As the manufacturing industry is democratized by 3D printing, the technology is also being studied, researched, tested and used by people from different industries. The technology is not limited to engineers, but designers, hobbyists, and enthusiasts also use technology and building products.
As this technology is also used by numerous non-technical users, we are seeing a high failure rate and this creates a false impression of the 3D printing technology.
In this 3D Printing Filament Guide, we are going to explain how to be successful in 3D printing with the dreaded ABS filament. This will help users in 3D printing by taking the necessary precautions and will contribute to greater success in 3D printing.
What is ABS filament?
Above: ABS 3D printing filament / Photo credit: Matterhackers
ABS stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, a thermoplastic polymer. Because it is thermoplastic, it can be heated to its melting point, cooled, and reheated without significant degradation. As a result, these are widely used and mainly used in the plastics industry through injection molding.
ABS is not a naturally occurring material. It is made by an emulsion process. It is also made through a patented process called continuous bulk polymerization.
Why is ABS so popular?
Above: Lego bricks are made of ABS plastic / Photo credit: Lego
ABS is widely used in many plastic applications such as dashboards, LEGO parts, computer keyboards, housings and cases, etc. The reason for such wide use lies in the fact that it has excellent mechanical properties. It is easy to work with and has a low melting point which helps in injection molding into various products. In addition, it is relatively inexpensive.
3D printing filament manual: properties of ABS filament
In this guide to the 3D printing filament, the properties of the ABS filament are now listed.
Superior mechanical properties: The ABS material is known for its high impact resistance. It is very sturdy and durable. In addition, it has high heat and chemical resistance, which makes it ideal for many industrial environments.
Easy to edit: ABS filaments are quite easy to rework. In fact, this is also one of the main reasons why ABS filaments are preferred over other materials. It can easily be glued, painted and sanded. Acetone fumes can be used to give the parts a shiny finish.
Inexpensive: ABS material is relatively inexpensive and easily available in almost all major regions of the world. The price is comparable to polypropylene (PP) and / or polycarbonate (PC).
3D Printing Filament Guide: Understanding ABS Filament
ABS is a natural choice of parts manufacturers because of its inherent properties and existing uses in various industries. ABS is therefore also used extensively in 3D printing. In addition, ABS can easily be reworked as required. This makes it an optimal material for prototyping and even for end use through 3D printing.
Careful reworking of the ABS part can achieve an even, high-gloss finish. This makes it an ideal choice for all types of prototypes. One of the well-known uses of 3D printed ABS is in housings for IoT devices.
ABS is a non-biodegradable filament that cannot be fully recycled. ABS filament is toxic, but not with 3D printing. Above 400 ° C, the material breaks down into acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene, all of which can have carcinogenic effects on humans. Therefore, as a precaution, it is always recommended to wear appropriate masks when printing with ABS
Many manufacturers of 3D printing filaments supply ABS filaments. In India, companies like Rever Industries and Solidspace Technologies are some of the providers.
Price for ABS filament
ABS filaments generally cost between $ 15 and $ 70 per kilogram
In India, ABS filament would cost around Rs. 1000-1200 per kilogram
3D printing with ABS filament
Above: A cracked part made of ABS filament / Photo credit: Rigid.ink
While everything looks good with 3D printing, the material has a certain level of difficulty in printing. Many users experience problems with distortions, cracks, and inaccuracies. This results in people having a negative perception of the material.
First, it is important to understand that there is no common setting for all 3D printing filaments. Once we fathom this reality, we can work with different settings for different filaments and achieve excellent printing results.
ABS doesn’t print like PLA. It is far more complex than a normal PLA material. Many settings play a role in 3D printing with ABS filaments. It is recommended that users understand the possible causes of failure before switching to 3D printing ABS.
We’ll first take a look at the general pressure settings for ABS filaments.
General print settings
Printing temperature: 200 ° C to 250 ° C.
Bed temperature: 90 ° C to 110 ° C.
Printing speed: 20-30 mm / s
Tips for 3D printing ABS filaments
In this 3D Printing Filament Guide, we are going to share some tips about 3D printing with ABS filament.
First layer adhesion: It is important that the first layer adhere to the bed. For this purpose, the bed can be heated to approx. 100 ° C. Additionally, Kapton tape, glue, or ABS slurry can be applied to the bed surface to increase the adhesion of the print.
Use bed adhesion tools: Always use bed adhesion tools like brim and rafts from the slicer settings so that bed adhesion can be ensured throughout the duration of the print.
Use within the manufacturer’s temperature range: Always use the ABS filament within the temperature range specified by the filament manufacturer. Different manufacturers have slightly different ideal temperature settings, so it is always recommended that you follow this reference.
Closed housing: A closed housing ensures that the bed temperature is not affected and the pressure is carried out in a controlled environment. This helps in avoiding layer cracks.
Switching off the fan: Turn off the fan while printing with ABS filament. This also helps ensure a successful print.
Slow initial layer speed: Use advanced slicer settings to set slow initial layer speeds and ensure better first layer adhesion.
Keep the filament dry: Always store ABS filaments in a dry place so that they do not absorb humidity. Moisture can significantly affect the 3D printing process.
It’s important to understand that FDM 3D printing takes a lot of trial and error, and it’s always great to experiment and tweak the print settings to get better print results. This 3D Printing Filament Guide is a resource for any new learner to achieve a successful print every time.
About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online 3D printing magazine that publishes the latest 3D printing news, insights, and analysis from around the world. You can find more informative articles on our 3D printing information page.