ABS 3D Printer


3D printers are taking markets by storm and that’s why you’ll find many options these days. So how do you choose one? Let’s discuss one of your best options, an ABS printer.

Many people prefer ABS 3D printers. The main reason is because the extruding material is strong, flexible and tolerates the highest melting temperatures. Most printers on the market today are capable of printing a variety of plastic types, including ABS.

You get accurate printing results when you use ABS 3D printers. But there is much more to these machines. Everything you need to know about 3D printing is available here. Let’s help you understand why this is a market favorite.

What is an ABS 3D Printer?

First, we must define what a 3D printer is. A 3D printer is a manufacturing device that creates any type of object you want from one of many different materials. 3D printers are aided by computer programs that feed them all the information pertaining to the objects. These include:

  • Multiple coordinates which outline the shape
  • Color variations

An ABS 3D printer works in a similar manner. There is one exception as there is only one material that is used to create the object and that is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) was one of the first materials to be introduced to the world of 3D printing. Ever since its introduction, ABS has been a popular material used for 3D manufacturing.

What Are the Benefits of Using ABS?

Its popularity is based on the many benefits if offers to the owners of 3D printers.

The top reason why many prefer to manufacture with ABS is that it’s a low-cost material. This leads to a lower cost of production which all companies will love. This means prices can be kept to a minimum and this is a tactic to attract more customers.

The impressive ABS impact and wear resistant properties make the final product tough. It doesn’t break easily under pressure. ABS is great for all products that need a hard exterior.

All objects have smoother finishes when created with ABS because there is minimal oozing and stringing. This is great for objects that have corners, so they will be smooth and look neat.

Finally, the last benefit of ABS is the heat resistant property. ABS has a higher glass transition temperature which means it can endure high temperatures before it begins to deform. Any product made from ABS has a lower chance of melting if used in hot weather.

What Objects are Made of ABS?

Lego bricks are made from ABS

ABS is the top material to use if the intended object needs a durable exterior. This makes it practical in many industries.

It’s a popular plastic for injection molding for these objects:

  • Legos
  • Instruments
  • Sports equipment
  • Wheel covers
  • Car body parts

 

Characteristics of ABS Printing Machines

With every 3D printer the entire printing process is the same in terms of how you program it and how it prints. However, with each material you use to print there may be specific hardware requirements you must follow.

Heated Bed

A heated bed is required when you print with the ABS material as it ensures a more successful outcome. The reason why you need this is the ABS plastic shrinks while it’s cooling. Without a sufficiently warm bed, the bottom of the object will cool at a different rate compared to the body. This is undesirable because it may cause the object to warp.

Extruder

Example of an extruder.

The temperature of the extruder must be between 220-250°C. These temperatures melt the ABS filament to a desired temperature which allows for a smoother application. Unlike other printers, the extruder will most likely get to the desired temperature you want. There will be no need for a special hot end attachment.

Build Surface

The print surface doesn’t have to be directly on glass. Some professionals suggest that it’s more effective to print on a Kapton surface. One of the main benefits of this surface is it’s easier to clean. Even if you have been printing for a while you can simply wipe off any filament that remains.

The build surface and the extruder must be well positioned with one another. If the extruder is too far away from the heat bed the filament will not stick to the build area. If the extruder is too low, then the material can be blocked. Over prolonged periods this can cause a jam from the nozzle.

The first layer of the ABS filament needs to stick to the printing area. There are three forms of adhesives you can use:

And don’t worry, we can help you clean glue off your build plate.

Cooling Fan

This is an optional feature found in most ABS 3D printers. The fan helps the object cool down at an even rate. It ensures that when it shrinks, it’s to scale.

The Importance of Working with the Right Temperature

Temperture is very important when working with ABS

When working with the ABS material, the temperature is the most important setting, as it determines the outcome. I find that 240° Celsius works best for me but your mileage may vary.

High Temperatures

If the temperatures are too high there will be more strings between the separate parts of the print. This happens because the extruder leaks out too much plastic while it’s moving between the different areas.

There are two ways that this can be rectified:

  • Lowering the temperatures by increments of five degrees
  • Increase the retraction by a few millimeters

Low Temperatures

Cold temperatures are also a hassle to work with. At low temperatures the new filament layer won’t stick to the previous ones. This then results in an object that:

  • Has a rough surface
  • Not strong and easily pulled apart

Rectifying this is the opposite procedure mentioned before. You must increase the temperatures by increments of five degrees until it gives you the right result. How do you know it’s the perfect temperature? The filament will be smooth and will bind well to previous layers.

A common way to test if your print setting are correctly set is to print a Benchy.

Conclusion

ABS 3D printers continue to be popular because they’re dynamic in making durable items, and you have the added benefit of it being affordable. What more do you want for your business? Can this be the solution you’ve been looking for?

If you are ready to start printing with ABS, check out these filaments.

Verl Humpherys

I have been 3D printing since 2017, using both FDM and SLA printers. My prints have varied from small D&D figurines to full sized baby Groot. I printed mounts for my various game consoles and my Oculus Rift. Any problem you can have with a 3D printer, I have had. And I am here to tell you what I have learned.

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