FDM can choose different types of printing materials to achieve different printing effects, PLA is the most popular, ABS is very hard, and TPU is as soft as rubber. These materials make the application of FDM more extensive and can meet different needs. In this guide, we mainly focus on ABS filament, what is ABS filament, its properties and uses. ABS requires stricter temperature conditions, otherwise it is prone to problems during the printing process, resulting in printing failure. We will also share the skills of using ABS in 3D printing to help you avoid or solve the problems of using ABS.
What is ABS Filament?
ABS is one of the earliest plastics used in industrial 3D printers and is popular due to its low cost, excellent mechanical properties, toughness and impact resistance. As an amorphous plastic, ABS material has a high glass transition temperature, and the heat form slowly changes from outside to inside. This means that ABS can withstand higher temperatures before completely losing its physical strength. ABS is one of the options for 3D printer materials, and it is also commonly used in desktop-level FDM printers.
In terms of material strength, ABS filament is harder and more durable than other materials such as PLA. And higher temperature resistance than PLA filament. Currently, the most popular FDM printing material should be PLA, which is easier to use, has many advantages such as low odor, environmental protection, and UV resistance. The use of ABS filament is more challenging. But when 3D printers need a more rigid and durable model, ABS is still the best choice.
Pros of ABS Filament:
- Can withstand high impact, high temperature resistance
- Abrasion-resistant, shock-resistant and functional material
- Low price, high cost effective
Cons of ABS Filament:
- Obvious deformation after cooling, difficult to print
- ABS melts at high temperatures and produces harmful VOC
- ABS is sensitive to UV light and is not suitable for printing models that require d outdoor use
3D Printing with ABS: Tips for Success
Why is ABS Prone to Warping? How to Fix It
ABS has high requirements on temperature. Warping is the most common problem with ABS filament printing when we use 3D printer. The ABS is heated to at least 220°C by the nozzle, extruded and then immediately cooled to ambient temperature. This temperature change tends to cause the material to shrink, and as a result the first layer separates from the print bed, often causing warping issues, or shrinking deformations of the model, such as edges bending inwards.
How to fix ABS warping? In order to minimize the possibility of model warping, it is necessary to set a high temperature for print bed, which will heat up to 110°C when printing. The second method is to set the temperature of the printing starting layer when slicing the model, so that when printing the first layers of the model, the temperature of the nozzle and the platform will increase. The last suggestion, to reduce the material warping when printing large model, the wall thickness and filling can be appropriately reduced, which means reducing the use of material, thereby reducing the amount of shrinkage deformation.
Even if the model can be successfully printed on the platform, the edges of the model are still prone to deformation due to internal stress. This problem is especially for models with a large bottom area. To reduce the occurrence of this situation, it is best to add raft to the model to increase the area where the model is attached to the platform. Of course, adding raft will increase a lot of printing time. By modifying the thickness and density of the base, the printing time can be shortened and this problem can be improved.
Ensure an Appropriate Environment
ABS printing will be affected by the environment. Paying attention to this is also helpful to improve the printing success rate. In order to reduce the ambient temperature and reduce the interference of air flow on ABS material printing. It is best to provide the FDM printer with as stable a printing environment as possible.
In addition, ABS filament printing with a 3D printer will produce a strong smell, which is harmful to the human if inhaled over time, so be sure to circulate or filter the air well. Ensure the condition of ventilation before ABS printing.
ABS filament can print hard and wear-resistant models, allowing 3D printing to meet the needs of use in more situations. ABS is not as easy to start with as PLA filament, and requires more attention to temperature conditions and printing settings when using it. It is easy to warp, and you need to have a suitable machine. Desktop FDM printers, recommended with Anycubic Vyper, can support PLA, TPU, ABS, PETG, Wood and other kinds of filament printing. This printer is equipped with an automatic leveling system, which is friendly to novices, and provides powerful functions and good printing quality. Anycubic Vyper is a very cost-effective FDM printer, click to view the preferential price.