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valcrow

ABS on stock ultimaker?

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Hey guys,

So I have 3 rolls of 3mm ABS sitting around curtsey of the thingeverse birdhouse competition. I was lucky enough that they had 3mm, and even sent me some extra.

Most of the marketing materials state that the ultimaker is able to handle ABS, but from everything I've read so far, it doesn't seem like people even attempt to print with ABS without a heated bed... So therein lies my question, is it at all practical to print ABS on a stock ultimaker?

Thanks!

 

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I have tested to print small parts with ABS on my stock Ultimaker recently. To make it short, the result was disappointing.

The finished print had some serious warping issues at all corners (using the blue tape) and the surface quality was not good, either. In my opinion the ultimaker is not able to print ABS without some major changes.

But in the end that is no problem for me. Most of the time I am using PLA. And if I need something that is more temperature-resistant I switch to PLA90.

 

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Nozzle temp isn't an issue, I've been printing Nylon and others (245°+) on a more or less stock machine for a few weeks now and it's been great. Stopped trying to use ABS since it was weaker and harder to make stick than Nylon.

Regardless, I've found that I can get a lot of stuff to stick if I use a wooden build platform and set the Z height a little too high.

 

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Like the other posters have said, nozzle temp shouldn't be an issue at all, but other factors will be.

I print with ABS all the time on another printer I have, but it has a heated build plate and I have built a reasonably well insulated enclosure.

Prior to building the enclosure, I was hit and miss on even small successful prints. I also had to direct cooling away from the build for the first layer.

I think of the two materials as almost having opposite optimal environmental conditions.

That being said, I second what Sander said. I have seen others have limited success with small objects on a cold build plate when they have used a glass plate and coated it with ABS slurry or Aquanet hair spray prior to the build and really gotten optimal nozzle gap. Probably goes without saying that you don't want to coat your build plate with ABS slurry!

 

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As a quick follow up, I did some ABS printing on my mostly stock machine on Friday. They were small-ish parts, but the bed adhesion wasn't a problem when printing directly on the plexi platform. My problem was that the Ultimaker Black ABS I have has weak layer bonding even when printed at 270° with no fan. The parts looked great though. That matte finish of ABS really gives an appearance of finer surface quality compared to glossy PLA. I'll probably search out some natural ABS and see if the layer adhesion improves.

Can anyone recommend the best brand and color combo for good (high strength and high surface quality) results in ABS?

 

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As a quick follow up, I did some ABS printing on my mostly stock machine on Friday. They were small-ish parts, but the bed adhesion wasn't a problem when printing directly on the plexi platform. My problem was that the Ultimaker Black ABS I have has weak layer bonding even when printed at 270° with no fan. The parts looked great though. That matte finish of ABS really gives an appearance of finer surface quality compared to glossy PLA. I'll probably search out some natural ABS and see if the layer adhesion improves.

Can anyone recommend the best brand and color combo for good (high strength and high surface quality) results in ABS?

 

Hi Nick,

did you check your real temperature vs the reported temperature? I think you are about 30 deg too low.

black ABS should produce a somewhat shiny surface at 250C, and do good layer bonding at 255-265C

If you have a matte extrusion, you are under-temp.

 

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I just tested this, and it seems to be calibrated correctly - putting the thermocouple in a pot of boiling water read 100°C.

It is producing a somewhat shiny surface, just less glossy than PLA. Layer bonding seems to be acceptable initially, but thin parts break along the bond lines, easier than PLA parts would.

 

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