Printing with ABS - A Primer

User-Generated tips and tricks for the Rostock Max, Orion, H1.1, or H1 Printers
cope413
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Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby cope413 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:00 pm

Ok, there has been quite an influx of issues relating to ABS and bed adhesion issues lately.

So let's go over a few things...

1) ABS does not like to adhere to bare glass. You certainly can get ABS to adhere to bare, heated boro glass buildplates, but it's very difficult and you will more than likely experience warping/curling or failed prints due to the print breaking free from the glass mid-print.

2) ABS Should almost NEVER be cooled with a layer fan. If you have a part that gets mushy/blobby because of too much heat, try printing 2 of them at a time. This will allow the first part to cool while the 2nd part is printing and vice versa. Another option is to require layer times to be at least X amount of seconds. You can even slice it in such a way that the hot end will print a layer, then move off the print for a set amount of time while that layer cools, and then prints the next layer. But cooling fans and ABS are not friends.

3) ABS, in spite of your experiences to the contrary, does not delaminate as easily as PLA. If you are experiencing delamination, then you are very likely not printing hot enough, have cooling fans pointed at your print, don't have a properly calibrated extruder, or have a drafty or cold room. When printed correctly, ABS interlayer adhesion is much stronger than PLA.
225-245C is the range for ABS. Every color with every supplier is a little different. IME, black needs to be printed the hottest, natural the coolest.

4) Bed Adhesion methods - In order of best to worst. Bed should always be heated. 85-90C is usually adequate, depending on the part and bed adhesion method you're using.

a) PET or Kapton tape on the glass with ABS Juice. Here's a video on how to apply PET tape to your glass
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeOpgnswXks
ABS Juice is simply dissolved ABS in acetone. The more ABS you dissolve in the acetone, the more aggressive your bed adhesion you will get. Start with 2-3oz of acetone and 6-7 inches of ABS and go from there.

b) ABS juice directly on the glass.

c) Glue stick. UHU seems to be the preferred brand around here, but I've found a few others that work. To a cool print bed, apply a thin layer of glue to the glass in one direction, and then apply another layer in the opposite direction (think of a crosshatch pattern). Then bring bed up to temp which will allow the glue to dry before printing.

d) Hairspray. I like Aquanet - unscented - Extra Super Hold. I spray a thin coat, let it dry, then spray another thin coat, let it dry, and then print.


It's important to note that the footprint of your part has a HUGE part in bed adhesion. I use hairspray successfully for most of my ABS prints. The closer the prints are to the center of the bed (where it's hottest) the better, but the smaller footprint you have, the more curl you're likely to experience.

ABS Juice is very easily the best method of bed adhesion, but it is also easily the biggest pain for both clean-up and for print removal. Be aware that too much Juice (or too thick a concentration) could potentially lead to you breaking your glass trying to remove the part.

5) Infill plays a huge role in ABS prints. Too many solid layers on the bottom followed by light infill (<15%) will increase your chances of warp. Rapid changes in fill density will cause the print to cool differently and lead to warp. Use the least amount of solid layers possible to avoid warping. In general, the more infill you use, the more warping forces you introduce to your part.

6) The higher you print - or said differently, the farther away you get from the heated bed - the more likely warp become. The heat from the bed will heat your print, but it will be much hotter closest to the bed, and gets cooler as you raise the height. When printing very tall ABS objects - like this vase
2013-12-06 10.55.33.jpg


I like to lower the bed temp 5-10 degrees after the first 20-30 layers.

And to wrap this primer up,

7) Ambient temperature affects your prints more than you think, and the effect increases with the size of your print.
Print in your garage thats 40F? You're gonna have warping issues. I have used 3mm poly sheeting to drape around my printer when printing large ABS objects. This eliminates drafts, and allows the "chamber" to maintain a higher temp which helps prevent warping.
Last edited by cope413 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby dpmacri » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:18 pm

Very nice explanation, Cope! Thanks!

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Eaglezsoar
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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby Eaglezsoar » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:00 pm

Good write-up. Off topic question, I assume the spool holder you made for the top of your
Rostock that has the dowel looking part is where the Line Trimmer spool goes. There is no
problems with the spool turning? I thought I would have to put some bearings under the
holder to make it easier to turn.

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby cope413 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:24 pm

Nope, no issues as is. There's very little friction on any of the spools I've tried. Feeds with ease
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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby Christian79 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:16 pm

I just want to clarify what seems like an obvious point you made.

1) I should NOT use a layer fan with ABS?
2) That being said then how long do you all delay till the next layer?

- I use a layer fan because of heat soak issues with small parts. However, I am not always happy with my layer adhesion results.

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby Eaglezsoar » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:33 pm

Christian79 wrote:I just want to clarify what seems like an obvious point you made.

1) I should NOT use a layer fan with ABS?
2) That being said then how long do you all delay till the next layer?

- I use a layer fan because of heat soak issues with small parts. However, I am not always happy with my layer adhesion results.

Instead of a fan on the small parts have you tried to reduce the temperature in 5 degree steps?

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby cope413 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:35 pm

10-15 seconds should be adequate. How small is your part?

If it's small, I really think the best way is to print two parts at the same time. The time it takes to go from one part to the other should allow them to cool adequately.
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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby 0110-m-p » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:40 pm

After finally getting PLA to print good, my first spool of ABS will be here tomorrow. Thanks for the tips!
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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby maxman » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:44 am

Excellent post - I vote this to be a "sticky" or even to be included in the manual.

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby mrbi11 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:08 am

A) Way cool and Thanks!
B) Thanks and Way cool.

Should definitely be a permanent prominent post. (the PPP folder)

A footnote, which is temporarily true (because I hear better heat beds are in the works):
For anyone printing a wide footprint, the closer to the edge the cooler on current bed heater.
If the center is at 90C, half way to the edge is maybe 70C, and the edges ARE barely above room temp,
50C (122 F, a really hot bath).
You can't GET the recommended temperatures across the whole heater bed.

A 1/4" aluminum plate is needed if you want to print more than half the official diameter of the base,
and have it stick. It evens out temp so near to perfectly it is hard to measure variations.

PS.
I used an infrared thermometer, $10ish from harbor freight, and fun at (geek) parties.
It works great for heater bed/glass. The above temps are measurements, not guesses.
However, point it at shiny aluminum surface, it reads mostly room temperature. One of those science things.
Put the glass on the aluminum plate, temperature reads out fine.

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby margaretdavid » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:39 pm

hmmm yeah great thanks a lot of sharing this information 8-)

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby johnstevenjacob » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:31 am

Thanks for these information, man! I ordered ABS from 3d2print.net will arrive tomorrow, and I’m sure these info will definitely help me to get a good print output.
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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby Mimo » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:22 am

Hi all,
Fan while bridging.
the Abs slic3r printing profile for ABS includes automatic usage of the peek fan which actually turn it on when bridging,
From initial prints I made it looks that it improve the bridge.
What is your experience?
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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby bdjohns1 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:13 pm

No, the PEEK fan is the one that you should have set up blowing across the upper barrel of your hot-end - if you follow the build guides, it's mounted on top of the effector.

A layer fan (which is what you'd use to help bridging) is mounted below the effector, and ideally should be aimed a little below the hot end, so it's not actually cooling the tip off.

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby Mimo » Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:15 am

Misused names (my mistake)
so from your experience the layer fan should be used for abs bridging?
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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby wjrudo » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:53 pm

After finishing my new Rostock Max with Trick Laser mods, am now printing my second part. I've always wanted to try to print ABS on Scotch Super 77 spray adhesive. It works great! Don't use 78, it blobs when it comes out. 77 sprays nice and fine. It works much better than the purple stick. Give it a try. BTW, I love this machine!! I've been printing for years on a stratasys and IMO, the Max is just as good if not better! Hats off to you SeeMe.

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby predawnsky » Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:16 pm

thanks for the advise
I was wondering what what setting are you using for abs mine make a slight poping noise, and t-glass im also using the mattercontrol software with my rostock max v2

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby cheran » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:19 am

Thanks for the advice.
How could I set the pause 10-15 sec after each layer in Slic3r?

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby jdurand » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:58 am

I've been printing for a couple of years on an Afinia printer using ABS on a glass plate. Coating with the ABS juice works great but getting it clean again was a problem. Until by accident I discovered Windex (tm)

After removing the glass from the printer with your model still attached, spray a little real Windex around the raft/bottom. Wait a short while (under a minute) and you'll hear cracking/popping. Wait slightly longer and lift your model off. Wipe/gently scrape the rest of the ABS off the glass, wash with water, dry, back to your next print in 5 minutes or less.

note: Rmax v2 on order, so I can't say how this works on that but it should be the same.
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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby Eaglezsoar » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:54 am

jdurand wrote:I've been printing for a couple of years on an Afinia printer using ABS on a glass plate. Coating with the ABS juice works great but getting it clean again was a problem. Until by accident I discovered Windex (tm)

After removing the glass from the printer with your model still attached, spray a little real Windex around the raft/bottom. Wait a short while (under a minute) and you'll hear cracking/popping. Wait slightly longer and lift your model off. Wipe/gently scrape the rest of the ABS off the glass, wash with water, dry, back to your next print in 5 minutes or less.

note: Rmax v2 on order, so I can't say how this works on that but it should be the same.


I haven't tried the Windex but it sounds like a great tip which I will try.
Got to run to the store to get some genuine Windex.
Thanks for the tip!

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby Fiddler2070 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:28 am

1/8 or 1/16 inch aluminum plate is plenty. 1/4 is huge and will just take more time to heat up. PEI is great for printing ABS. No need for anything else. let the bed cool down 8-10 degrees and you can just pop the part off. I really love the PEI. No residue, no mess, no cleanup. Just pop the part off and you are ready to print again. I printed 2 different effectors, a arm sizing tool, and a carriage thingy to attach the mag arms with about 2 minutes in between to heat the bed back up again.

If you're using Zen Toolworks ABS white, 220C is all you need. 225 tends to burn the part in places. For some reason everyone seems to be using cooler bed temps than me. I found after going up and down a few times that 110C bed temp for Zen Toolworks ABS white works the best.

I'm hoping that people will name their filament and what temps they use rather than just the temps. The temps vary so widely it's not even funny. Maybe we can compile a database or at least a list and make it easier for people to switch filament suppliers.

Heck I'll Start.

Zen Toolworks White ABS Hotend: 220C Bed: 110C

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby Aureus » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:09 pm

2+ layers of heavy duty aluminum foil in a circle under the glass will work if you can't get actual aluminum sheets.

Hope this helped,
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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby tcat007 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:38 pm

Fiddler2070 wrote:Heck I'll Start.
Zen Toolworks White ABS Hotend: 220C Bed: 110C


Hatchbox white and/or Red ABS: HE: 225, Bed 85
Love the PEI plate!

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby Windshadow » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:21 pm

SeeMeCNC Midnight black HE 228c and bed at 80c (so far the build manual defaults but with Trick laser AL plate under the glass and Elmers School Purple gluestick crosshatch pattern

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Re: Printing with ABS - A Primer

Postby ExplodedZombie » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:28 pm

I'm getting super wormy looking overhangs when printing with ABS. Is there a trick to printing abs overhangs? If you can't use a fan, how to cool it down enough to not drip, but also not warp from overcooling? Any suggestions would be very appreciated.
The file I'm printing can be found here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1766384
The first picture that shows a blue object, that's the arm lasers printing standing up tall. All undersides are super wormy (melty) looking.

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Matterhackers Black ABS - 230c
Heatbed 100c
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print speed 30mm/s, travel speed 150mm/s


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