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I've been printing for a week now on my new printer and have been getting great results, including great adhesion. However, most of my prints have had a fairly small footprint.

Now, I'm stepping up the types of items I'm printing, and I've started to run into a problem. Long, thin parts are starting to lift off the bed, especially at the edges of the bed.

I've read the question dealing with this issue with ABS and realize some (most) could apply to me. However, I'm printing entirely in PLA on a non-heated bed.

My question is: What is the best way to go about troubleshooting this problem? In which order should I attempt fixes to narrow down the problem most quickly?

Printer: Monoprice Maker Architect 3D (Very similar to Makerbot)

Material: PLA

Heated Bed: No

Bed Material: Something similar to BuildTak on top of an acrylic bed. (The sheet of material came unlabeled with the printer and I haven't been able to track down exactly what it is.)

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There are several things you could try without spending much but even PLA will warp on an unheated bed. I had a Legacy Kossel that I switched to an acrylic bed and had many issues with warping and prints pulling off the bed.

Some cheap things to try would be...

  1. Adding a brim to the print.
  2. Blue painters tape on the acrylic, remove the other material if doing this.
  3. Place cheap piece of glass/mirror on bed and use hairspray/gluestick.
  4. Use hairspray/gluestick directly on acrylic. You must be careful here because first layer height is very critical to prevent damage to the acrylic from the plastic welding. A layer of hairspray or glue should prevent it but dial in your height before printing.
  5. If you aren't currently using a fan, you could try sealing the sides to prevent drafts. I doubt this would change much since you are using PLA but it's an option.
  6. If these are your designs, there are steps you can take to reduce warping as seen here.

Also many other suggestions here.

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    $\begingroup$ Agreed on all points. Also, remember to keep the surface clean. I couldn't get PLA to adhere to blue painters tape until I cleaned it with alcohol (even with a heated bed). $\endgroup$ – TextGeek Jan 15 '16 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ In addition, a raft will make the prints wider so it would take more force to warp. $\endgroup$ – Eric Johnson Jan 16 '16 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ You might also suggest the benefits of using a larger raft next to your suggestion about brims. Very good answer by the way. $\endgroup$ – tbm0115 Jan 16 '16 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ You mean a brim? Rafts typically aren't larger than the print. $\endgroup$ – tjb1 Jan 16 '16 at 16:49
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I use 3DLAC from Reprapworld on a heated bed. People I meet once a month during our 3D Printer meets use this stuff on non-heated beds.

I suspect it is just hairspray, but for me it did miracles. Especially printing large objects that go all the way up to the edge.

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  • $\begingroup$ 3DLAC indeed is wonderful stuff; have been using it for years on aluminium heatbed and glass. But, the tackiness of 3DLAC strongly increases with temperature up to about 90 ºC, Dimafix would even be more tacky upto higher temperatures. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Jun 24 at 7:46
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Try a dilute solution of PVA glue (approx. 5:1 water:PVA) applied to the bed or the BuildTak like sheet and allowed to dry. Keep the ambient temperature as high as possible (but not so high as to soften any plastic on the printer obviously). Big brims help - consider adding them to the model rather than just applying them in the slicer. I've used 12 mm by 0.5 mm deep circles to good effect, particularly on acutely angled parts of the model or the extremities.

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