You might post your question to the VPI forum.
I recall being "corrected" by HW regarding the 3D. He pointed out that the arm uses copper rods as stiffeners at critical points in the tonearm's construction (not malleable copper but the *other* high tensile variety - same stuff as used in plumbing) so the possibility of cracking, warping etc is greatly reduced, if not eliminated altogether. ;)
Had a very similar thing happen with my original Scout/9" tonearm. Turned out to be that the male pivot bearing tip was bent and as such was not sitting in the female bearing like it should. Tried to straighten it but was not successful. Ended up buying a new male bearing and a new female bearing for the tonearm and that fixed the problem. (The tip should be sharp to the touch)
Found it by using a bright light and a 10x loop, could clearly see it was bent at the tip. Probably caused by me not be careful with repeated mountings of the tonearm to the male bearing.