What is ABS Filament? [All You Need to Know About 3D Printing with ABS]

People have been using 3D printing technology for a while now, and ABS filament is one of the most popular materials used in 3D printing. But what is ABS filament? What are the benefits of using it? And what are some of the potential drawbacks? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at ABS filament and answer all of these questions.

What is ABS Filament?

ABS filament is a type of thermoplastic polymer that can be used in 3D printing. Thermoplastic polymers are materials that can be heated and molded into different shapes. ABS filament is made up of small pellets of ABS plastic that are melted and extruded through a 3D printer’s nozzle to create the desired shape.

ABS Filament Key Characteristics

  • ABS filament has a melting point of 210–240°C.
  • ABS has a glass transition temperature of 60°C and can withstand temperatures up to 103°C.
  • ABS is available in a wide range of colors.
  • ABS can be sanded and painted for a smooth finish.
  • ABS has a slightly higher printing temperature than PLA.
  • ABS Posses both strength & flexibility

Benefits of ABS Filament in 3D Printing

ABS filament is a popular choice for 3D printing because it has a number of advantages over other materials. For example, ABS filament is:

  • Strong and durable – ABS plastic is a tough material that can withstand high temperatures and impact. This makes it ideal for 3D-printed parts that need to be strong and durable, such as vehicle parts, tools, and mechanical parts.
  • Heat resistant – ABS plastic can withstand temperatures of up to 100°C (212°F). This makes it possible to 3D print objects that will be exposed to high temperatures, such as cooking utensils or ovens.
  • Easy to use – ABS filament is easy to use with most 3D printers. It can also be sanded and painted, making it a versatile material for creating 3D-printed objects.

Potential Drawbacks of ABS Filament

While ABS filament has many advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks to using it. For example:

  • It can be difficult to print with – ABS plastic can be difficult to extrude through a 3D printer’s nozzle, which can lead to clogging and other printing problems.
  • It emits harmful fumes – When heated, ABS plastic emits harmful fumes that can be dangerous to inhale. It’s important to use proper ventilation when 3D printing with ABS filament.
  • It shrinks when cooled – ABS plastic tends to shrink when cooled, which can cause warping and other problems with 3D-printed parts.

How to Print with ABS filament

ABS can be difficult to print with, as it requires high temperatures and can be prone to warping.If you’re interested in 3D printing with ABS filament, there are a few things you need to know. 


  • Ensure your build platform is level, as ABS can warp if it is not.
  • ABS adheres best to a glass or metal build platform that has been coated with ABS slurry or Aquanet.
  • If your printer does not have a heated build platform, you can try using a heated chamber.
  • ABS is a strong, durable filament, but it is also brittle. Be careful not to drop or jar your prints too much, as they can crack.


  • Nozzle temperature: 220-250C
  • Build platform temperature: 100-110C
  • Fan speed: 50%


  • It can be difficult to print with, so it is recommended for experienced users.
  • If you are having difficulty printing with ABS, try using a brim or raft to improve bed adhesion.
  • ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is a petroleum-based thermoplastic. It’s used in a wide range of products, from Legos to car fenders, due to its durability and resistance to chemicals and heat.

5 tips for 3D printing ABS material

Here are five tips for getting the best results from your 3D printer when using ABS material:

  1. Importance of the First Layer

The first layer of any 3D print is critical. It’s the only chance you have to properly adhere the object to the build platform and ensure that your entire print will be well-supported. With ABS, it’s especially important to make sure that your first layer is strong and level because if it isn’t the plastic can start to warp as it cools.

Here are a few tips to help you get a strong first layer when printing with ABS:

  • Use a heated build platform – If your 3D printer doesn’t have a heated build platform, you can try using a heated bed kit. This will help to keep the bottom of your print from cooling too quickly and warping
  • Use a raft – A raft is a thin layer of material that is printed underneath your object. It helps to keep the bottom of your print from cooling too quickly and warping.
  • Use brim – Brim is a line of material that is printed around the perimeter of your object. It helps to keep the sides of your print from cooling too quickly and warping.
  • Use a low layer height – When printing with ABS, it’s best to use a lower layer height than you would with other materials. This will help to prevent warping and ensure that your print is strong.
  • Use an enclosed printer – Enclosing your 3D printer will help to keep the air around your print warm, which will prevent warping.
  1. The Heated Build Platform Should Always be On

3D printers that have a heated build platform typically have a button or switch that turns the heat on and off. If your printer does not have a heated build platform, you can try using a heated bed kit. This will help to keep the bottom of your print from cooling too quickly and warping.

The build platform should always be on when printing with ABS. If it’s not, the plastic can start to warp as it cools. ABS can be printed without a heated build platform, but it’s more likely to warp if the bottom of the print cools too quickly.

If you’re using a heated bed kit, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. Most kits come with a thermostat that needs to be installed in order to prevent the bed from getting too hot.

  1. Level the bed

It’s also important to make sure that your printer is level. If the bed isn’t level, the first layer of your print can be distorted, which can cause the entire print to warp.

To level the bed, you’ll need to adjust the leveling screws until the bed’s level. You can use a sheet of paper to help you determine if the bed is level.

Simply place the sheet of paper on the bed and try to slide it under the nozzle. If the paper slides under easily, then the bed is level. If not, you’ll need to continue adjusting the leveling screws until the paper slides under with ease.

  1. Try to Avoid stringing

Stringing is when small pieces of plastic are left behind as the nozzle moves from one point to another. Stringing can cause your print to warp, so it’s important to avoid it if possible.

There are a few things you can do to reduce stringing:

  • Use a lower temperature – If the filament is too hot, it can cause stringing. Try reducing the temperature of the filament until stringing is no longer an issue.
  • Use a slower speed – Stringing is more likely to occur when the nozzle is moving too fast. Try reducing the speed of the nozzle until stringing is no longer an issue.
  • Use a shorter distance – Stringing can also occur if the distance between the nozzle and the build platform is too great. Try reducing the distance until stringing is no longer an issue.
  • Use less retraction – Retraction is when the filament is pulled back into the nozzle. This can cause stringing, so it’s important to use as little retraction as possible.
  1. Keep the ABS Filament Dry

ABS is hygroscopic, meaning it readily absorbs moisture from the air. This can cause all sorts of problems with your 3D prints, including warping and cracking. That’s why it’s important to keep your ABS filament dry, especially if you live in a humid climate. The best way to do this is to store it in an airtight container with a desiccant packet.

  • Print on a heated build plate – If you’re having trouble getting your ABS prints to stick to the build plate, try printing on a heated build plate. The extra heat will help to melt the ABS just enough so that it will adhere to the plate. Just be sure not to overheat the build plate, as this can cause warping.
  • Use a fan for cooling – ABS is notorious for producing stringy, droopy prints. One way to combat this is to use a fan for cooling. The fans will help to set the plastic quicker, resulting in less droop. Just be sure to point the fan away from the build plate so that it doesn’t cool the plastic too quickly and cause warping.
  • Slow down the print speed – Another way to combat stringing is to slow down the print speed. This gives the plastic more time to cool before the next layer is laid down, resulting in less stringing.
  • Increase the infill percentage – If you’re having trouble with warping, one way to combat it is to increase the infill percentage. This will add more material to the print, making it less likely to warp. Just be aware that increasing the infill percentage will also increase the print time and the amount of material used.

Final Thoughts

ABS filament is a type of plastic that is commonly used in 3D printing. It is known for its strength and durability, making it ideal for prints that need to be strong and withstand wear and tear. In this article, we have covered the basics of ABS filament, including what it is, how to use it, and some tips to help you produce better prints. With a little practice, you’ll be printing perfect ABS prints in no time!

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