Curl is defined as the distortion of horizontal surfaces caused by the shrinkage of a new layer as it’s applied over the existing layers, causing those layers to deform. This can be a challenge with parts that have thick cross sections or large flat areas. Insight™ software features several tools that can mitigate part curl even on the most challenging geometries.
1.1. Base Layer Modifications
Two non-invasive ways to reduce part curl are to increase the support Base oversize and Base layers values in the Insight software Support Parameters dialog box. Change one or both values as needed to achieve the best results. These two options are ideal when used with standard and engineering-grade thermoplastics because they won’t leave any residual marks on the part.
1.2. Removing Perforations
For materials with breakaway supports the default support parameters add perforations (single model layers incorporated in the support at predetermined intervals) for ease of support removal. For geometries where a large amount of stress may induce curling, failure may occur at the perforation layer. Typically, these geometries have large areas of support and curling can be avoided by eliminating perforations.
NOTE: Consider the part geometry and support removal process when removing perforations. For intricate or detailed parts, removal of perforations is not recommended.
1.3. Anchor Columns
On large flat parts (> 305 mm [12 in.] long and >12.7 mm [0.5 in.] thick) that have the potential to curl due to differential cooling, anchor columns may be used to secure the model to the base. The anchor column is made of model material and will need to be mechanically removed after the build. Placement and quantity will depend on the part’s geometry and any observed curl in previous builds.
NOTE: If the surface quality of the downward-facing surfaces is important, consider using Stabilize Wall to secure the parts by its vertical surfaces. This method isn’t as robust but can be less invasive while reducing part curl.
The complete document can be downloaded here.