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I am wondering if anyone can help me achieve a good 3d print using polypropylene. I am trying to print custom insoles for shoes and I'm getting some bad warping/lifting (see image).

example of warping using polypropylene

Some details about the print and process:

  • I have a Prusa i3 Mk2S with a Flexion extruder
  • I am using what I believe is a good quality filament (Verbatim PP): https://www.verbatim.com.au/3d-printing/pp-filament/3d-pp-filament.html
  • I am coating my hotbead with clear packaging adhesive (OPP tape) as per the manufacturers instructions. This appears to help quite a bit.
  • Bed heated to 75 degrees. I tried 100 but got hit with the "Heatbed Thermal Runaway" error which I believe indicates that not enough voltage is getting to the bed heater.
  • I've tried printing at 220 degrees and 170 degrees.
  • I've tried enclosing the printer in a makeshift enclosure to reduce the speed that the material is cooling at.
  • Other settings: speed 40mm/s constant, 0.2mm layer height, 20% infill, 3 top bottom and side layers.

The print takes about 5 hours and seems to stay down for an hour or two before starting to warp.

Does anyone have any suggestions of things I should try?

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Try heating your enclosure to 50C, as well as adding a brim.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Davo, I don't have a proper enclosure and the makeshift one that I made enclosed the circuit board as well... I'm a bit worried about the circuit board and components being at 50C. Do you think this might cause a problem? $\endgroup$ – Stephen Archer Aug 30 '17 at 7:09
  • $\begingroup$ I can't speak for your equipment. My equipment is rated to run at 55C with no issues. See what the manufacturer says. $\endgroup$ – Davo Aug 30 '17 at 11:05
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You should enable the "brim" functionality of your slicer. This adds additional perimeters to the first layer, expanding the base of the model. The larger surface area gives more adhesion.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Tom, unfortunately this didn't really help for me. I have used a brim for ABS in the past and it has worked well but it wasn't helpful for PP. $\endgroup$ – Stephen Archer Aug 30 '17 at 7:06
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One thing that seemed to help is making sure the heated bed was 100C. I was able to do this on my Prusa by turning off the front fan (for the whole print). If I have both the fan on and the heated bed at 100C I get the "Heatbed Thermal Runaway" error.

This produced a print that was better but still a bit warped.

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