ABS Filament: Everything You Need to Know

3DJake Abs Filament

Learn about ABS filament: its strength, durability, heat resistance, and post-processing options. Address challenges such as warping, toxicity, and disposal.


by Editorial Staff: We are a team of 3D Printing Enthusiasts who have build a lot of knowledge about 3D Printing the last 8 years. Our aim is to create the knowledge hub for 3D Printing covering all minor and major topics. Providing one source of reliable Information for everybody regardless of Beginner or Expert.


Introduction

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) filament is a widely recognized and used thermoplastic in the 3D printing world due to its high strength, durability, and heat resistance. Known for its role in the manufacturing of consumer products, automotive components, and electronic housings, ABS Filament combines the best attributes of strength, flexibility, and thermal stability. This material is particularly favored for applications requiring robust, impact-resistant parts or those subjected to high temperatures. Despite its many benefits, ABS can be challenging to print with because of its tendency to warp and the emission of unpleasant odors during the printing process.

For those equipped to manage these challenges, ABS offers the opportunity to create professional-grade parts and prototypes. The filament’s ability to be smoothed with chemical processes, like acetone vapor smoothing, allows for the creation of parts with a glossy, smooth finish, enhancing their aesthetic appeal.

About ABS Filament

ABS stands out for its excellent mechanical properties, making it a staple in industries that demand high-performance parts. Its balance of toughness and rigidity ensures durability and resistance to physical impacts, while its heat resistance upholds structural integrity under thermal stress. ABS is also amenable to various post-processing techniques, allowing for enhanced surface finishes and part customization.

Printing with ABS requires a heated bed, controlled temperature environment, and proper ventilation to mitigate warping and manage fume emissions. Despite these prerequisites, ABS remains a popular choice for its versatility and the high-quality finish of printed parts.

Possible Applications of ABS Filament

Automotive Parts

ABS is deployed in the automotive industry for parts that demand toughness and thermal resistance, such as dashboards, interior panels, and housings.

Consumer Goods

Its blend of strength and ease of processing makes ABS ideal for durable consumer products like toys, sporting goods, and electronic device cases.

Prototyping

Engineers and designers frequently use ABS for functional prototypes due to its accurate representation of the mechanical properties and finishes possible in end-use parts.

Custom Enclosures and Housings

The filament’s durability and heat resistance lend themselves well to creating custom enclosures for electronic devices, ensuring protection and longevity.

Pros and Cons of ABS Filament

Pros:

  • Mechanical Strength: Offers significant impact resistance and durability for demanding applications.
  • Heat Resistance: Suitable for parts exposed to high temperatures.
  • Finish and Aesthetics: Capable of achieving a smooth surface finish with post-processing.
  • Versatility: Widely used across various industries for its balanced properties.

Cons:

  • Warping: Tendency to warp requires careful bed preparation and environmental control.
  • Odor and Emissions: Releases unpleasant odors and potentially harmful fumes during printing.
  • Printer Requirements: Needs a heated bed and an ideally enclosed print chamber to manage temperature and minimize warping.
Extrudr DuraPro ABS Filament Schwarz
<a href=httpswww3djakeatextrudr target= blank rel=noopener title=>Extrudr<a>DuraPro ABS Schwarz

Material Settings of ABS Filament

SettingValue
Print Temperature [°C]230 – 270
Build Plate Temperature [°C]80 – 110
Print Speed [mm/s]30 – 60
Cooling Fan [%]0 – 40
Enclosed Build ChamberRequired
Air ManagementRequired
Min Active Heated Build Chamber Temperature [°C]Not Required
DryingRecommended
AnnealingRecommended

Optimal printing of ABS filament involves managing high temperatures and ensuring stability throughout the print process to maintain part accuracy and aesthetics.

Mechanical Properties of ABS Filament

PropertyValue
Shore HardnessD75 – D85
Specific Gravity [g/cc]1.03 – 1.07
Tensile Strength at Break [Mpa]27 – 52
Elongation at Break [%]3 – 75
Flexural Strength [Mpa]60 – 80
Flexural Modulus [Mpa]2000 – 2400
Impact Strength Charpy 23˚C [kJ/m²]15 – 35
HDT B [°C]85 – 100
Tg [°C]100 – 105
UV ResistanceModerate

ABS’s mechanical properties demonstrate its suitability for producing parts that need to withstand mechanical stresses and thermal conditions without compromising on quality or appearance.

Material Comparison

MaterialPLAABSPVDF
Print Temperature [°C]180 – 235230 – 270225 – 275
DurabilityModerateHighHighest
Ease of PrintingHighModerateDifficult
UV ResistanceLowModerateHigh
Heat ResistanceLowModerateHigh

ABS provides a significant upgrade in durability and heat resistance over PLA, making it suitable for more mechanically and thermally demanding projects. It sits at a moderate level of printability, offering a good balance between performance and ease of use compared to more challenging materials like PVDF.

FAQ´s about ABS Filament

Is ABS suitable for outdoor applications?

While ABS can be used outdoors, its moderate UV resistance may lead to degradation over time. Protective coatings or treatments are recommended for long-term outdoor use.

Can ABS be smoothed for a better finish?

Yes, ABS parts can be chemically smoothed with acetone vapor, leading to glossy, high-quality finishes that are not possible with many other materials.

How can warping be minimized when printing with ABS?

Using a heated bed, brims, and ensuring a stable temperature environment within an enclosed chamber can significantly reduce warping.

What safety precautions should be observed when printing with ABS?

Ventilating the printing area or using air filtration systems is crucial to manage the odor and reduce exposure to fumes released during printing.

How does ABS handle mechanical stress?

ABS is well-regarded for its strength under mechanical stress, offering good impact resistance and durability against physical impacts and pressures.

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