ABS or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is a copolymer, essentially a blend or alloy of different plastics. It is one of the most common thermoplastics in use today with robust and cheap characteristics. As a 3D Printer Filament, it’s highly versatile and offers better mechanical properties than PLA. It can, however, can be a little more difficult to print with.
It is the recommended material for fine finishing due to it’s ease of sanding, the only material that can be vapour smoothed and accepts paint and glue exceptionally well.
Since ABS is a blend of three monomers in variable proportions, the properties can be variable depending on the manufacturer. Filament Factory has worked hard to source a blend that is well-suited to 3D Printing, and only uses quality non-recycled plastic in production. Many other manufactures will include recycled or “regrinded” plastic in their production, which may not be a major issue using plastic injection, but can create bad quality 3D printing filament.
In order to print ABS successfully, a heated bed is required with a bed adhesive. Bed temp’s are usually in the 100-110°C range for good first layer adhesion. ABS also has a higher shrinkage than other plastics like PLA, and as such tends to warp and crack on larger prints. We highly recommend using an enclosed printer to bring the ambient temperature up, which makes printing with ABS Filament much easier for beginners moving up from PLA!