What is ABS?
ABS is an abbreviation of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. ABS has been a popular type of engineering plastic for a very long time, due to the fact that it is low in cost and easy to be used with manufacturing machines.
ABS plastic used for injection molding and a variety of different manufacturing applications. Since the introduction of 3D printing, ABS has become even more prevalent and is widely used in this industry.
If you need a frame of reference for what this material feels like, it is often used for toy building bricks.
ABS filament: Technical Specifications
What are the technical specs of ABS? You may need to think about the ABS density for 3D printing as well as other aspects and properties.
The proportions can vary from 15 to 35% acrylonitrile, 5 to 30% butadiene, and 40 to 60% styrene.
The maximum temperature for operating is between 85 and 100°C. ABS is flammable, but flame retardant can be added if required.
How ABS is Used in 3D printing?
An ABS 3D printing service normally uses 3D FDM or FFF printers. The ABS itself is initially in the form of a long filament, which is usually held together at a spool. The strand is then guided into an extruder, which heats the plastic to its melting point so that it is effectively a liquid which can be used as ABS plastic 3d prints a variety of different items using the methods of 3D printing.
ABS can be used for a variety of different projects. Something as simple as kids’ toys, or something as complex as parts for automotives can be made using 3D printing. It is strong and firm, as well as being relatively straightforward to print. The one downside is that it is not really suitable for things that will be used outdoors as UV light can make this plastic fade and lose its color or design over time.
ABS 3D Printing: What Does it Cost?
As the filament is relatively affordable, ABS plastic 3D prints work out as one of the most affordable options. The filament itself can be as cheap as $30 per kilogram. If you are looking to get specific products 3D printed and use a 3D printing service, it is important that you provide clear instructions and ask for a quote, different designs may involve different levels of work, and the specifications of the ABS and the infill can also have a huge impact on the price.
In general, ABS 3D printing is known to be one of the more affordable materials used in the 3D printing process.
3D Printing with ABS: Benefits
What are the reasons for using this material? Why are many people drawn to 3D printing with ABS?
- Benefits of ABS 3D printing include:
- Impact resistance. The material is very good at handling impact and can last a long time.
- Very structurally stiff and strong, as opposed to the bending properties of TPE or TPU.
- Chemical resistant.
- Very easy to paint and glue onto other items. ABS glue 3D printing is very popular.
- Performs well at low and high temperatures.
- Electrical insulation properties are strong.
3D Printing with ABS: Drawbacks
Every 3D printing filament has pros and cons. While ABS is a very popular material it is not ideal for every usage you can imagine, and some 3D printing projects require other filament.
Some of the drawbacks of using ABS for 3D printing include:
- Produces a really strong, unpleasant odor when printing. PLA 3D printing is very different and the aroma this gives off is actually quite sweet.
- Can be hazardous if burned.
- It is important to control the temperature as otherwise, the materials can warp.
- Printing with ABS must be done in a very well ventilated area.
- Doesn’t hold up well with UV light so the design and coloration can fade over time.