Our Guide to ABS For 3D Printing

Our Guide to ABS For 3D Printing

If you’re new to 3D printing and want to leverage this innovative technology for your business, it helps to understand the essential components to make it all happen. For starters, it’s good to look into all the available materials you can use for your prints so you can choose the right one that suits your needs and budget. 

Speaking of 3D printing materials, we’re here to focus on ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), which is one of the first plastics that are still popular in the industry today. Its iconic use is due to the material’s unprecedented impact strength and reliable mechanical properties, making ABS excellent for project enclosures, toys, or even automotive hardware.

While PLA is significantly easier to use for 3D printing, ABS remains a go-to choice for industrial printing applications due to its durability and ability to withstand high temperatures. 

What are the Positive Characteristics of ABS Filaments for 3D Printing?

ABS is great for printing professional-grade functional parts or prototypes thanks to its high impact and temperature resistance, reaching about -20°C and 80°C. This particular filament often comes with a diameter of 1.75 mm to 2.85 mm with an extensive selection of colours available, while the finish leaves a smooth and shiny surface even when using acetone. 

What are the Hardware Requirements You Should Consider When Printing Using ABS?

As mentioned above, using ABS is considerably more difficult since it is easy to deform, plus it also needs a heated chamber to prevent the print from warping or lifting from the bed. In that regard, it’s best to consider the following hardware requirements so you can maximise your ABS filaments and ensure better prints for your project. 

  • Heated Bed: Keeping your bed heated at 95-110 °C is necessary to prevent the layers of plastic from shrinking or contracting. Adding an enclosure is also a must to ensure the taller parts of your print is exposed to the same temperature even as it moves further away from the heated bed;

  • Bed Adhesions: Sometimes, printing large or delicate parts can still separate from the heated bed, but you can easily address this problem by adding either a brim or a raft to your print to keep it firmly attached in place. Additionally, you can also use an ABS slurry, which is a mix of ABS and acetone, to coat the surface of your bed.

The Bottom Line: The Basics of 3D Printing with ABS

ABS filaments may seem like a relic compared to the newer materials emerging in the industry, but it’s still a wonderful choice for professional printing today. 

Why Choose Us?

If you are looking for 3D printing services in Coventry, England, we’re the ones to call to get the job done! So long as you send us your .stl files, we can help bring your vision to life as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Our client-centric solutions ensure every stage of the development cycle meets your needs, allowing you to boost your production and gain a competitive edge all within your budget. Whether it’s 3D printing for architects or hobbyists, get in touch with us!