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What causes ABS warping? 5 Tips to Stop It

Sep 07,2023 | 3D4Create

ABS warping is a common issue in 3D printing that can hinder the quality and success of your prints. 

In this blog, we will explore the reasons behind ABS warping and provide you with five essential tips to help you prevent it.

What causes ABS warping? 5 Tips to Stop It

ABS on the right side is warping (photo: Facfox)


I. Understanding the Causes of ABS Warping

A. Thermal Contraction and Uneven Cooling

ABS filament contracts as it cools down, which can lead to warping. Uneven cooling exacerbates this issue, causing uneven shrinkage and eventual warping.

B. Insufficient Bed Adhesion

Poor bed adhesion is another factor contributing to ABS warping. When the first layer doesn't adhere properly to the print bed, it can result in warping throughout the print.

C. Incorrect Print Settings

Inaccurate print settings, such as improper temperature, inadequate infill, or incorrect print speed, can disrupt the even distribution of heat and lead to ABS warping.

D. Inadequate Filament Drying

Moisture absorption by ABS filament can cause warping during the printing process. Printing with damp filament leads to the release of steam, resulting in deformation and warping. You can get a filament dryer to dry your ABS to produce better prints.

SUNLU S1 Plus Filament Dryer Box - Drying Filament During 3D Printing

SUNLU S1 Plus Filament Dryer Box

E. Design Flaws in the Model

Poorly designed models with sharp corners, steep overhangs, or insufficient support structures can contribute to increased stress on the print, leading to warping.


II. Top 5 Tips to Prevent ABS Warping

A. Leveling the Print Bed Properly

Start by ensuring the print bed is leveled correctly. A level bed allows for consistent adhesion, reducing the chances of warping. Regular bed leveling maintenance is crucial.

B. Using a Heated Bed and Enclosure

ABS printing generally requires a heated print bed to minimize warping. Maintaining an optimal bed temperature, typically around 90-110°C, promotes even cooling and reduces warping. Adding an enclosure around the printer can also help maintain a stable printing environment.

What causes ABS warping? 5 Tips to Stop It

DIY 3D printer enclosure (photo: DHR)

C. Applying Proper Bed Adhesion Techniques

Employ effective bed adhesion methods like using adhesives, such as hairspray or glue stick, to enhance the bonding between the first layer and the print bed. Additionally, using a build surface or adhesive pads designed for ABS filament can improve bed adhesion.

D. Optimizing Print Settings for ABS Filament

Fine-tuning your print settings specifically for ABS filament is essential. Adjust print temperature, infill percentage, print speed, and cooling settings to address the unique characteristics of ABS and reduce warping risks.

E. Ensuring Proper Filament Storage and Drying

Store ABS filament in a moisture-resistant container with desiccant packs to prevent moisture absorption. Furthermore, consider drying the filament before printing using a dedicated filament dryer, ensuring optimal print quality and minimizing warping.

PLA ABS TPU 3D Filament Storage Vacuum Bag

PLA ABS TPU 3D Filament Storage Vacuum Bag


III. Advanced Techniques for ABS Warping Prevention

A. Brim, Raft, or Skirt Techniques

Implementing these techniques can enhance bed adhesion and stability throughout the print. A brim creates a wide base around the print, while a raft acts as a foundation underneath it. A skirt helps prime the extruder and check leveling.

B. Implementing ABS Slurry or Adhesive Solutions

ABS slurry, made by dissolving ABS filament in acetone, can be used as an adhesive to increase bed adhesion. Applying the slurry directly to the print bed creates a strong bond, minimizing warping risks.

C. Utilizing ABS-Specific Printing Accessories

Consider using accessories like an enclosure, heat-resistant adhesive tapes, or specialized ABS printing surfaces. These accessories can optimize the printing environment and effectively reduce ABS warping.


IV. Troubleshooting Common ABS Warping Issues

A. Identifying and Addressing Layer Separation

Layer separation can lead to warping. Adjusting print settings, such as temperature, layer height, and filament flow, can help mitigate this issue and promote better layer adhesion.

B. Dealing with Warping During Large-Scale Prints

Large-scale prints are more prone to warping due to longer printing times and increased cooling variations. Implementing techniques like brims, rafts, or an enclosure becomes even more crucial for successful large-scale prints.

C. Resolving Warping Issues on Overhangs or Sharp Corners

Overhangs and sharp corners create stress points that contribute to warping. Adding supports, adjusting cooling settings, or modifying the model design can help alleviate warping in these areas.

eSUN ABS+ Filament for 3D Printer 1.75mm 1KG

eSUN ABS+ Filament for 3D Printer 1.75mm 1KG


V. Conclusion

By implementing proper print bed leveling, utilizing a heated bed and enclosure, optimizing print settings, ensuring filament storage and drying, and employing advanced techniques, you can significantly reduce ABS warping risks and achieve successful prints consistently. 



1. What causes ABS warping?

A: ABS warping is often caused by thermal contraction, uneven cooling, insufficient bed adhesion, incorrect print settings, inadequate filament drying, and design flaws in the model.

2. How do you prevent ASA warping?

A: To prevent ASA warping, ensure proper bed leveling, use a heated bed and enclosure, apply effective bed adhesion techniques, optimize print settings for ASA filament, and store and dry the filament correctly.

3. Why do my 3D prints keep warping?

A: Several factors can contribute to 3D print warping, including poor bed adhesion, improper print settings, inadequate cooling, moisture in the filament, and design issues. Addressing these factors can help reduce warping.

4. How do I stop PLA from warping?

A: To prevent PLA warping, ensure proper bed leveling, use a heated bed if needed, improve bed adhesion with techniques like a brim or adhesive, optimize print settings, and control the printing environment to avoid temperature fluctuations.

See Also:

What is ABS Filament? A Beginner's Guide to Using ABS for 3D Printing

ABS Filament: How to Print Safely?