Straightening 3D Printed Items that Warp

HoboTim Oct 22, 2022

  1. HoboTim

    HoboTim TrainBoard Supporter

    Greetings All!

    I recently made a purchase from Shapeways and when it arrived, the item is slightly warped. The material it was printed in is a clear-ish FUD type material. I have heard of people straightening warped 3D prints before but I can't remember what they did to correct them.

    I searched all of TrainBoard and found nothing.

    Before I attempt what might work, I would like to hear from members who may have successfully straightened 3D prints in the past.

    Please keep suggestions to known fixes that have worked.

    Thanks in Advance!!!!
  2. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

    It might help to give an idea of the shape of the part. Do you have a picture or a Shapeways link to it?

  3. Randy Stahl

    Randy Stahl TrainBoard Supporter

    If you can clamp them in place straight toss them into a pail of water for a few hours. Doesn't even need to be hot or warm water. I had several interurban cars that were bowed in the center, so I put blocking inside the center. I got them really wet while I was wet sanding them and when I was done the cars were fine. since then, I have made several corrections to shapeways prints by clamping them and tossing them into the water for few hours.

  4. HoboTim

    HoboTim TrainBoard Supporter


    I read a reference to hot water in a post after posting this thread. I tried it and it worked so I did clamp it to a flat piece of aluminum, and it is as far as I can tell, it's straight, I am not going to remove the clamps till it is room temperature.


    I don't have a picture of the item, but it is a print for the concrete foundation to a building (with an imbedded rail). The underside is cross webbed to eliminate material, but I think that was the problem. Perhaps if it were a solid flat piece, it would have not warped. Maybe I'll try that next time. Any suggestions?

    BNSF FAN likes this.
  5. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

    The warping is caused by the curing or cleaning process Shapeways uses. Any resin print has the potential to warp if you cure it unevenly. It shrinks as it cures, so curing at different rates on or exposing one side to heat will make it warp. I think the support material that Shapeways uses is a type of wax, so heat is used to melt it away. A large plate like yours is probably the perfect thing to heat unevenly.

    Unless you created a large frame or structure to make it more rigid, I doubt you will be able to eliminate the warp. It's happened to some of my HO flat cars, and the water method is the one Shapeways usually recommends. It seems to work well enough, and it's cheaper than designing and printing more robust supports.
    HoboTim and BNSF FAN like this.

Share This Page