The bane of personal 3D printing is warped prints, usually solved by adding a heated build platform. But they don’t always solve the problem.
Maker Adam Kemp (twitter @atomkemp) was having issues printing with his MakerBot Replicator 2X. Evidently prints repeatedly separated from the build surface, in spite of the heat.
He decided to capture a thermal image of his build platform to better understand what was happening. In the image above you can see that the temperature is not uniform over the surface. He says on a tweet:
Thermal img of my Rep 2X's platform. Set to 110C, actually ~95 at center & ~90 at the edges
What can we learn from this? Inexpensive 3D printers are not highly calibrated devices and variances should be expected. If you want precision, you will probably have to pay a lot more.