print deposited on the previous first layer.

2. The second layer will be deposited on the already contracted first layer while also cooling down, thus contracting on top of the first layer. Since the bottom layer is already slightly contracted when the upper layer is deposited, the upper layer will cause the layer below it to compress (Figure 4).

Figure 5: 3D Print warping due to thermal gradient

3. This process will keep on repeating itself as new layers are added causing more lateral compression of the lower layers. This results in an overall sheer force between the printed layers which we can call warping stress. If the warping stress is larger than the stiffness of the part and the bed adhesion the bottom of the print will inevitably start pulling away from the build plate. (Figure 5).

Factors affecting warping

Warping is cause due to several factors including the material properties and the printing conditions which are not independent of each other. One of the most important material properties governing the amount of warp in a print is the CTE (coefficient of thermal expansion). The CTE describes the tendency of a material to change its shape, area and volume as the temperature changes. A material with a high numerical value for linear CTE exhibits large changes in length as a response to temperature change. As a result materials which have a high CTE are more prone to warping than materials which do not exhibit large changes in dimensions during the thermal changes present during FDM printing.

In addition to CTE, change in the crystallinity of the material during cooling need to be consider. Crystalline materials such as PP and PEEK will crystallise on cooling from the molten state. Crystallisation can lead to potentially higher shrinkage rates since crystalline structures tend to be more tightly packed. The crystallisation of a material depends on several factors and merits a discussion of its own, at this point it is sufficient to assume that crystalline materials such as PP, some nylons and PEEK tend to warp more than amorphous plastics.

In the next part of this series we will go into further details on how to prevent this warping effect. Make sure not to miss it. In the mean time:

Recommended Magigoo Printing Settings

ManufacturerMaterialMagigoo Type1st layer build-plate temperature (°C)Default Bed Temperature (°C)Brim (mm)

BASF Innofil3DUltrafuse® PP GF30PPGF1002020
BASF Innofil3DPP NaturalPP807020
BASF Innofil3DASA NaturalPC110110No
BASF Innofil3DPET CFOriginal8075No
BASF Innofil3DPAHT CF15PA8075No
ClariantPA6/66 FRPA90807
ClariantPA6/66-GF20 FRPA8080No
ColorfabbXT-ClearOriginal 7575No
DSMArnitel® 2060 HTFlex908020
DSMNovamid® 1030CFPA7065No
DSMNovamid® 1070PA958520
DSMArnitel® 2045Flex807020
DSMNovamid® 1030PA80807
DuPont™Zytel® 3D1000FLPA1009020
DuPont™Hytrel® 3D4100FLPA1059520
FibreforceNylforce CFPA908520
FibreforceNylforce GFPA1009020
FormFutura®Centaur PPPP807020
Fiber ThreeF3 PA Pure LitePA8080No
Fiber ThreeF3 PA Pure ProPA8080No
IGUS®Iglidur I180PC11011020
Lehmann VossLUVOCOM® 3F PAHT CF 9742 BKPA105100No
Lehmann VossPAHTPA7070No
Lehmann VossLUVOCOM® 3F PAHT GK 9874 NTPA7070No
MatterhackersNylon XPA90808
MatterhackersNylon ProPA70707
MatterhackersNylon GPA90808
Owens CorningX-Strand™ GF30-PPPPGF1002020
Owens CorningX-Strand™ GF30-PA6PA7570No
PolymakerPolyLite™ PCPC110110No
PolymakerPolyMide™ PA6-GFPA7575
PolymakerPolyMax™ PCPC110110No
PolymakerPolyMide™ PA6-CFPA7570No
PolymakerPolyMide™ CoPAPA7070No
UltimakerCPEOriginal 75757
UltimakerTPU95AOriginal 008.75
UltimakerABSOriginal 85857
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