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CapabilitiesCustom Online 3D Printing ServiceABS (FDM) 3D Printing

ABS (FDM) 3D Printing

FDM, or fused deposition modeling, is the most widely recognized 3D printing technology and is capable of printing parts in a very wide range of materials. ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) can produce high-strength and impact-resistant parts in a range of industries for both prototyping and end-use.

FDM ABS-M30 Blue and other materials

About 3D Printing in ABS

ABS is one of the strongest standard plastics used in FDM 3D printing and has good resilience and impact strength. The ABS plastics listed below have the advantage of being stronger than standard ABS and as such, improve on an already strong material. It must be noted that FDM parts are anisotropic, meaning that material strength differs depending on how the part is loaded.

3D Printed ABS at a Glance

Application

Enclosures, food packaging, prototypes, jigs, and fixtures

Advantages

Low cost, high strength, high impact resistance

Disadvantages

Tends to warp during printing (though this can be easily overcome with careful design-for-manufacturing principles and machine set-up). Not resistant to UV.

Lead Time

1 day

Price

$

Minimum Feature Size

Typically between 0.030” and 0.060” (0.762 mm and 1.524mm)

Tolerances

Z plane: +/- 0.010” (0.254 mm) for the first inch, plus +/- 0.002” (0.0508 mm) for every inch thereafter. XY plane: +/- 0.004” (0.1016 mm) for the first inch, plus +/- 0.002” (0.0508 mm) for every inch thereafter.

Layer Height

0.010" (0.254 mm) for parts below 16" (406.4 mm) and 0.013" (0.330 mm) for parts above 16" (406.4 mm)

Max Part Size

24” x 36” x 36” (610 mm x 915 mm x 915 mm)

FDM ABS-M30

This grade of ABS filament has a high-strength formulation that makes it up to 70% stronger than standard ABS filament. It also offers a better interlayer bond strength, allowing for increased strength in the Z-axis. Applications can include tool fixtures and low-volume production parts.

FDM ABS-M30 Properties
Tensile Strength (MPa)Elongation at Break (%)Hardness (Rockwell)Heat Deflection Temperature (℃)Glass Transition (℃)
Tensile Strength (MPa)

31

Elongation at Break (%)

7

Hardness (Rockwell)

109.5

Heat Deflection Temperature (℃)

82

Glass Transition (℃)

108

FDM ABS-ESD7

This grade of ABS is electrostatic-dissipative which means it has special anti-static properties. This is possible thanks to the inclusion of extra carbon filler in the formulation. This has the strength benefits of ABS while also allowing it to be used alongside sensitive electronics without the risk of static discharges damaging delicate components. This makes it ideal for electrical enclosures and fixtures for electronic components.

FDM ABS-ESD7 Properties
Tensile Strength (MPa)Elongation at Break (%)Hardness (Rockwell)Heat Deflection Temperature (℃)Glass Transition (℃)
Tensile Strength (MPa)

36

Elongation at Break (%)

3

Hardness (Rockwell)

109.5

Heat Deflection Temperature (℃)

82

Glass Transition (℃)

108

FDM ABS-M30i

This grade of ABS is specially formulated to be biocompatible in accordance with ISO 10993 USP Class VI. It can also be gamma- or Eto-sterilized. It is important to understand even though the material is certified as biocompatible, that does not mean the end product will automatically be compliant. This material can be used to make functional prototypes, food packaging, or end-use components.

FDM ABS-M30i Properties
Tensile Strength, Yield (MPa)Elongation at Break (%)Hardness (Rockwell)Heat Deflection Temperature (℃)Glass Transition (℃)
Tensile Strength, Yield (MPa)

36

Elongation at Break (%)

4

Hardness (Rockwell)

109.5

Heat Deflection Temperature (℃)

82

Glass Transition (℃)

108

FDM ABSi

This grade of ABS is translucent and therefore allows monitoring of material or fluid flow inside a prototype to help analyze a potential product's performance. This material is also stronger than normal ABS, so the translucent capability does not hinder its mechanical performance. It can be used in prototypes that require light transmission or flow monitoring.

FDM FDM ABSi Properties
Tensile Strength (MPa)Elongation at Break (%)Hardness (Rockwell)Heat Deflection Temperature (℃)Glass Transition (℃)
Tensile Strength (MPa)

37

Elongation at Break (%)

4.4

Hardness (Rockwell)

108

Heat Deflection Temperature (℃)

73

Glass Transition (℃)

116

Finishes

3D printing in ABS using FDM technology does not typically have a wide range of possible surface finishes. There are, however, a wide range of colors available. In addition to this, some basic surface finishes are listed below.

Standard: Support structures are removed and some light sanding is performed at the support locations. FDM parts will generally show clear layer lines known as stepping. If a smooth surface finish is required right off the machine, then they should consider other 3D printing technologies.

Custom: Custom surface finishes like painting and additional sanding can be requested.

    fdm abs black

    Cost-saving Design Tips

    To save money when 3D printing in ABS, follow these cost-saving design tips:

    DFM: FDM 3D printing in ABS requires special considerations when designing parts. FDM machines construct parts from the bottom up, so large overhangs will require support. Large internal cavities are not ideal as support structures cannot be removed. This can, however, be overcome with special soluble supports, though these add complexity and cost to the design. In addition to this, care must be taken when designing load-bearing components as FDM parts are generally weakest in the Z-axis due to the bond strength between layers.

    Choose the right ABS: The above-listed ABS materials are each designed for specific use cases and should only be used when required. For example, biocompatible ABS is not needed for a tooling fixture and would increase the overall cost of the part for no reason.

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