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What's the point of ABS?


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Posted · What's the point of ABS?

I'm very new to printing and have been experimenting with various filaments and just can't find a scenario where I'd use ABS.  Does it have any situation where it is the best choice compared to Tough PLA/Nylon or CPE?

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    Posted · What's the point of ABS?

    I would say nowadays there are a lot of alternatives for ABS, so you don't need it. ABS has a lot of disadvantages, toxic fumes, warping and so on, but it was a material with a higher glass transition temperature, so it was the material of choice for a part you want to leave in a car in summer.


    But now there are a lot of other materials which have an even better strength and a similar or higher glass transition temperature. So in my point of view, there is no more need to print with ABS.

    I use ToughPLA or CPE (maybe CPE+) or any other PETG material if I want to have strength and higher temperature resistance.


    Sometimes I use ASA which is similar to ABS for outdoor things like a bird feeder or something like that because ASA has excellent resistance against UV light.

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    Posted · What's the point of ABS?

    I once read that originally ABS wire was the easiest available, in the beginning of 3D-printing, because it was also used for other purposes.


    But today I wouldn't use it anymore. I use PLA for most standard models, and PET or NGEN (thus sort of polyesters) for things that need to be a bit more flexible (e.g. for snap-fit lockings), and for higher temperatures in a car.


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    Posted · What's the point of ABS?

    ABS has really good cold impact strength.  It's also very easy to print, more forgiving than PLA.  If I could only choose those between PLA and ABS I would take ABS.  However as Smithy stated above ASA is superior to both of those especailly for a part that will be outside or see UV.

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    Posted (edited) · What's the point of ABS?

    If you have a printer that prints ABS well, it is a nice filament (outside maybe the smell). It feels "good in the hand", has nice surfaces, has enough flex to be tough in lots of situations, is relatively easy to work, has good temperature resistance, etc. Its actually quite a nice filament. Coloration tends to be very solid and nice. It doesn't get brittle, a real problem I've had with PLA over time. Warping, especially on certain prints, can bit its real bug-a-boo. But lots of PLA alternatives have that problem.


    HOWEVER, if your printer isn't in love with ABS, it can be a serious PITA. Both of my printers print it easily (my first printer, mostly due to a lack of a print cooling fan, printed ABS much better then PLA until I added one) and I have not fount CPE/PETG to be significantly easier. But lots of people have layer adhesion problems, bed adhesion problems, extreme warping, etc. So, YMMV.

    Edited by PaulK
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