Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
- 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.
- Multiple Colors: There’s plenty to choose from. ABS filament may not have as many varieties and flavors as PLA, but you still get most of the colors you want.
- For more details, please read: ABS 3D Printer Filament (Explained and Compared).
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is one of the most popular plastics. It can be used in Machine parts for industry use, able to withstand high stress and temperature.
It is used in LEGO bricks and bicycle helmets alike. Today, you find it everywhere, as it’s probably the most popular plastic for injection molding. Pipe systems, musical instruments, joinery panels, home appliances, keyboard caps, toys, canoes, medical devices and even flat-screen TV’s and computer monitors.
Any products require high precision and complex design. Difficult for post-processing.
- Temperature issues: To 3D print ABS filament, you need a proper temperature management. It needs to cool slowly, otherwise, you get cracks or split layers in your prints. If your 3D printer has an enclosure, you might stand a better chance of a perfect print.
- Common problems: Curling and warping are also an issue when printing with ABS filament. This is especially true for objects with a big standing surface.
- Sunlight: It can also sustain damage by direct sunlight – so you might want to 3D print these outdoor parts in another material like PET.
- Smelly printing: When printing, you will smell foul odors (“There’s nothing like the stench of ABS filament in the morning“, as our maker friends say).