ABS filament

ABS filament (Acrylonitril-butadieen-styreen) is used a lot in 3D printing. The ABS filament has significant properties that make it a great option, such as its strength and the fact that it is lightweight while it can handle many different chemicals as well. ABS material is also recyclable, which means that it is better for the environment than some other plastics by causing less waste.

Specifications for ABS

Features
DurabilityHigh
Material costsLow
StrengthHigh
FlexibilityLow
Resistance
Heat resistanceHigh
Chemical resistanceHigh
Flame retardantYes
Water resistanceMedium
Temperatures
Nozzle temperature230 - 260 ‎°C
Heated bed80 - 110 ‎°C
Closed chamberRecommended

Features of ABS filament

Coming in a wide range of uses and applications, ABS filament is considerd a very good material for 3D printing. Its available in every thinkable color, while the raw color is white. It is used with a FFF (FDM) printer and is wound around a spool. The filament is unrolled during the 3D printing process.

Affordable pricing

One of the main features of ABS material is the fact that it is affordable, making it a type of additive manufacturing material that is favored by many industries. The cost of 3D printing with ABS material has reduced significantly, because of the lapse of patents that relate to FFF technology, saving businesses and industries a considerable amount of money.

Physical properties

The physical properties of ABS filament are raelly good, such as a high level of tensile strength and stiffness. It is used for mechanical purposes and because of its electrical properties. Heat and chemical resistance makes ABS favorable for many applications, while it is flame retardant as well.

Therefore, when it comes to printing and using a FFF 3D printer, ABS material is a popular choice. This is due to the way in which ABS material can be used to quickly create prototypes at a low cost and increased efficiency. Its features enable manufacturers to create 3D models that engineers and research departments can use to enhance their knowledge and make their working methods more efficient and cost effective.

Down points of ABS filament

When printing with ABS material and not using a closed chamber can cause warping issues. An enclosure keeps ambient temperature fluctuations to a minimum.

  • ✓ Very strong
  • ✓ High heat resistance
  • ✓ Flame retardent

5 tips for 3D printing ABS material

It has already been identified that ABS material is a popular choice for many industries but it does have competitors, like PLA or PETG. ABS is created in a different way to PLA, as that is derived from corn starch (bio-degradable), which gives it a lower melting point and means that it is not or less suitable for many of the applications that ABS is used for.

When printing with ABS material it is important to be mindful of the fumes that it emits. This occurres when ABS hits it melting point and leaves the extrusion head. These fumes could be toxic. Therefor it’s important that, if you are working in the same room as the 3D printer, this space is well-ventilated.

To help you with 3D printing ABS filament, we’re giving you our 5 tips for using ABS filament:

  1. 1. Importance of the first layer

Warping and lift-off can be a problem and so, a good first layer is essential to a successful end result when printing with ABS material. Make sure the build platform is properly calibrated. Preferably automatically calibrated, minimizing the risk of a human mistake. The best surface for printing ABS material without any adhesives is a PEI build plate. After the 3D print is finished and the cooling process has ended, the object can be removed from the printing surface quite easily, resulting in a bottom surface that is clean and smooth.

  1. 2. The heated build platform should always be on

Usually a temperature between 80 and 110 degrees will be adequate for the heated build platform when using ABS material. The larger the surface area (footprint) is of the 3D printed part, the more likely it is to have more warping forces present. To improve adhesion, apply hairspray to the heated bed. Similarly you can use a PEI build plate to increase the adhesion. Locate the object as close as possible to the center of the heated print bed. For the reason that the temperature is better preserved there, decreasing the chance of warping.

  1. 3. Look out for stringing (temperature too high)

If the temperature is too high then commonly you will notice stringing between the parts that are separated. Because the extruder will leak small amounts of plastic when it moves between the separate areas. Should this occur, it is important for the temperature to be reduced incrementally to the point where the extruder is no longer leaking the ABS material. The recommended extruder temperature is between 230 and 260°C, depending on the filament brand and 3D printer.

  1. 4. Layers fail to adhere (temperature too low)

Should the temperature be too cold, it will result in the ABS material failing to stick to the previous layer. This will cause the surface to feel rough. It is also possible to find that a part does not have the required strength, and therefore can be pulled apart easily. If this occurs then the extruder (nozzle) temperature should be increased incrementally. Do this until each layer has good line segments and the part is strong. You can change the temperature with the touchscreen on the 3D printer or in de online controlroom.

  1. 5. Keep the ABS filament dry

It is important to store the ABS material correct as this will have a positive impact on the quality of the print. This also minimizing the problems that come with warping and lift-off. Therefore, after the print job is done, the filament should be stored in a container or bag that is air tight. If the filament does take on moisture, it is possible to dry it before using it for 3D printing. Unlike PLA plastic, ABS does not absorb the water as much, but you still have to consider the importance of storing it correctly.

Industries that use ABS material

Pipes and Fittings

When compared to metals and other plastics, often ABS material is the preferred choice for pipes and fittings. This is down to the fact that it is easier to install, lighter in weight and will not suffer from corrosion or rotting, especially in those instances where it is used to collect waste. ABS has a high level of durability, more so than PVC and it is resistant to impacts and breakage in situations where temperatures are low.

Automotive

One of the main features of ABS material is the fact that is lightweight and is, in fact, lighter than many other plastics. Therefore, vehicles that have ABS plastic parts installed in some way are often lighter in weight by as much as 10%, making vehicles more fuel efficient. Commonly it will be used on dashboards, wheel covers and body parts due to the way it can resist low temperatures, its strength and its surface which is rugged enough to resist scratching.

Household appliances

When it comes to creating household appliances, for example vacuum cleaners, ABS material is one of the most popular choices. ABS makes it possible to create parts that are rigid and durable which are properties that cannot be found in other plastics and it can be produced in a large number of colors. Due to the texture of ABS material it resists scratches and is more than capable of handling heavy use.

PLA 3D printers

T650
The T650 is the smallest industrial 3D printer in our line-up.
T850
The T850 is the mid range industrial 3D printer in our DESK series.
T1250
The T1250 is the mid range industrial 3D printer in our DESK series.
T3000
The T3000 is our midsize industrial 3D printer. Print up to 1.45 meters high!
T3500
The T3500 is our largest industrial 3D printer. Print up to 2.1 meters high!

Other 3D filaments