3D printing: Deformation and how to improve it

Do small details of your prints just turn into a fused mess? The hotter the plastic gets, the more liquid it becomes. The goal is for it to harden just as it reaches the plate. If this does not happen, it will flow to places it should not, and ruin the print. Here are some things you can do to avoid deformation.

Print a little cooler

By lowering the print temperature you can shorten the time that elapses from the plastic leaving the nozzle until it solidifies. Try lowering the temperature by 10 degrees (but no lower than 190 degrees, or whatever the minimum temperature is for your filament) and see if that solves the problem. This can help with the deformations but can in turn result in during extrusion.

Improve cooling

Lack of proper cooling of the part while it is printing is often the reason why your print ends up as in the picture. Turn on the fan from your control panel, check if your fan is running as it should and feel under the nozzle (while it is cold) if it is working properly. If not, you can check the wires and see if they are damaged or you can just replaced the fan with a new one.

There are a lot of printers that come with only one fan to cool the part. In many cases this is perfectly fine but it can happen that the print itself can block the air from reaching the point to be cooled. A lot of people design parts that are ready to be printed and replaced with the existing parts. They can  help redirect the air around to the other side of the nozzle and cover more of the model. Models deisgned specificly for your printer can often be found on sites like Thingiverse and MyMiniFactory.

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Published: Oct 2020, updated: Jan 2021