ABS 3D printer filament is the most used home 3D printer filament after PLA. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is one of the most popular plastics. It is an oil based filament and has a higher melting point than PLA. The most important mechanical properties of ABS are impact resistance and toughness. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is one of the most popular plastics.
ABS is popular for a few reasons. To start with, experienced users like ABS because it’s strong, affordable, and it’s easy to modify the parts after printing. The downside is that it’s a tricky filament for the novice to work with. The main reason is because it flows slowly from the print head and shrinks as it cools down.
ABS filament is trickier to use than its eco-friendly counterpart, PLA. It’s also best to use ABS with a 3D printer that has a heated print bed. This is important as this reduces warping and the potential of cracking during the cooling down process. Both ABS and PLA filaments have their pros and cons. Your specific needs and expectations will determine which one is right for you.
As a thermoplastic polymer, it can melt and cool without altering its chemical properties. That makes it an interesting 3D printer filament. There are some companies like Zortrax, which have dedicated 3D printers for the material.
- Great mechanical properties: The material is known to be strong, tough and durable. It is also forgiving to scratches, offers good resistance to heat and everyday chemicals. It can endure heat, pressure and stress like no other home 3D printer material, making it a great choice for „wear and tear“ prints. You can try this out yourself: If you move a strain of ABS filament, will distort and bend before breaking. PLA breaks much more easily.
- Great results: It’s quite forgiving, as long as you print with the right settings and a proper temperature management. You can even achieve overhangs of around 45 degrees. If the print succeeds, the results are very convincing.
- Easy to process: Most makers like the material because you can process its surfaces with acetone, glue parts and even file off some material. Lastly, it can be easily painted with acrylic colors.