What is ABS?
ABS stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. This material was one of the first plastics that was printed with industrial 3D printers. Now, many years later, ABS is still a very popular material, thanks to its low cost and useful mechanical properties. However, it is only reserved for the advanced user, because it has a higher melting temperature. ABS has to be printed on a heated print bed within a temperature controlled chamber, otherwise warping will occur.
ABS is made from petroleum products so printing with ABS is best done in a ventilated room. ABS is composed of a blend of acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. The first provides heat and chemical resistance, the second provides impact resistance and strength, and the last provides ABS with a low layer visibility for a smoother finish.
ABS is a strong and tough material that is resistant to heat and impact. ABS is non-flexible and can withstand high pressures which makes it great for industrial applications.
The most well known ABS product is the LEGO plastic block. However, ABS is ideal for industrial use thanks to its ability to withstand high temperatures. It is durable and reliable so it can be implemented in end-products. Some of the many implementations are in the automotive industry where ABS is used to construct dashboards, bumpers and other automotive hardware.