What is ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) Filament?
ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, which is an oil based thermoplastic material. A thermoplastic material softens when heated up and returns back to its solid state as soon as it cools down. ABS Filament is a very common consumable item used in many 3D Pens and 3D Printers. The physical and chemical properties of ABS has been found very favourable to manufacture components which have to go through high temperatures. ABS is a very strong and durable component which is also slightly flexible as well as fairly resistant to heat.
Why ABS Filament for 3D Printing?
ABS plastics can be easily operated via a hot end heated at a temperature of around 210 to 250°C. It is totally malleable under high temperature, because of which it can be easily moulded to create any shape in heated state and solidifies in its new shape as cooled down. The heated part of a 3D Pen melts the plastic before it passes through the nozzle of a 3D Pen or Printer. As soon as it is pushed out of the nozzle, it contracts very quickly to form warped parts. A 3D Printer equipped with a heated printbed works very well with this printing material.
Why ABS Plastic is Favourable for 3D Pens?
ABS Filament is one of the most favourite consumable materials used in the 3D printing industry. Moreover, it is also the cheapest consumable material used for 3D printing. ABS filaments are not only available in a variety of solid colors such as green, red, black, yellow, blue etc., but also available in transparent, glowing and with a matte finish appearance. ABS plastic is a way more ductile and less brittle as compared to its close competitor PLA filament.
Which ABS Filament Size Is Best For You?
ABS filaments are generally available in two different diameter sizes – 1.75mm and 3mm diameter, due to which you should get the one which is compatible with your device. Most of the 3D Pens and 3D Printers are capable of taking in only one of the filament sizes because of which you should be careful while buying filaments for your 3D device.
How to Get a Smooth Shine over Your 3D Models?
Another important property of ABS filaments is about its easy solubility in Acetone. This property is sometimes harnessed to join pieces of filaments or models together by applying a few drops of Acetone. You can even get a smooth glossy shining surface on your ABS models by brushing it with a layer of Acetone solution. ABS material can also be recycled quite easily.
Disadvantages of ABS Plastic
Depending on the quality of ABS plastic, it sometimes fumes with a bad plastic smell. You should use it under proper ventilation, in case, if you feel nausea or headache while using it. It is also not a biodegradable item so it can harm our environment, if not disposed off properly.
Other Applications of ABS Material
Apart from the 3D printing industry, ABS is also employed in the manufacturing of many automotive components, kitchen appliances, protective headgear, drain pipes, vent pipes, waste pipes, toys, protective cases, Lego bricks, music instruments and many more.